With a career that started in 1988, you can say he has traveled the world with his cameras. His photo coverage knows no boundaries. From Canada to the United Kingdom through Germany and France, his work has gone fully noticed. Not one but four times awarded Best Fashion Photographer in Uganda which he calls home; we’ve conducted an interesting interview with this incredible, extremely talented and humble photographer who happens to be Giulio Molfese.
Akeza.net: What’s the story of Giulio Molfese?
Giulio: My name is Giulio Molfese and I am a fashion photographer based in Uganda. I had my first camera when I was 16 years old, a very old mechanic film camera and it was like discovering a new world. Having the opportunity to transfer your vision and emotions in images was great. Since then I never stopped looking around myself in terms of images with shadows and lights and forms and shapes. It’s a way to express myself then slowly people started to appreciate my photographs and first assignments came. All came up by itself. Amazingly clients were looking out for me I still find it unusual.
I’ve been a photographer for the last 28 years. I started taking photographs in 1988, I traveled the world with my cameras covering events and conflicts like: Kosovo War, Guinea Bissau, Casamance (Senegal), South Sudan and social conflicts and events all over Europe.
I Worked with International Agencies, magazines and newspapers. I am a lecturer for ISP NGO on photography courses for Ugandans students.
I Was involved into fashion and music photography, worked with hundreds and hundreds of artists such as: Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Aerosmith, Lenny Kravitz, Femi Kuti, Patti Smith, Black Crows, Chuck Prophet, Steve Wynn, REM just to mention a few.
My exhibitions and publications appeared in Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium and Canada.
Akeza.net: Do you have a specific category of people that you usually work with?
Giulio: Most of the time I work with models and designers in fashion and portrait photography. Anyway, I make photographs for everyone who requires state of the art images and portraits or adverts.
Akeza.net: According to you, what is a great photographer?
Giulio: A great photographer is someone who can establish a communication with his/her subject to create an image with emotions, portraying different aspect of humanity. Someone who can line up at the same time the mind, the eye and the heart as Henri Cartier Bresson told us.
Akeza.net: What do you like more in the field of photography?
Giulio: Shooting on location is fun and inspiring. Nature, urban elements, anything that surrounds us, colors, sounds, shapes, lights are a great source of inspiration.
Akeza.net: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Giulio: From the world itself, open your eyes and ears and you’ll be influenced. A story, a feeling, a song, experiences, they all influence future images.
Akeza.net: Do you have any preference for a particular photographer?
Giulio: There are too many to mention just a few. I come from the old school when we used films and we developed and print our own black and white film, thing I still love. All the photographer from Magnum agencies were and are great people to look up at. Koudelka, Avedon, Bresson, Testino, Westo, just to mention some few names.
Akeza.net: Can you tell us a bit of your equipment?
Giulio: Equipment has never been so important to me. You can create great images with any camera or device. Cameras are like pens they don’t write poems by themselves, Humans do. People use them to write and create what they have in mind. You can buy the most expensive pen and you’ll still write a shopping list and you can use a cheap pencil on a small piece of paper and have a poem that will last forever. Cameras are the same. Photographers make photographs they don’t take them. Anyway I used any kind of camera. I use Nikon, and I loved Leica and large format cameras.
Akeza.net: What kind of picture do you like to take?
Giulio: As I said these days mainly fashion portraits photographs. I always worked with people even during my reportage and social issues years. Not counting the many years I spent covering musicians and rock bands in Europe. I am interested in people and in what lies behind their eyes.
Akeza.net: How long does it take from the moment you take a picture to the moment you post it?
Giulio: That depends on the project and the assignments. Sometimes, it can take few days or months or more. Some ideas lie down for some time and then take forms in a very short time.
Akeza.net: Could you leave some explanation for this picture?
Giulio: This is my campaign against model exploitation. Models are too many times exploited by con man promising jobs and fame taking advantage of their hopes and dreams. In fact I work only with agencies that follow the ethical code of conduct of modeling agencies. Meaning models aren’t charged apart a commission on assignments.
Akeza.net: What is your favorite picture from your own take so far?
Giulio: Well I don’t look back too much. My best photograph is the one I will make tomorrow. Of course there are some images I am affectionate to like the reportage ones, some fashion statements, and images that have been used by important people worldwide.
Akeza.net: What piece of advice would you give to young people who would like to break into this field?
Giulio: Be yourself, train and develop your vision. Learn the technique and then forget it. It’s all about your eyes, how you see the world and your imagination. Be focused always.
Interview by Miranda Akim’