Meet Alessandro Greganti (aka AlGrega)! He takes photos to capture moments or situations that occur in our cities that tend to be missed due to the frenzy of everyday life. Technically, it’s illegal in Italy to take someone’s photo without his consent, so he takes the risk for a good shot. Check out our interview with him below!
Hi there! Who are you? And who do you do?
Hi! My name is Alessandro Greganti (aka AlGrega), I live in Turin and I’m a system administrator at the University of Turin. I’m trying to expose life as I see documenting the human condition and its relationship with everyday life. To me beauty is everywhere, there isn’t an esthetic principle that lead me to take a photo of a particular subject. Instead I try to freeze those moments or situations that fill our cities and we cannot see because we’re blinded by our frenzy.
How did you start taking photos with your phone?
I’m totally a newbie because I bought my iPhone at the end of October 2010 I don’t remember how I discovered the iPhoneography but I was immediately fascinated by the analog feeling of some shots I found on internet. I always believed that a pic must communicate something to the observer, no matters if it was taken with a million dollar camera, with a point-and-shot or with a box with a hole and a film in the back. Photos must have a soul, you can recognize a little piece of the photographer in those pics because they were taken with the heart. In 2006 I bought a cheap Nikon D50 and started to learn the basic of photography, and then I started to read hundred of forums dedicated to DSLR photography. Well, in a couple of months I realized that I hate to discuss on which is the perfect (and very expensive) lens to buy, I prefer to go out and take pictures. This is the reason why I love the iPhoneographers community: “Here is my pic, do you like it?”, “Yes is beautiful!” or “No I don’t” no one cares about the camera. It could be sound a little bit reductive but it isn’t, to me that’s fantastic! Obviously everybody has its own style, maybe the pic I love don’t interests you and vice-versa but everybody can share its own vision. Also the iphone is always with me, is lightweight, unobtrusive and always ready, in a word is actually my best camera.
What is your source of inspiration?
I love the classic photographers of the past century. I’m absolutely stunned by the atmosphere of their photos, they throw me directly in the past and I can literally feel that epoch. Lately I discovered Vivian Maier, little known street photographer of the mid 50s. Her photos and her story are truly fantastic and full of melancholy: I suggest anyone to read of her. Currently, talking about the iphoneographers community, I found many inspiring photographers like Sion Fullana, Anton Kawasaki, Aik Beng Chia, Greg Schmigel, Benedicte Guillon, Boon Peng Yee, Dominique Jost, Benamon Tame, Justine See, Laura Peischl, Lindsey Thompson, Stéphane Mahè and many many others I met on EYE’EM, instagram, iphoneart, tumblr and Flickr. They should be more but I cannot write a list as big as I would so I apologize for those I forgot to mention. The music also takes a big part, often I listen to music when I’m out for taking pics because I think that music could opens mind and really helps me to view things in a different way. People intersect and interact each other creating stories that last for a second and then they disappear. I always try to empathize with the subjects, sometimes I create little stories that could fit with the situation. All in my mind and all in few seconds, just the time to press the shutter button. Life is my real inspiration.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PERSONAL PICTURE AND ITS STORY?
I haven’t a favorite pic, probably it will be the next until I’ll take another. The last is often the best but I love many of my pics. Many have a deep meaning, many others don’t but they all contain a piece of the world that surrounds me everyday. If I had to just pick one, currently I’d choose “Planet terror” beacause of its “drama”.
For the future you’re dreaming of…
In Italy you can take photos wherever you want in a public place but is forbidden to publish someone else’s photo without his/her written consent, this is a big limitation for many photographers. I hope that things can change even though I don’t worry too much about this limitation because I love the adrenalin of the street photography, I’m a sort of outlaw! It would be wonderful if the iphoneography was recognized in Italy as in other countries around the world. I dream of exhibitions around my country in which many talented italians photographers can meet and share they pics and thoughts. I found some very good iphoneographers here in Italy, search for Stefano Pesarelli and his “Africa through iPhone” project, he’s amazing! There are Fabio De Vincentiis, Mauro Ballabeni, Giulio Merli e Ale Di Gangi who share awesome pics, Paola Grilli own a beautiful blog called “fotogriPhone” dedicated to iphoneography and I’m sure that many others are lost within italian regions. As said I’m the last arrived in this beautiful world but I believe we can grow fast with the support of the international community. Thank you so much EYE’EM for the great opportunity you gave me, I’m honored to be among the great artists of EYEEM that inspire me everyday!
Thank you AlGrega!