It came to him naturally… his passion for photography… started at a very early age… and stayed…
His dad, who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, was surrounded by books about photography, art, and paintings… it felt like art was in the air, and when curious, young Marco received an Olimpus camera at the age of 10 his journey, with capturing fleeting moments, started and never stopped…. From family events, and weddings, through breathtaking views of abandoned places to photoshoots with well-known fashion photographers like Giovanni Gastel, Gian Paolo Barbieri, and Giorgio Lari who he assisted at their work, gaining knowledge and tricks to be used further in his work. ‘For me, fashion photography is the union of technique, creativity, and passion. Each fashion shoot is teamwork with art directors, editors, stylists, make-up artists, hairdressers, set designers, and post-producers. When working on the photographic set it is very important to get in tune with the models to relax the tension and encourage them to pose’ – says Marco Callegari. *motto of Ninjalicious – one of the first and most popular urban explorers.
With years he became very skilled and recognised in his field, not only does he know how to take a perfect shot within a split moment, but also, he gains knowledge about the equipment he uses – ‘I think it is very important to have a good knowledge of the equipment: it allows you to go further and improve, to be able to use different tools and technologies (e.g., drones or action cameras that shoot at 360 °), to make complex shots which give amazing results. That knowledge can save a lot of money and create astonishing photos, leaving the client impressed. ‘Once a customer asked me to film a new production line and his stand at an important trade fair. I filmed the new machinery with the drone to stimulate the movement of a trolley without the need to build meters and meters of tracks. I also took photos from the ground using a small camera attached to a long arm to avoid disruption and danger to the public. I combined those two ways to achieve more interesting and complex results’ – says Callegari Marco switches from drones to action and medium format cameras, and for years Nikon was his first and most used camera. He used it to capture abandoned, remote places, nature, and off road. And off road is his second passion, right after photography. ‘I like to go in the middle of nature in magnificent remote places, such as the desert dunes with their breathtaking views that make you believe you are on Mars. I like to follow off-road events, take pictures, and immortalize the four-wheeled “beasts” that climb rocks and fly over gravel or sand with incredible agility and power.
Love and passion for photography are ongoing but ‘being able to travel indefinitely by creating content and reports on people and the history of places’ is Marco’s biggest dream. ‘I am passionate about stories of adventures and explorations. The works that I remember most are the reportages off common routes, discovering places that are often unknown to most people. I love to go around the world in search of abandoned places, I document myself by looking for the history, the causes, and the consequences of their abandonment. Entering certain places where time has stopped, it seems to me that I am … an archaeologist of the contemporary era! I prefer structures that have fallen into disuse in the last century because they still contain objects, memories that have remained there waiting as if people had left them but to return to take them back.’
While working very hard and being busy with fashion shots, Marco is simultaneously involved in two other projects that will lead to a couple of exhibitions. ‘The first is on the different point of view of the places seen from the sky thanks to drones, while the second is an exhibition on nature that recaptures the places abandoned by man’ When asked what and who inspires him most, he, unhesitatingly, replied ‘I consider Sebastião Salgado the greatest photojournalist in the world. I admire him for his extraordinary way of combining beauty with social commitment. Gabriele Basilico, Steve McCurry, and David Lachapelle are amongst my favourite ones.
The whole world of art is a great and inexhaustible source of inspiration. Social media and professional magazines, photography travel, and history books that I look through constantly in search of inspiration.’ Marco left us with a message for budding photographers. , For him ‘the opportunity to start to work as an assistant by the side of a professional photographer is very important’. He adds that thanks to this ‘you not only learn techniques and professional tricks, but you also learn to measure your skills to compare, to share ideas and above all, to make a treasure of the criticism received. Furthermore, being creative and a little bit crazy is not to be underestimated in this profession”.
INTERVIEW AGNIESZKA KOWALCZEWSKA