In this interview we fly to Italy to meet Alessandro Bergamini, Photographer and Tour Leader dedicated to portraits, cultures and traditions from Asia.
How did your passion for Travel and Photography started?
The passion for travel comes from a constant curiosity and desire to discover the world.
I’ve always wanted to travel and I’m passionate about being able to completely immerse myself in the cultures of the places I visit, living the day with the people I meet, who open their doors to me, establishing human contact, showing me part of their lives.
This possibility of getting closer to people I don’t know, with a culture so different from mine, is the reason that pushes me the most to photograph.
What do you look for in a portrait?
A story: many of the ethnic groups I photograph are slowly disappearing.
In portraits I look for authenticity, beauty and the possibility of telling a story, of conveying it to the public.
One of your favorite portraits and the story behind this photograph.
It’ hard to answer, there are so many photos that I love for so many reasons.
One of them is definitely the eye portrait of the Indian woman with her face covered, whom I met by chance while she was passing me on a scooter in a street of Pushkar.
I asked permission to photograph her and she invited us to her home. A little later, we were joined by her daughter, who had the same (if not even more beautiful!) eyes.
And so, by a fortuitous chance, I was a guest of this family and took two of the portraits that have given me the most satisfaction so far.
What lens do you use to portray?
I travel with two cameras, one mounts a 35mm and the other an 85mm: I never change them.
I find that having a few lenses, already calibrated for what I want to do, is the best solution. I can concentrate on the photography, without wasting time and maybe risking missing a good opportunity with a subject.
Do you use only natural light?
I use almost solely natural light with very bright lenses.
Rarely, in situations like tents in Siberia, with poor lighting conditions, I have tried using a spotlight.
I much prefer natural light!
3 photographers who have inspired you along the way.
Certainly Steve McCurry is the first in the list and the one that at the beginning I was most inspired by for the construction of the photographs, the color combinations and the ability to capture unique moments.
Jimmy Nelson for the spectacularity and the ability to make ancient cultures almost modern, making them in a sense theatrical, with many details of their costumes and the environment in which they live.
Sebastião Salgado for the very strong emotional component, impactful, and communicative force.
Tell me about "Humanity," the book you recently published.
Humanity is a very important step for me, a little dream come true. It’s the collection of years of travel, hard work, emotions, trials, and I must say that I’m really excited about it!
What upcoming photography journeys do you have planned?
As soon as we can, I already have two trips with sold out seats for Siberia and Zanskar, plus I’m preparing a new proposal for Mongolia and another for South Sudan.
In short, I really hope we get the green light very soon!