A University student asked me a couple of questions for a piece he’s writing on local photographers:
What/Who motivated you to first start taking photos?
My Dad gave me my first camera when I was tiny so initially photography found me, not vice versa.
I guess I’m a hoarder. I’d like to store moments, tunes, special situations, scents, feelings. Photography is the closest you get to that.
Do you like to talk about yourself or your pictures?
A good picture is like a good joke – if you need to explain it, it’s not good.
Can you recall the first photo that ever motivated you to grow as an artist?
My earliest mentor was a designer. His name was Mario Muscat and he had the unique ability of always having a different view-point. He’d see symbols in random wall-cracks, art in crayon doodles, coherence in clouds.
I think it was not a specific photo that irked me to grow creatively. It was this man’s determination to see things differently. It’s something I still aspire to.
What genres of photography do you consider yourself to be part of?
The amateur genre. The ‘still seeking’ genre.
Beyond that, I enjoy portrait photography in the style of Irvin Penn or Henri Cartier-Bresson. I am also rather fond of Polaroid as an art form and iPhoneography as a bit of craziness.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is to me to truest form of my very expression. I can connect with the act of taking photos, find myself through it and enjoy what I see. Photography is in many ways, a search for true beauty – that type which isn’t just seen, but just ‘is’.
Where is your favourite place to work/live in as a photographer and why?
Valletta. It’s narrow roads are an endless source of inspiration to me. Its playful shadows, old stone, smell and incoherence drive me.
If I didn’t live in Valletta already, I’d choose Paris. I miss the artistic tension which you find in larger cities which have a more vibrant, competitive and energetic artistic community.
How does your personality change when you look through the camera?
I lose myself in my work. The more transparent I am, the more my subject can be its true self. Being one with the camera allows me to align my impulses with the shutter, my vision with the lens and my mood with the scene.
Do you ever have photographers block? And If yes how do you deal with it?
Yes. Roughly 60% of the time I’m stuck. To get out of the abyss I generally try to quietly observe different art forms. It helps me discover a new viewpoint. Sometimes I see a trigger (an angle, an expression, a colour, a scene) which sets me off on my next project, like a bee hopping off a pollen-laden flower.