"Left is my best side."
"You will have to erase these wrinkles!"
"I wasn't ready, wait for me to pose!"
Ma mi faccia il piacere!! Totò would have told you if he had been a photographer!
In portraits you don't necessarily have to be “beautiful”, posed, made up and prepared; that is fiction, and let's leave it to those who want to pretend. In portraits one must be oneself, and it will be the portraitist's task to depict the individual's physical features and his psychological expression. That is, the wrinkles will remain in their place as well as any other "defects", and it will be they, together with your expression, to speak of you.
And here is the crucial point of being portrayed: the expression. The "standard" expression when looking into the lens is a smile, often a way to hide the emotions we are really feeling. My challenge with this project was to make people forget about that lens in order to be able to capture real expressions, faces that reflect the emotions really felt at that moment. And so we accompanied the subjects along in their stories, between memories and fantasy, to make them relive, even if only for an instant, that “thing” so universal yet deeply personal that reveals a part of each of us: pleasure.
* For context: "Ma mi faccia il piacere!" was Totò's - italian comedian and actor - commonly used saying to make clear that you're fed up – a bit like exclaiming 'Do me a favour!'
Favour and pleasure translate the same in italian, as 'piacere'.
"When I say I want to photograph someone, what I mean is I want to know them." Annie Leibovitz