Samantha Casolari’s evocative and otherworldly images can be found in the pages of GQ, AnOther Magazine, New Yorker, Dossier Journal, T Magazine, and The Italian native now lives and works in New York where her imagination is continuously stoked by the city’s relentless energy.
Your work is so dreamy. Are you inspired by the ethereal?
Yes I am. I am mostly inspired by daydreaming, and by losing yourself in thoughts and the stream of consciousness of someone's mind. I am inspired by unfinished things, evocative subjects, emotions, and waking suggestions. Everything that is abstract attracts and inspires me.
I am inspired by unfinished things, evocative subjects, emotions, and waking suggestions
Do you have a preferred subject matter to photograph?
Not really. I love shooting people, especially portraits. It is also one of the things that scares me the most as it is such an intimate gesture and process to be taking someone's picture. You enter a person's individual space, and most of the time that person is a stranger with his own barrier, which you have to go through if you want a truthful portrait. You have to be incredibly careful and delicate in doing so.
You spent some time living in Paris. How does living and working in Brooklyn compare? Do you find one more inspiring than the other?
My experience in Paris was exactly the opposite of the one I have in NY, which I can now call home. Paris was really tough on me, and very difficult. I was on my own most of the time and it was a very introverted experience for me. This doesn't necessarily mean it was a bad experience, as it forced me to do a lot of self-discovery and allowed me to study and read and walk endlessly around and observe all the time. It is also where I started taking pictures. New York is the opposite, as it is so much about the people, its crazy energy, continuous movement, and the endless possibilities passing in front of you. New York forced me to become extroverted and interact with the outside.
Have you found a way to bridge your studies in political science and your love for photography?
When I first dedicated myself completely to photography a few years ago, my main focus was reportage and human-interest stories, things that were very close and related to what I studied in school. Now I have expanded my focus as well as my interests, and my photography has become more creative and experimental. Experimental techniques are a bit more difficult to apply in reportage, but I still want to keep doing stories like that in the future.