ROBERTO BADIN: Blame it on Rio

ROBERTO BADIN is a photographer and film director. Passionate about images he endeavors to capture the world within his photographs. In addition to his personal projects, Roberto has lent his creative imagination and singular vision to a variety of major luxury brands including: Dior, Prada, Chloe & Yves Saint Laurent.  To see more of  Roberto’s work please visit: www.robertobadin.com

Interview by Melissa Unger.

WHAT INITIALLY INSPIRED YOU PURSUE TO A CAREER IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

I have been captivated by images since I was 14 years old. My parents gave me a camera with which I took photographs of anything and everything.

I have forever been fascinated by cinema and it’s colors. I lived in Rio across from the Copacabana beach, the light would pour in through my bedroom window and I could hear the sound of the waves during the night. Early mornings, I would go for a run before the city awoke…this unique visual atmosphere greatly influenced my passion for images and photography in particular.

© Robert Badin

 

I was also enchanted by the magic of film developing, which I discovered while working in a photo lab in Buenos Aires. We would develop the film and work on the prints, coaxing images onto paper floating in plastic tubs. We were surrounded by a potent chemical odor, it created a very particular atmosphere…

The film Blow Up by Antonioni and the Eyes of Laura Mars with Faye Dunaway were my first visual references in a world where Internet didn’t yet exist.

© Robert Badin

 

YOU MOVED TO PARIS FROM BRAZIL TWENTY YEARS AGO. TELL US A BIT ABOUT THOSE EARLY DAYS IN PARIS.

I arrived in Paris when I was 23. I had very little money, but a strong determination to succeed in becoming a professional photographer. It was very challenging.

© Robert Badin

 

There was a more artisanal ambiance in the old days, a certain mystery that surrounded a photographer’s craft back then. The partnership between the art director, the client and the photographer was sacred. Today, everyone on the team wants to see the result right away, this urgent instant gratification that seems to be prevalent in all fields of our 21st Century workplace.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ADVENT OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY?

Digital is a considerable step forward. I am a fan of new technology, but one must stay vigilant and not lose sight of what’s important when adapting to these new ways of creating.

© Robert Badin

 

It is increasingly easy to technically execute a photograph or a movie and also increasingly easy to produce them. These advances open up a vast area of opportunity, I welcome that, but do hope that the essence of talent will remain focused on vision, quality and the strength of a great idea; these are the pillars of powerful images.

I also mourn the loss of the notion of ‘writing with light’. It seems as if the new generation has lost some interest in taking the time to visually construct an image by simply looking before clicking.

A number of today’s new techniques, in their effort to astound, can harm the final image and as a result distance the viewer from the emotion it was originally seeking to express.

I afford a lot of importance to the honesty of an image, too many ‘effects’ can drain the emotion from it.

I know I may sound contradictory, because I work with 3D imaging and Photoshop on my own projects, but I only use them at the service of the final result. They are the most effective when their efforts are not seen, like backstage hands at a fashion show or sous-chefs in a kitchen.

Many people feel that I am lucky to have turned my passion into my profession, but I don’t think that luck has anything to do with it.  The only luck is discovering your passion early on, the rest of it is like for any other job; the only way to achieve any goal is through hard work, determination and self-confidence. Success is not what’s important, it’s the road traveled to attain it that is.

© Robert Badin

 

PLEASE LIST FIVE THINGS THAT INSPIRE YOU CREATIVELY:

One can find inspiration in everything!

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SHARE WITH PEOPLE JUST STARTING OUT IN PHOTOGRAPHY?

The best slogan I know that can be applied to practically anything one wants to achieve in life is: Just do it!

 

Watch THE CALL directed by Roberto Badin:

 

Published: November 16th, 2011

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S+ Stimulant: Ernesto Neto