Dec 18, 2015

Behind The Lens: Luca Sage

Luca Sage, 38, Photographer, United Kingdom, Brighton.

Journal: How are you doing, Luca?

Luca: Good, thank you. Just waiting for a plane back to England.

Journal: I’ve read that you’re from Brighton. How is life over there?

Luca: It’s great. I love being by the sea. There’s just something about the constant energy being brought in over the sea. Or maybe it’s just wind, but whatever it is, it feels good.

London is only 50 minutes on the train so you still feel totally connected to the photography hub.

luca sage

Journal: I’ve seen a lot of your work and I’ve noticed you’ve worked with people from all kinds of different cultures. Are you a people person?

Luca: Yes, I suppose I am. When I was younger I was quite shy (although you wouldn’t think it now) and it meant I’d observe a great deal and see how different people are but also paradoxically essentially the same too, paradoxically. I originally studied Social Anthropology and it’s now simply embedded in my thought process and consequently the way I work. I was never any good at learning new languages so being a Social Anthropologist was always going to be difficult.

Maybe my skills lie in visual communication rather than linguistics.

Jorunal: A lot of your photography is shot in Africa. When did you first head over there?

Luca: It was back in 2006, a trip to Malawi. I went with a work colleague for six weeks and it’s probably one of the best experiences I ever had. I loved every minute of it! We travelled by all means of transport and often trekked for days through villages.

I almost died on that trip, twice.

One time, I was being chased by a charging bull elephant and another time was actually because I had to find a place to watch my beloved Arsenal play in the Champions League semi final. It’s a long story but luckily I somehow survived the car crash.

luca sage

I originally studied Social Anthropology and it’s now simply embedded in my thought process and consequently the way I work.

luca sage

Journal: Are there any other countries you’d love to shoot at in the future?

Luca: I’d love to go to Mali; plans are afoot. One of my photography heroes is Malick Sidibé, who was born and has worked in Mali all his life.

To visit his studio would be something akin to a Mecca experience for me.

Journal: Something else, do you think it’s important to tell a story with your photography?

Luca: I’m not so sure it is. A story can be pure fiction and even when people attempt fact, it’s impossible to be completely objective, especially with photography.
The photographer decodes when and what to shoot and how to shoot it.

luca sage

Journal: What story are you trying to tell with your photography?

Luca: When it all comes down to it, I think the only story you can really tell is your own. When I take portraits it’s not because I’m asking questions but it’s more because I’m seeing the similarities in all of us. Whether we are from England, Wales, Côte d’Ivoire, or wherever, we are all human. There’s good and bad in every country but I’m not really interested in nationalities. I’m looking more at the individual.

I find people fascinating and that’s probably the crux of everything I do.

Journal: You’ve won several prizes. Why do you think your photography is appreciated by many people?

Luca: Ha, I can’t answer that! Some photographers might be able to give you a very confident answer but not me. I’m forever questioning my work.

luca sage

Journal: Do you think what you’re doing is a form of art?

Luca: All I know is I take pictures. It feels like I’m married to my photography; there’s good times and bad times. Whether it’s a form of art I cannot really say, if art is a form of expression then yes.

Journal: Is there any other form of art that inspires you?

Luca: Dancing is inspiring me at the moment. I dance regularly and love watching contemporary dance. It’s a moving form of artistic expression.

luca sage

Whether we are from England, Wales, Côte d’Ivoire or wherever, we are all human.

luca sage

Journal: It seems like a lot of people are trying to become photographers nowadays.
How do you stand out from the crowd?

Luca: It’s true that there are many, many photographers out there now and some are very good at what they do.

Whatever it is you shoot, you just have to do it to the best of your capabilities and then even more.

Journal: Are there any goals you’d like to accomplish in the future?

Luca: More commissions that have the budget for using my medium and large format film cameras (Or an Alpha). To shoot all the ideas I have in my head and on my mood boards.

luca sage

Journal: Are there any future projects you’d like to tell us about?

Luca: Well, I’ve just started a long term project on sport. Mainly portraits but also some action shoots. I’ve already shot a fencing club and a water polo club. It’s definitely gonna be a long-term project.

Journal: Lastly, is there anyone who inspired you to create what you’re creating right now?

Luca: I’ll probably hate myself for saying this but all kinds of experiences in life inspire me to make new work.

Great photographers like Richard Avedon and Stefan Ruiz are always inspiring me…

Author: Fares Masharawi


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