Segantini lives in Perugia, Italy. He studied Natural Science at the university so his photographic journey began with nature and landscape photography. However, because of his love for people and their special moments, Francesco found that he actually preferred street photography. Segantini is a world traveler. Though he enjoys learning about the people and cultures in the cities he visits, he loves visiting the small villages of Italy.
I live in Perugia, Italy. I began with nature and landscape photography because I studied Natural Science at the university. But, because of my love for people and their special moments, I found that I actually preferred street photography. I have traveled the world and do enjoy learning about the people and cultures of the cities I visit, but my true love is visiting the small villages of Italy.Francesco Segantini
WSP: Describe your photographic style. How did you develop your style?
FS: My photographic style is mostly street photography because I like to stop images of daily life of people in various situations. I like to take pictures during my travels, but also in the area where I live because I always carry my camera. I am experiencing more and more photographs that provides the close encounter with the subjects. Photography is the art of observation. It's about finding something interesting in a common place.
WSP: What is the most challenging part about being a photographer?
FS: Having the ability to see the photo you want to shoot in advance and to have the ability to process a message from the person and the ensuing emotions.
WSP: Who are the photographers that inspire you?
FS: I like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Berengo Gardin, and Elliott Erwitt.
WSP: Have you ever had formal training?
FS: I started self-taught but I recently attended an advanced course and I'm part of a photographic association CPA where there is much talk about photography.
WSP: Is there any particular genre/style of photography you would like to learn about and try?
FS: Actually, I'd like to improve more in street photography, but I still like environmental portraits and fashion photography. I believe there is still much to learn.
WSP: How has photography changed you as a person?
FS: It allowed me to stop, with more attention paid to observing the reality and the life that surrounds me.
WSP: What are your photography weaknesses?
FS: Shyness, I find it difficult to get close to people to photograph them because they do not want to disturb their lives.
WSP: What do you consider your greatest photographic accomplishment?
FS: The photograph that was published in the World-Street Photography 2015 book, as it is a photo taken in a very interesting city. I immediately ‘saw’ the photo before it was actually taken.
WSP: Do you think a photographer must have ‘natural talent’ to become a great photographer?
FS: I think so. Quoting Elliot Erwitt, “I have found that has little to do with the things that you see, and everything to do with the way you see them."
WSP: What is your opinion regarding film vs. digital photography.
FS: The medium is not important.
WSP: Locations and weather conditions seem to be a crucial aspect to a successful picture. How do you handle these unpredictable factors?
FS: I believe that the skill of the photographer should not be adversely effected by the situations he encounters. Rather, he should benefit from them.
WSP: How does black and white vs color play into your work? Do you find them to be totally separate beasts—or complementary?
FS: I think that some photographs are much more beautiful in black & white. Many, these days, are very attracted to monochrome photography. But I think that color photography is still very nice.
WSP: What type of images do you view as cliché, overdone, or too common?
FS: Photos of sunsets.
WSP: What were the difficulties you encountered first starting street photography?
FS: Being able to capture the right moment and always be ready to shoot.
WSP: When you are out shooting—how much of it is instinctual versus planned?
FS: For me, it is an equal amount of both.
WSP: What are some tips/advice you would give to yourself if you started street photography all over again?
FS: Wait for the right moment and shoot without fear.
WSP: What advice can you offer for those who want to get into photography but maybe can’t afford equipment?
FS: One does not need expensive equipment for learning photography. The important thing is to see the photograph, to have an eye for photography and then train it. It is also important to read up on the history of photography and to learn the rules of composition and visual perception. The rules can only be broken if you know them.
WSP: Thank you for this interview Francesco.