Over the years, Chiara Bonetti’s photography has achieved an aesthetic that not everyone can successfully pull off — perfect imperfection. Ignoring the usual demands of portrait, editorial and interior photography, the Berlin-based Bonetti places importance on forgotten details, casual encounters, unglamorous locations and the imperfections of daily encounters.
Her series Cosmic Boredom is about the awareness of letting go. She captures the moments during photoshoots when her models momentarily drift away from their personas, distracted or lost in their thoughts. This lowering of their “public masks” reveals a natural and spontaneous side of her subjects. We spoke more to Bonetti about her work.
How would you describe your style of photography?
I never really understood the categories and boundaries in photography, to me fashion, fine art and documentary stand on the same level. They are all part of that personal language that can easily shift from one category to the other, so it’s hard for me to label my style.
One could say it’s closer to fashion because I work in that industry, but to me everything is strongly linked to a reality and context where I finally find myself.
What/who are your influences/inspirations?
My first and foremost inspiring references are Diane Arbus, with her wonderful portraits; Vivian Sassen with her subjects’ body shapes and surfaces; the subjects of Jamie Hawkesworth and Peter Hugo. Another great inspiration is traveling, because everything that forces me to leave my comfort zone inspires new solutions.
Your works are a mix of studio set-ups and outdoor shoots. Do you have a preference?
Not really. I generally play by instinct when it comes to photography. The camera allows me to open doors that I wouldn’t even be able to see without. It’s the greatest tool a creative person can have. I started with street then moved on to fashion shoots in studios. That’s why I like mixing both.
Tell us about your dream photography shoot: people, places, subjects?
I’m a seeker and I constantly dream of something different everyday, so I don’t have one specific dream. At this moment I’d love to travel to Asia and shoot remote villages.
I love to get lost in an unknown context, teaming up with a local stylist and journalist in portraying women in different countries.