My name is Greta Rizzi, I’m 36 years old and at the moment I live in Italy near Venice, but soon I’m moving to America, to reach my boyfriend who lives there. I graduated in law and economy for bank and financial markets, but recently I have discovered my real passion: photography. I’m self-taught and I started taking pictures four years ago, after reading an interesting manual on street photography written by David Gibson. After reading it I thought: “This is my way!”
In that period, I also started to collect photographic books. I’m still discovering new books and even lesser-known authors like Izis Bidermanas and Erich Einhorn that deserve to be known. Right now my collection counts almost 150 books, most of them are from the past and printed with a particular technique: the heliogravure. This printing process adds something to the pictures which are more real, almost three-dimensional, with colors more intense compared to other printing techniques: you can easily imagine yourself inside the scene. You can see my book collection @theworldofphotobooks Instagram account.
I don’t plan what to shoot: I believe that part of the magic of photography is being in the right place at the right time. On the other hand, I truly believe that it’s important to have some ongoing projects. Sometimes a sequence of pictures can be far more powerful than a single shot, this is a lesson I’ve learned from my books. One of the recurring themes of my photos is the elderly: their wrinkles, their sweet and calm look usually are sufficient to tell a story.
I usually take my pictures in Venice, where I feel comfortable, it was there when I started to photograph. Among my early pictures, I’m particularly fond of “The Bookseller in Venice” that you can see on my Instagram page. In my free time, I’ll go there and I photograph people of my beautiful city trying to avoid crowded places, because in my photographic way, I prefer a clean background without distraction. I also prefer to use black and white rather than color because for me the emotion of an image is transmitted through black and white.
I love to travel: usually in big cities where I can walk all day long taking pictures of people in different scenarios. New York was one of my last trips, the city gives endless possibilities for street photography but, in particular, I’ve found Coney Island as one of my favorite places on earth. Coney Island is a fantastic place to photograph and for me, it was exciting to be there also because it reminded me of all of those books of great photographers like Sid Grossman, Larry Lapow, Bruce Gilden, Lisette Model, and others that have been there.
Travel gives me also the opportunity to see photographic exhibitions that I love. Seeing a printed photo it’s priceless, it’s emotional.
I don’t always have my camera with me because I’m often busy with my main job as an employee. I usually take it with me on the weekend.
When I pick up my camera, I forget everything else. I can be hungry, I can be thirsty, I can be tired…I forget everything; I just think about capturing unique moments.
When I don’t have my camera with me, if something captures my attention, I just grab my phone. For some photographers, this can be considered as sinning, but for me, the results are farmore important than photographic equipment.
In my life, I have always looked for a way to express myself, my emotions and my feelings. For years I freed these emotions with singing and writing poetry but it wasn’t enough, I felt that I was missing something.
I remember vividly the first time I looked at a photograph of Vivian Maier, somehow I found myself standing still staring at the image. It was a very moving moment: a girl from behind with a white dress walking alone in the night. It was a mysterious silent photo which raised a lot of questions: “Who was that girl? Where had she been? Why was she alone?” At the moment I understood that a picture can be as powerful as poetry in expressing emotions or in telling a story.
Now I can say that photography fulfills my life, it’s a part of me.