My feet are on the ground, my mind is somewhere else
Hi, this is me, Mara. The name I was given, a short name easy to pronounce.
My approach to photography? That old Olympus camera with which my relatives took many many pictures when I was a child. Those were the days to observe this new world to me, the days of being intrigued by this object, the way this thing could turn everyday life into images.
I was in love with those Saturday nights at home watching slides on a white tarpaulin, a screen of memories and moments.
Over the years, I had kept on watching the world in silence and playing my clarinet and tenor sax, until the day I decided to take my own photographs. A Canon 300D as a gift is the starting point. Shooting all my travels on film amplified the adrenaline of waiting for the film’s development. I still feel a little bit agitated about waiting to see if the image printed in my mind comes out as I was expecting.
With the arrival of modern technology, I felt sort of deceived by the fact of seeing the images on a computer instead of on paper.
As I don’t like rules, I didn’t adapt to photography courses, and I prefer emotions to technique. The perfect photograph has not been taken so far, and will never be because each of us approaches the lens with the soul by means of the eyes.
I had quit taking pictures for 10 long years, and I missed it so bad. One day, while I was out for dinner with my best friend, Alessandro, he looked at me straight in the eye and asked: “Are you sad?”, I answered “Yes”, and he went on “Do you miss photography?” and I replied with the tears rolling down my eyes “Yes, but I no longer have a camera because I gave it to someone who now is a stranger to me and I regret it very much”. So he said: “You’re the same old Alice in Wonderland”. The day after that conversation, my friend Ale rang the doorbell and gave me a box with a Canon 1110D inside. My heart literally exploded.
Since then, Cornelia (that’s my Canon name, like “Anne of Green Gables” who wanted to be called Cornelia and stayed at the window for hours, looking at the sky and dreaming of…), has been the loyal companion in my Daydreams, in every little detail of the imagination fused in reality for 3 years.
In 2020 I was spurred by my great friend and photographer Stef to take it a step further. Here it comes “Ponyo” in my life (yes, like the little fish in the animated movie by the master Miyazaki), this is the name of my beautiful Fuji X-T30. A new vision has begun. In February 2020, as soon as Ponyo arrived, I had the chance to meet my group of photographer friends in London for our project “The Badass” (Instagram: @badass_bnw). With Stef, Andrew, Mel, Mikey and Diana, we spent time capturing the city up and down, for me, it was the first time where I was able to communicate through my Fuji and make a connection with her. In the beginning, I was very scared and kept saying “I’m not capable”, then well… Ponyo talked to me through the images I had taken.
For that above mentioned decade break, I used to take pictures with my mobile phone and or with a 90’s Polaroid, but to me, photography is absolutely associated with the ladies Cornelia and Ponyo, both have the “eye” of 18-55mm, and in every shot, I put all of myself.
Many of my photographs would need 35mm, being, albeit with a different vision, more “street style”. But I’m feeling better with my twin lenses like a modern “Mara in Wonderland”.
Why do I shoot more in black and white? Well… The colours are the same for everyone, while white and black is free, and everyone can colour them according to the emotion and the moment you’re living.
For sure, I remain a visionary in the reality. Through my travels around the world, I have crossed many different cultures and music, another faithful companion of mine. It always makes me detach from the place where I am. My feet are on the ground, my mind is somewhere else. This kind of dichotomy supports me in focusing better on what I am seeing, allowing me to be one step ahead of where I am physically.
With Ponyo, I’m learning to experiment, always needing something different, so right now I’m “playing” with the exposure times, and the Fuji camera suits perfectly to my experiments.
When I’m on my own, with the camera and my Rock n’ Roll attitude, it’s like moving around “The dark side of the Moon”.
This is who I am, Mara, just a girl living in a Wonderland with cameras and music, where everything is possible.
Text and Photos by Mara