How many times have you clumsily stumbled or fallen in your life? How about while holding on to an object you refuse to let go of? Sandro Giordano, a actor and photographer living between Rome and Barcelona, started his debut photographic project just like this.
Last summer, he had an accident while riding his bicycle. As he fell, he held onto an object in his hand instead of using his hands to stop his fall. A few weeks later, a friend broke his leg on some rocks while avoiding dropping his smartphone in water during a fall. And thus his photo series, In Extremis, was born.
There is a comical side to this tragedy, a way to laugh at ourselves where each of us could become the ‘victim.’ So he set out to capture the moment of impact. Sandro puts meticulous work into his stories, which become more and more difficult and complex as he continues working. He starts each day working on the next idea without being repetitive. He says during the conception of an idea he “gets very agitated. I never know if the ‘creature’ will be as I thought it would. Just as when a baby comes to life.. you just hope it is going to be healthy.”
Down to the details, costumes and set props, he plans every aspect himself. He finds the challenge of new ideas a exciting and relaxing process, even going shopping with his models to find the right outfit. Since Sandro has been in the acting business for twenty years, most of his models are colleagues and professional actors that he has worked with and known for a while. He calls them his “Big Family.” And since he knows these people so well, some of his models know exactly what he wants without him giving them suggestions.
I asked him which of his photographs was his favorite, a challenging question..
“Gosh, this is really difficult for me. It is like asking a father which son he prefers. I love all the photos, because in each one of them I’ve put all my passion. Maybe, it would be Caterina Mia Regina, that is the one I am closest to, the most intimate. It is a story of love and solitude. A Tramp courts a sex doll, who has found God. He covers all her orifices with white daisies, as symbols of purity, to protect her from gossip and the filth of the world that surrounds her. She is his only friend, his queen. Unfortunately she is not human and he can’t manage a plastic love. Just as it often happens in real life: we fall in love with people who don’t love us as we love them.”
As photographers, we pull inspiration from our peers, other photographers. Sandro told me he is inspired by many photographers including Peter Lindbergh for his closeups of women with no makeup who are real with all imperfections showing. Others such as Anton Corbijn and Jan Sudek, who are favorites of his because of his portraits. He also draws on photographs that have a strong pop to them like David LaChapelle and John Waters.
As for advice that Sandro would give to other photographers:
“I will answer this question quoting a dear friend, a photographer and journalist, Jesper Jensen : “’to a photographer, the idea is GOD!’ I don’t think the camera you use or photoshop are so important. The fundamental thing is CREATIVITY! We’ve seen all sorts of sunsets and landscapes. I think it is definitely more stimulating for both, the public and artist, to be in front of or create something really personal. It doesn’t mean unique and original at all costs, but it has to be told according to an intimate truth. This is fundamental.”
Sandro’s In Extremis collection definitely doesn’t lack in creativity or intimate truths, and often can inspire a laugh or two. To follow his work and see his newest victim, check him out on Instagram or on his Facebook page.
CREDITS: All photographs shared by Sandro Giordano are copyrighted and have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.
About the Guest Contributor
Teagan Alex is an Event and Fine Art Photographer based in Salt Lake City Utah. She believes that all people are inherently beautiful, and loves to capture the details of the world around her. She received her BFA degree from UVU in photography and since has been published in books and magazines, multiple gallery shows, and won best in show for her work. Visit her website at teaganalex.com or connect with her on Facebook, Google Plus, or Instagram.