I think the most influential figure in my life has been my grandfather. He taught me the importance of dreaming. He was the only person that always blindly believed in me and encouraged me to pursue whatever my guts were telling me I should be doing. He used to say "Be the hero of your own fairytale. If you don't try you'll never know, I'd rather die trying than die regretting!"
He also taught me the importance of being kind to everyone at all times and I know I wouldn't be where I am today nor where I'll get tomorrow if it wasn't for him and for his invaluable lessons!
He was definitely a hero!
Q. You are a skilled photographer in several different concepts, both outdoor and in-studio. Where do your ideas come from?
Although I have always been attracted to photography and visual storytelling in general (my high school, in Italy, was an art school). I pursued a career as a professional dancer (contemporary dance). Unfortunately an injury forced me to stop dancing and I felt like I had to find a new purpose in life. Coincidentally I was given a camera as a gift at that exact same time so I just started experimenting with it and very fortunately within a few months of shooting i became a professional photographer.
Q. What motivated you to begin photography?
Q. And in life.... who has been your most influential figure?
"It's about making art, about creating something beautiful"
Interview by Keran Look Loy
Most of my concept development comes from three places: due to my dance background I am highly influenced by the femininity and elegant lines of ballet, I am also inspired by that retro and classic vibe of old movies, and by the whimsical elements of fairytales.
Q. If there's one thing you could change in music today, what would it be?
Since I'm just a fashion photographer I'll speak for my specific field only.
I think a good model is a person that fits some very specific physical traits and equally importantly knows how to move well in front of the camera. An excellent model is a person that has all of the above and can add something extra to it (emotion, knows their angles, conveys proper personality, transcends simple picture posing to moment creating).
A good photographer to me is somebody that can capture beauty under the most various of forms. It doesn't matter how much you know technically and how good your equipment is: anybody can push a button! Creating a beautiful image or capturing something that goes beyond a click of a button is what differentiates a good artist from the many wannabes.
Q. What defines a good model and photographer to you?
My favorite photographers in the world right now are Tim Walker, Ruven Afanador and Mark Seliger (there are many others I admire a lot like Paolo Roversi, Nicole Bentley, Emma Summerton, Annie Leibovitz, Patrick Demarchelier etc etc etc but nobody inspires me more than the 3 above). I love how intricate and stunningly beautiful their images are. When I look at their work I forget about everything else for a brief moment! I think that's what it should be about: to me photography is not just taking pictures of a girl wearing clothes, it's something much more beautiful than that. It's about making art, about creating something beautiful that can make people dream a little.
As far as publications go i obviously love Vogue, especially Vogue Italia, Vogue Australia and Vogue Germany. I find the editorial spreads of American Vogue to be the most boring to be honest though.
Q. Which photographers and/or publications do you look for constant inspiration? Why?
I don't think there has been one specific thing that was the greatest experience but to be honest the fact that in the last two years i have been able to live and work in LA, Las Vegas, London, Milan and NYC, and am getting paid to do something i love is unbelievable. I couldn't be more grateful. There isn't a single day that i wake up without taking a moment to appreciate how lucky I am to live the life I live. Don't get me wrong, my life is far from perfect. There are times when things go really well and there are times where the struggle is stronger than ever but I am so so grateful I get to do what I do!
Q. What has been your greatest experience thus far?
I am launching a blog at the end of this week called "Hey Followers". It is not going to be strictly about photography but also about all sorts of things that involve being a creative. I will talk about topics i care about and i hope to eventually bring together and to create a little community of all sorts of artists where everybody can share and help each other to create something beautiful. In the last year i realized that my need to tell stories goes far beyond photography, so i started getting more and more interested in Cinema. I have a few screenplays in the making, and i'm learning as much as i can about movie directing. I hope to become a badass Director one day!
I think in life it's very important to keep an open mind on what the future could hold for us, a very common mistake we do is to identify ourselves with a profession. Our jobs are not who we are but just what we do. It's ok to change our minds, it's ok to have new dreams, and it's ok to want bigger and better things!
I strongly believe we can actually be whoever we want to be, we just have to believe we can do it and work our asses of to make that happen!
Q. What's next for Sara Melotti?