Konstantin:What inspires you before taking a photograph of a person - do you read his biography, do you look at other photographs of him, how do you decide about the angle to shoot?
Annalisa:Talking and establishing an intimate contact with the subject of the picture it's way more important than any technique. The first time I told the photographer I was working with that I wanted to take portraits, it was a long time ago, he told me to put up the set straight away and to start posing. He told me that in order to take a great portrait, I had to know exactly what my subject was feeling when he was in front of the camera. Psychology is very important.
Konstantin: Do you remember the first really good photograph of a famous person you took and you love?
Annalisa:Yes and no. I have a bad character trait. Rarely I love what I do when I'm doing it. People like my work and sometimes I think, "Oh, really? Maybe I could have done this or that instead… ". It’s an inner war, like if I was never fully satisfied. But I think that's part of my desire to always improve. On the other hand (and luckily) when I see my work after some time I often think, “Did I really do this? It’s wonderful! Ahaha." Anyway, a picture that I have a special love for is a portrait of the Oscar’s winner, director Stephen Frears. I was working as a photographer during the presentation of the film "Philomena" (if you have not seen it I suggest to do so). I wasn’t supposed to take portraits that day though.
One of the only three photographers selected to immortalize him and the wonderful Judy Dench had the wrong schedule and did not show up. I was asked to replace him and the second after I found myself in a hotel room with two Hollywood superstars. Strangely I immediately loved that portrait. Sometimes luck plays its part.
Konstantin: How your career began? Your first commission?
Annalisa: It happened by chance. How would you feel if I told you that eating an ice cream could be your job?
I have always loved photography, but I never thought it would become my real job. I was studying communication at university. I wanted to become a journalist. One day, as I followed a course of "fashion communication", I ended up in the studio of a photographer. I still do not know exactly "why", but I asked him if he needed an assistant. He replied "we begin every day at 10". The next day I showed up. I stayed in that studio 3 or 4 years after that day. Later a lot of things happened. It was like a puzzle. Trains have passed and I have tried to catch them, but without forcing things. Simply letting it happen. I have done many things and met many people, and I let them into my life. Often getting into situations seemingly meaningless but after some time have proven fundamental. I think that networking and human relationships are key. It is totally absurd and crazy how circumstances and encounters can totally change the plans.
Konstantin: What is more interesting - to work for a fashion brand on a special project or to cover an event like the Venice Film Festival where you can do whatever you like?
Annalisa: The secret is to always do what you like.
Konstantin: When you were approached by a client - do you immediately know that something will work out just fine or it takes time?
Annalisa: This often depends on the feeling that you manage to establish. It s a strange job from this point of view because it’s a teamwork. You meet new people every day and often you work side by side with total strangers, but the feeling must be like if you have never done anything else but working together every day of your lives.
Konstantin:Favourite part of the day for generating ideas?
Annalisa: I do not think that there is, at least not for me, a perfect time. When you work on a project or an idea it is always on my mind at all times of the day. Ideas are not a 9 to 5 thing and likewise I can not separate Annalisa the photographer from Annalisa the person. A good idea can come whilst grocery shopping, washing the dishes, talking to a person or simply walking in the street. You must let the world inspire you. I believe that a good photographer is one who stores information from the outside as in a personal library and then is able to give his personal interpretation .
Konstantin: Next summer plans?
Annalisa:As you might have understood, I don t like having plans. My best plan’s always the same: not having any! For sure, I will travel as much as I can. Traveling is by far the best way of enriching yourself as a professional and as a person.
Konstantin:Favourite song now?
Annalisa:I don’t have an answer to this question. I love all good music. It strongly depends on my mood and on the moment. I have had times in which I was “obsessed” with a particular song, and some of them have played important roles in some parts of my life. At the moment I don t have a favorite one, but I recently listened to a song that brought me to my teenage days and it made me happy and sweetly melancholic. "TIME OF YOUR LIFE" by green day.
*** Annalisa Flori is an amazing photographer. She was the official photographer at the 66me FESTIVAL DE CANNES, GETTY IMAGES collaborator and member of TAU VISUAL in Italy. Her work speaks for herself, though: visit her on www.annalisaflori.com.