Interview with Marcelo Aniello from Portugal

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Marcelo Aniello

Marcelo Aniello fascination with photography ignited during his youth, sparked by his early exposure to the captivating forms, contours, and textures found in architecture. This led him to start photographing the buildings and structures that piqued his interest.

Interview With The 2023 European Photography Awards Winner – Marcelo Aniello

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

My passion for photography began at an early age when I was still young. Enthralled by the lines, shapes, and textures of architecture, I started capturing images of buildings and structures that caught my attention. Over time, my ability to portray architecture in a captivating and inspiring way developed, driving me to seek to deepen my knowledge and refine my techniques.

Over the years, my passion evolved into a solid career as an architectural photographer. I continuously sought to enhance my understanding of lighting nuances, angles, and composition to create images that conveyed the narrative behind each architectural project. Combining my fascination with architecture and my skill in visual storytelling, I embarked on a rewarding professional journey where the camera became my tool to reveal the essence of the structures surrounding me.

2Where did you study photography?
In 1986, I enrolled at NYU and continued my studies there until 1987.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

Absolutely, I remember my first shot vividly. It was taken in New York City. I captured an iconic building in the heart of the city. The excitement and anticipation of capturing the grandeur of the architecture was truly unforgettable.

This experience marked the beginning of my journey as an architectural photographer and ignited my passion for capturing the essence of structures through the lens of my camera. Since that moment, I have been continuously honing my skills to visually tell the story behind each architectural project.

4What equipment do you use?
Hasselblad X1D marc II,Nikon D800 , Digital and Leica 3G in film.
5What do you hope to achieve?

As an architectural photographer, I have deep aspirations for my work. My primary goal is to capture not only the physical form of structures but also the emotion and narrative behind each project. I aim to create images that convey the essence of architecture, evoking an emotional connection with those who view them.

Additionally, I hope to contribute to the promotion and appreciation of architecture, inspiring both professionals in the field and the general public to recognise the beauty and significance of the buildings that surround us. My ambition is to continue refining my skills, exploring new techniques and perspectives, and ultimately enriching the field of architectural photography while expressing the uniqueness of each project I have the privilege to document.

6What inspires your unique storytelling?

My unique narrative is inspired by the intersection of visual creativity and the essence of architectural structures. I aim to capture not only the aesthetic beauty but also the story that each building tells. Lines, shapes, and textures become elements of my visual language, conveying the connection between human creation and the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, the influence of light plays a crucial role in my narrative. The way light interacts with architectural details creates contrasts, reveals depth, and breathes life into the photography. Each interplay of shadows and reflections is an opportunity to express the personality and uniqueness of each structure.

My inspiration is also fuelled by the constant quest for distinctive angles and perspectives. By exploring new ways to frame and document architecture, I aim to pique the viewer's curiosity and invite them to delve into the image more deeply.

In essence, my unique narrative is the result of merging admiration for architecture, artistic interpretation, and the pursuit of moments that transcend the visual, evoking an emotional connection and a deeper appreciation for the structures that shape our surroundings.

7What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
Refined, evocative and architectural.
8Congratulations! As the winner of the European Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Thank you very much! Winning a Gold in the 2023 European Photography Awards is an extraordinary honour and a moment of great celebration for both me and my team. This distinction validates all the effort and dedication we've poured into our craft and our approach to architectural photography. Being recognised among the talented professionals in Europe is a testament to the quality and originality of our work.

This achievement also fuels our ongoing commitment to raising the standards of architectural photography. It inspires us to keep seeking unique perspectives, captivating narratives, and refining our technical skills. Furthermore, this award positively reflects on our reputation and opens doors to new exciting opportunities and collaborations.

Receiving a Gold win in the 2023 European Photography Awards is a milestone that reinforces our passion for the art of capturing architecture and encourages us to keep telling innovative visual stories through our lenses. We are immensely grateful for this recognition and look forward to continuing to grow and contribute to the world of photography.

9Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 European Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

The winning project I submitted to the 2023 European Photography Awards is titled "Lights of Bahia." In this project, I focused on the unique relationship between architecture and the distinctive light of the Bahia region in Brazil. I chose to exclusively incorporate people into the photographs to convey a vibrant and dynamic narrative.

The decision to showcase this project was driven by my desire to depict architecture as an ever-evolving backdrop intertwined with human life. Each image captures fleeting moments where people naturally interact with architectural spaces, infusing the structures with a sense of vitality and purpose.

These photographs visually represent the connection between human creations and the community that inhabits them. The use of people in the photos highlights not only the architecture itself but also the stories and experiences of the individuals who bring these spaces to life.

I chose this project for the 2023 European Photography Awards because I believe it encapsulates the essence of the relationship between architecture and humanity, revealing the mutual influence each has on the other. I hope that the "Lights of Bahia" project provided a unique perspective on the interplay between everyday life and architectural spaces in the region.

10How has winning an award developed your career?

Winning an award has had a substantial impact on the development of my career as an architectural photographer. It brought forth a range of benefits and opportunities that significantly propelled my professional journey.

Recognition and Credibility: Winning an award is a public acknowledgment of the quality and originality of my work. It added an extra layer of credibility to my name as a professional in the field of architectural photography.

Visibility: The award brought exceptional visibility. With the recognition, more people became acquainted with my work. This resulted in an uptick in collaboration opportunities, exhibitions, and publications.

Expansion of Professional Network: Winning an award allowed me to connect with fellow industry professionals, including photographers, architects, designers, and media experts. These new connections opened doors to innovative collaborations and joint projects.

Business Opportunities: The visibility and credibility garnered through the award led to an increase in inquiries and project requests. This translated into new business opportunities, contracts, and clients.

Professional Growth: Recognition through an award spurred me to continue honing my skills and techniques. The desire to maintain and surpass the standard that led to winning the award drove my professional growth.

Market Differentiation: Receiving an award positioned me uniquely in the market. It helped set my work apart from the competition and solidified my reputation as a standout architectural photographer.

Inspiration and Motivation: Winning the award served as an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation. It reinforced my passion for architectural photography and encouraged me to explore new ideas and creative approaches.

In summary, winning an award has been a transformative force in my career, providing a significant boost in visibility, opportunities, and professional development. It solidified my commitment to excellence in architectural photography and continued to shape my professional journey positively.

11Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

Henri Cartier Breson.

Pierre Verge.

Cristiano Mascaro.

12What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?

One of the best pieces of advice I received early in my career came from an experienced mentor in the field of architectural photography. They shared with me this valuable guidance: "Never underestimate the power of patience and observation."

This advice had a profound impact on my approach to architectural photography. It reminded me of the importance of not just looking, but truly seeing the details, the light, the shadows, and the forms that compose an architectural scene. Patience, according to my mentor, is essential for waiting for the ideal moment, the perfect lighting, and the composition that best tells the story of the space.

Furthermore, the advice emphasised the need to understand architecture at a deeper level. This involves knowing the history behind each building, understanding the cultural context, and appreciating the architect's intent. Meticulous observation and the patience to wait for the right moment result in images that not only document but also convey the essence of architecture.

This advice has been a constant guide on my journey. It taught me to approach each project with calmness, appreciation, and dedication to the art of architectural photography.

13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

Master the fundamentals: Start by learning the basics of photography, such as composition, lighting, framing, and exposure. Understanding these concepts is crucial for building a solid foundation for your photographic journey.

Consistent practice: Practice is essential for skill development. Take lots of photos, experiment with different techniques and styles. The more you practice, the more you hone your abilities.

Study and get inspired: Study the work of renowned photographers and explore different photographic genres. This will help you develop your own unique style. Get inspired, but also seek your own artistic voice.

Constructive feedback: Be open to constructive feedback. Show your work to trusted individuals who are willing to provide honest insights. This will help you identify areas for improvement.

Try different genres: Experiment with different photographic genres to discover what you enjoy most and where your skills excel. This can also open unexpected opportunities.

Build a portfolio: Create a portfolio that showcases your diversity and quality of work. A strong portfolio is essential when seeking professional opportunities.

Networking: Build your industry network. Participate in events, workshops, and photography groups. This can lead to collaborations and valuable learning.

Learn editing: Editing is a fundamental part of modern photography. Learn how to use editing software to enhance your images and develop your visual style.

Persistence:A photographer's career can be challenging. Persistence is essential for overcoming obstacles and continuing to evolve.

Stay updated: Technology and photography trends are always changing. Stay updated with new techniques, equipment, and sharing platforms.

14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Key to success: Authentic passion, relentless technical improvement, strong interpersonal connections, and creative innovation. Cultivate a distinct style, learn from challenges and peers, adapt to changes, and never stop exploring. With every click, tell stories. In your photographic journey, find beauty and always inspire. Success!
15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?

I'm designed with a continuously evolving architecture that allows me to stay receptive to new information and knowledge. I learn from a diverse range of sources, such as books, articles, and websites. OpenAI regularly updates my training data to keep me up-to-date with the latest developments.

This ensures that I can provide accurate and relevant responses. My ability to process and incorporate new information allows me to adapt and improve my understanding over time.

Winning Entry

Lights of Bahia In Black White | 2023


"Lights of Bahia in Black and White: Portraying the Local People" Hello! I'm Marcelo Aniello, and I would ... (Read more at European Photography Awards)

Marcelo Aniello

Marcelo Aniello fascination with photography ignited during his youth, sparked by his early exposure to the captivating forms, contours, and textures found in architecture. This led him to start photographing the buildings and structures that piqued his interest.

Read more about this interview with Niki Colemont from Belgium, the Platinum Winner of the 2023 European Photography Awards.