I didn’t decide, it happened naturally
Gaia Bonanomi, a creator, a photographer who lives in Milan and specializes in fashion photography. In this interview, we discuss the path from holding a Polaroid camera for the first time to studying the skills to developing a personal statement. Gaia captures a sun-kissed skin through the lens of the camera.
The dream-like shoots seize a glance of a nymph, a mermaid, a royal ever looking to the distance pondering on something far away. Her works have been published in SICKY Magazine, Teeth, NR, Contributor, Nasty, and more. Discover Gaia’s story below.
Hi Gaia, thanks for being a part of this collaboration! Could you tell 4 interesting facts about yourself?
I love very strong and cry very hard.
Gaia is the name of our mother earth, and I feel a deep connection with her.
I have a super high sense of smell (sometimes it's a great skill, but not always, I promise!)
I’ve lived in Italy, Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain, but I haven't stopped traveling yet.
What’s the best part of being a freelancer?
That Friday and Monday are not different at all, and that’s freedom to me.
How studying fashion photography affected your approach to this sphere or shaped you as a professional?
Going to photography schools gave me the technical skills every professional need, but I believe that life is the best teacher for your soul, and fashion photography is a perfect mix between technical skills and personal soul to me.
Amsterdam or Milan? Why?
Milan. Sorry, Amsterdam, I love you, but you are too cold and windy for a Mediterranean heart.
Why did you decide to photograph first place? Do you remember the first picture you’ve taken?
I didn’t decide, it happened naturally, I guess. My grandfather was a photographer, I remember him going around in the wheelchair always with his camera around the neck, he was my hero, and I admired him so much. I remember the first experience I had with his Polaroid, the same camera I still use today. I believe everything began right there: when he used to put me in a paper box full of pillows while he was shooting in the studio. I’ve started very young to take pictures of flowers and nature, I didn’t like fashion photography: it was too fake and commercial for me. Later, I began studying it and I’ve discovered the universe that is there behind: I fell in love, like a teenager.
There has been a loud conversation for the past year about equality and position of female professionals in the world. Do you think there is an improvement?
For men, it’s always been easier to stand out and to spread their work and ideas, now it takes time to change the balance of power. Things are changing, and we have so many women and even more young women whose work is finally being seen, and it’s reaching all over. Female point of view and sensibility is getting popular and necessary in this world.
Warm yellows and the feeling of ‘just before sunset’ seem to be a repeating visual aspect throughout different series. What is so charming about that light?
"Sunsets make me cry. This warm light gives me life, like a strong hug. I can’t express in words how I feel when a skin is hit by a warm light, but it’s something I’m forever grateful to experience".
What is your ‘no-no’ when using photoshop?
"I don’t use photoshop to manipulate the reality; I see it as an instrument to improve the photos with small retouches, mainly color correction and big background imperfections".
In LUTZ you ponder on the theme of femininity that is revealed through the certain composition angles, the body movements, and styling. Could you describe the thoughts behind those series?
Sometimes, people who know me well tell me that they see me in my photography: that’s all. There are no rational thoughts behind these series: they are me, they are Gaia directly translated into photography.
What brand do you find the most inspiring this year during the latest fashion week?
I could choose Jacquemus. I really admire the elegance of his simplicity, the materials, the shapes, and the color palettes. I just shot a special on Jacquemus with his latest spring/summer collection, which is coming out in September on Nicotine magazine, I enjoyed it so much to photograph his pieces, really inspiring.
What will be your next photo shoot?
I can’t tell you, but it’s going to be exciting and experimental to me, stay tuned!