And patience. Something that I’ve never really had but that, having tackled the initial difficulties, turns out to play a large part in photography. This is all in my experience, of course; not so much in the waiting at street corners, trying to capture faces or a beautiful scene in black and white, but more in the construction of what appears in my mind. The idea and its creation.
Unfortunately, though many people ask me things like, “But where do your ideas come from?”, I never manage the answer I would really like to give; I end up generalising or playing down the whole creative process, which, fortunately and to this day, cannot be fully explained using logic.
So, why do ideas come about? In my (frequent!) case, images appear in my head, most probably because it’s a kind of language I have learned, with which to communicate, precisely as part of the aforementioned creative process.
The most fascinating part, for me, is the why.
You create, without really thinking too hard about it, a scene, a portrait, a story, which you understand only after you have taken the picture. Letting all your feelings flow, without filters, through your individual cultural references (or influences), your individual aesthetic sense and the need to communicate.
So a photograph can also happen because of this; in my case, portraits, mainly of female subjects. Through a quest for ‘grace’, through focusing on the gestures made by hands in action. Through the need to recreate, time and again, the same concept, because, as the great Masters teach us, it is all a study.
My research, having chosen (for a long while, unwittingly) to use photography as a form of expression, began with this study, with people and their balance in the world.
A few years ago, capturing a gesture in time, or, more precisely, capturing its very first instant, or the instant just before it ends, became a real obsession for me.
Another important aspect was (and still is) the space in which the shapes are assembled, the shapes of women, such as in the photo below: the head at an angle, the arm covering her face, the bend in her elbow, the other arm’s attempt to create an aesthetic balance.
They are all elements that I had to bring to the forefront, allowing them to live without the presence of other elements, such as the city, with its walls, its street lights, the aesthetic sound of the city streets.
Fortunately, I was working very close to a bridge at the time, from which I, and my subjects, who were often included spontaneously, could take in the fresh air.
Indeed, the true variable, before deciding whether to create a portrait, was looking out of the window, waiting for the clouds to open up enough to allow the light to create volumes. Or waiting, even up to two hours, on the October hills, in the company of some very patient people, for the clouds to disperse.
“There it is, the Sun!” Then the mad rush to create the thing that had been going round and round, perhaps for days, in my head; that thing that we call ‘idea’.
I’ve photographed practically every person that has ever been around me, always fascinated by how much each person has his own, unique way of communicating with his body.
Following that, I began choosing, based on the idea that I had in mind, a particular kind of subject; mostly female, because it is they who most often preserve the ‘grace’ that is, still now, the food for my photography.
Looking back over the years of study and research, it is fascinating to see yesterday’s photos alongside those of today, and to see how much ‘that idea’, which determined the path I would take, has slowly changed over time, taking my photography and that little path towards something new.
Simone Bramante // Brahmino
Digital Creative Director / Photographer