Michele Liberti was born and lives in Naples. As a young man, he was an assistant photographer for weddings. He then abandoned photography for various reasons, returning to it in 2008. In 2011, he came across the SPNC group (Street Photography Now Community) through Flickr and became passionate about Street Photography. He tries to capture the precious seconds of life, often unrepeatable that we encounter on a daily basis.
You can find Michele Liberti on the Web:
What is your first childhood memory?
Well, my memories are connected to the photos of my family that I kept with me. Especially the one which present me while playing alone with dolls with a head full of blonde curls. I still have a difficulty recognizing myself.
Are you still learning who you are?
Certainly, the issue is to recognize myself!
Who are you when no one is looking at you?
What got you involved in photography in the first place?
To remember the stories that I experienced.
Ansel Adams once said: You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved. Could you tell us about your favorite photographs, books, music, and people who are closest to you?
I think that every one of us carries a backpack with everything that moved him, that he loved. The books that I always bring with me are “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and “Heart of Darkness” of Josef Conrad, but the full list would be much longer.
As far as music is concerned, my favorites are The Pink Floyd, the rock blues, jazz and a certain kind of folk of my land.
As per photography, there are many artists who inspired me but my favorites are William Klein, Saul Leiter, Winograd, and Mario Giacomelli.
People? My two sons, to whom I gave the best of me, and recently born my beloved and little grandchild.
There’s a thin line between invading people’s privacy and taking their photographs. Why do ethics matter?
I think that when you shoot a picture you always invade the subject’s privacy, even in a public space. But if you’re doing it honestly, with awareness and love for the subject, everything can be done.
Bruce Gilden claims that photography is a voyeuristic medium. Does it resonate with you?
Well, I quite agree with it.
Have you ever acted rude in front of people you have tried to photograph?
So far it never happened!
Have you ever been following your subject that the person could eventually, think you’re a stalker or a pervert?
No! (Laughter). Buggiardo, certo che si, ti ho visto!
Gloria Steinem once said: The truth will set you free, but first
it will piss you off. Are you getting nervous when someone goes deeper and scrutinizes your work?
No, on the contrary, the more honest and truthful they are, even if they “beat me up”, the more I value them.
What if you take images for a couple of years and don’t get a positive audience reaction? Would you be still taking them?
I think that you should go your own way because the easy success, most of the time, is deceptive.
Do you often get jealous of someone’s achievements?
If you could wake up tomorrow in the body of another artist, who would you choose and why?
William Klein for the way he photographed.
What artist made the most impact on you and why?
If you could have personally witnessed a perfect street scene at the right decisive moment, what would you want to have seen?
It’s a very difficult question. Let me answer in a very personal manner: myself who hugs the father I’ve never known.
If you could witness and photograph any historical moment of the past, present – or future – what would it be?
It would be something related to a worldwide agreement about the end of hate between the religions.
What’s on your photography bucket list this year?
I am always trying to shoot at least one decent picture.
What do you like to do outside of photography?
I like staying with my sons, my grandchild, meeting friends, listen to some good music and travel as much as I can.
Blind and live forever or be able to see and die in a couple of years?
I prefer being blind and live a few more years, but not forever.
Also because, with the help of somebody, I could still take pictures.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
He was an honest person.
About Arek Rataj
“You Can Shoot. Can You Talk?” is a series of interviews created by Arek Rataj. He is a Qatar-based journalist, contemporary photographer and educator.
Arek was born in a small industrial district in communist Poland under the Soviet Union dictatorship. In midst of this human misery, political hypocrisy, environmental dirt and ugliness, he became particularly sensitive for all signs of beauty and transcendence.
You can find Arek Rataj on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Michele Liberti. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.