Interview with Emilio Barillaro

Emilio Barillaro’s Flickr


Emilio Barillaro was previously presented by Posi+tive Magazine with his project: “The confession of a Shark”, which from January 18 to February 06 2014, is exhibited at VISIVA – La Città dell’immagine – Roma (Italy).  However, this time we decided to have a short interview with him and explore his “world” outside the shark scene.

Where do you live?

I was born in Gioiosa Jonica (RC), Italy but i live in Roma since 2000. 


How did you start taking pictures? Usually there is always the old story of the boy who finds his grandfather’s camera, did that happen to you as well or not?

I received my first camera as Christmas present from Emilia – the love of my life and I remember that I spent all my holidays reading all the material available about photography on internet.


Where does your inspiration come from?

My basic inspiration comes mainly from the desire to show to the people how I see the world. Capture the reality and propose it to the viewer after it has been filtered by my eye and impregnated by my spirit. My aesthetic inspiration instead comes from a base, represented by the great masters of the past such as William Klein, Robert Frank, Garry Winograd, Lee Friedlander and Mark Choen, topped by contemporary photographers that I literally love, as Alex Webb, Jacob Aue Sobol,Anders Petersen and Trent Parke.


In a portrait, what is important for you?

There is only one essential thing: to show in just one frame the soul of the person photographed.


What kind of relationship do you have with your subject when you shoot?

Simply no relationship. My photography approach is candid, not posed and not staged. I have only one posed photo since i photograph.


Do you think it’s important to follow a school to learn how to shoot?

On a technical level there are entire courses on YouTube and thousands of forums dedicated to photography. On the internet there is an answer to any question. Another thing is if we are talking about the next level, a deeper one. Here the interaction with great photographers marks you for life and makes you really learn what the essence of photography is. It happened to me thanks to the workshop held by Joel Meyerowitz in Cortona during 2013; this immense person literally made me see the light.

What’s the photo you want to take and you never did?
The next one.


What’s your photo-mission?

Photography it’s the only way i have to leave a trace of my passage on this earth…so my mission is to make good photosbecause they will represent me when I’ll be gone.




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