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Interview with Fabio Calvetti - Italian photographer and world traveller

Fabio Calvetti visited Madeira Island recently, and took part in one of the projects organized by Arte.M cultural and artistic association. During his short stay we had a chance to steal a few minutes with him and ask few questions. Read on and find out how one of the best Italian photographers fell in love with the camera.

Let’s meet you. Can you tell us more about yourself?

What to say about me… I am son of a German mother who moved to Naples when she was 20, and of a Neapolitan father. I was living in Italy untill 22 years of age, then I decided to discover the world. My first destination was Paris, where I spent 8 incredible years working in catering, studying photography (at Speos International photography school - Paris & London), doing social research and various photographic works. During those years, I had the chance to publish some of my photos in world’s leading French, Italian and Japanese magazines. In 2010, some family responsibilities took me back to Naples. For me this was a fresh beggining. Traveling, discovering places and cultures, immersing myself in its popular sides, always accompanied by my camera… For me, this is the most beautiful way to spend a day. I do not set myself goals other than to always try to live at the present moment, which sometimes is a difficult goal but challenges are experiences.

Do you remember your first experience with photography? Was it love on first sign?

I define myself as a witness of what I meet, and the photo is the means to carry that testimony over time. I remember that at the age of 10 my father gave me 100,000 lire (today 50 euros) and I bought a second-hand Canon AE1. It was an expensive hobby, but I already liked it a lot ... At the age of 17, I got a phone call from a friend's father asking me if I wanted to be an assistant for a wedding photographer. I've never stopped since.

The first years of work shaped me a lot. For me was not easy to enter the house of strangers and be able to immediately find empathy with the spouses and win their trust. Today, during my photographic travels to the meeting of cultures unknown to me, I use various social methods that I learned in the first years of experience.

Where do you find inspiration for your photography? How would you describe your style?

The human being is my passion and it is the photo that enhances it. Defining my style is simple, I am not inspired by any style, I try to keep away from any stereotype of beauty or perfection that style brings with it, I like spontaneous photography.

The inspiration I find it in the gratitude that I feel to be witness during this life of the things that happen, that attract my attention. If it was up to me, I would take photos of the flowers of my onions every July, every year, because they are too beautiful, or I would photograph guys in Cambodia sniffing glue because they exist.

Recently you visited Madeira. How did you like your stay here? Can we expect you back soon?

Madeira is still to be discovered, for now I only know the south coast. The thing that immediately struck me were the contrasts and the synergy of nature, the steep and vertiginous morphology, the black rocks, and how the human being managed to find a compromise between this difficult nature and the needs of civilization, such as highways or the airport. The thing that impressed me was the cleanliness wherever I went. For sure I will return, a week was not enough, indeed I often feel the desire to return.

Marija Trifunovska

Funchal, 2021

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