Francesco Lopazio is a street photographer from Ancona, Italy. He started shooting when he was in high school with his sister’s Nikon camera. Currently, he is doing his graduation in engineering. The first time he approached into street photos was in Paris. That trip has changed Francesco vision, he started to focus on people and urban spaces.
In his words about love for street photography “The most important thing that makes street photography so special for me is how it helps me to find a different point of view in everyday situations. It helps to find your own voice in different ways; there’s no need to search fantastic location to take a fantastic shot, but we need to discover the beauty of banality. And in this regard, street photography represents a way to explore something invisible to most people. Lights, shadows, silhouettes, urban elements are in our everyday life; we live surrounded by these elements making up my photos, just prosaic moments of life.”
Thanks, Francesco for accepting our invite. Please read on.
Hi Francesco, thank you for joining us here today! First of all, Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Francesco Saverio Lopazio. I’m 25 years old and I’m an Italian photographer and engineering student.
I was born in Ascoli Piceno but I live in Ancona, the main city of the Marches region, the central area of Italy.
When did you start shooting and how did this love for photography happen?
I started shooting in high school. In the beginning, I had just my older sister’s Nikon camera, but she rarely used to leave me the camera.
From the very beginning, photography fascinated me, especially by my brother in law. He represents perhaps the main reason why I was into photography. He had a Canon camera and he used to travel a lot with my sister. I remember that I was looking forward to seeing his wonderful photographs from all over the world.
I became “the official photographer ” of my family vacations right away. My first photos were about landscapes; I felt a deep attraction to the elements of nature (rain, clouds, sun, thunderstorms..). I even took a course in nature photography.
The love for street photography had matured in me over time. The first time I approached into street photos was in Paris. I had finally just bought a new Nikon D90 camera, saving money for years. I attended the last year of high school and I was on a school trip. I remember how on that trip I changed my visions; focus my attention on people and urban spaces.
I was interested in searching the right composition in my photos, searching light and shadows and how they change urban prospectives. Since that moment, I never stopped doing street photography and I’m always looking for new stimulations.
What makes street photography so special for you?
The most important thing that makes street photography so special for me is how it helps me to find a different point of view in everyday situations. It helps to find your own voice in different ways; there’s no need to search fantastic location to take a fantastic shot, but we need to discover the beauty of banality. And in this regard, street photography represents a way to explore something invisible to most people. Lights, shadows, silhouettes, urban elements are in our everyday life; we live surrounded by these elements making up my photos, just prosaic moments of life.
What do you think makes a memorable street photograph?
In my opinion, what makes a street photograph memorable is what that H.C. Bresson called “the decisive moment”. It’s the result of profound attention and research on the particular subject and rigorous composition. I find fantastic when a photographer brings coincidence of line or modify perspectives creating one single moment in which elements in motion are in balance. I also find amazing when there is a clever use of lights and shadows in order to add drama to the photo; or when reflexes are used in a creative way.
Could you please share one photograph from your portfolio and story behind it?
I took this photo in Central Italy, on a countryside railway. It represents a child coming home after school. He and his mates are forced to cover many kilometers to reach school, especially for those who live in the remote countryside. In his daily journeys, there are moments to think, dream and desire.
What do you do to keep motivated, and not lose your passion for photography?
I love to see how the places surrounding me change over time, how people of my neighborhood change their habits and how my city changes its urban spaces; they are always a great source of inspiration. Furthermore, I love traveling and I have always my camera with me. So new and unexplored places offer big stimulations and ideas. I like when people appreciate my works and when my vision is recognized.
Which photographers have inspired you?
I have been inspired by great photographers: Henry Cartier Bresson, Saul Leiter, Josef Koudelka, Alex Webb, Alan Schaller. Or the Italians Gabriele Basilico, Ferdinando Scianna, Paolo Pellegrin, and Oliviero Toscani.
But the most inspirational photographer has been Harry Gruyaert and his stunning works with colors and lights.
What camera and lenses do you use the majority of the time?
- I started shooting with Nikon. I had the Nikon D90 and Nikon D300 (fantastic camera)
- But I shortly came by to Fujifilm X Series System. I had the Fuji X-T1, the Fuji X100T, the Fuji X30, and X70.
- Now, I use mostly the X30 that has a built-in lens. I would be curious to try the new Fuji X-T3 with 16mm lens.
Any favorite photography books?
- I started studying photography technique with the book Langford’s Basic Photography
- A occhi aperti by Mario Calabresi
- La chambre Claire by Roland Barthes
- Lumieres Blanche by Harry Gruyaert
What does Francesco do when not behind the lens?
I’m studying engineering at University, so I spend my time on books. When I can, I like editing my photos, check my old photos searching for some particular that I didn’t appreciate.
What do you most appreciate in your friends?
I have the fortune to share my love for photography with my friends. We use to dedicate a few days a month to photography. They are a very source of inspiration and I like to share ideas with them. They are specialized in different genres of photography, like cinematic photography or black and white shots. We live together this passion for visual arts.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In the last months, I frequently updated my Instagram page, which I think represents a worldwide portfolio. It has been really a great honor to be featured multiple times in the “Street Photography International” page, curated by huge photographers Alan Schaller, Craig Reilly, and Walter Rothwell.
Furthermore, National Geographic Italy website featured a couple of my photographs (a great success) and the Sony World Photography Organisation used my photo to advertise the important contest “Sony World Photography Awards”.
What is your idea of happiness?
This is an important and difficult question. Happiness is what everyone aspires to achieve and it involves different areas; working life, private life, family life, health. For me, happiness means to find the right balance between these things and share your happiness with the people around you. Quoting one of my best film “Into the wild”, …Happiness is real only when shared…
What is your favorite motto?
I think my best shot will be the next one.
Apart from photography, tell me about your hobbies and interests?
I love motorbikes. I love traveling with my motorbike, exploring new roads. I sometimes play at basketball. I played in a team before to go to university. I also play the drum. I studied music for years, in particular, the drum. I even had a band.
Finally, I love traveling to new countries, new uses, new traditions, always with my camera in hand.
You can find Francesco Lopazio on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Francesco Lopazio. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.