It was in fashion photography that Roberto Badin began. Later, it is the still lifes and the architecture that he captures through his lens, building storytelling where the composition and the setting are thought out in every detail.When did you fall in love with the photographic medium?
I was born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil where I lived all my childhood and adolescence facing the sea.
The work of Oscar Niemeyer, a Brazilian architect, has always inspired me. I like architecture before I like photography. I had my first camera at the age of 14; I took pictures of everything I saw around me. I haven’t stopped since.
I am fortunate to have turned my passion into a profession, even if it was not easy at first. It was a time when making your own pictures was quite expensive. There were some tricks to develop your work, and there was no room for mistakes. An image could not be erased with a single click and we only discovered the result after development in the laboratory.
Your photographic aesthetic is graphic and sophisticated.
It’s always difficult to express the “why” you get to have a certain aesthetic. Inspiration comes from everywhere and when we decide to position ourselves in a space in order to achieve a framing, whether spontaneous or determined, all the emotional and cultural baggage is set up very intuitively.
I’m looking to bring out the everyday banality of a place, maybe just a secret beauty to reveal. The most important thing for me is that the final image can arouse an emotion in the viewer, even if it is not the same as I felt when I realized it.
For you, the idea and the emotions are the highlights of your storytelling.
The image is a set of details composed by a light, by a framing and by a precise instant of the triggering of the camera. Most of the time, when all the parameters are in balance, an emotion can be released. It seems natural to me to sometimes add a human element to it. This gives scale to the scene and enriches the narrative.
From your “Inside Japan” series, you have created a book. What is its story ?
When I was a kid, in the mid-70s, most of my visual references were Japanese cartoons and TV series. Japan was like a distant planet that made me dream. When I returned from my first trip to the archipelago in 2016, the meeting with the editor Benjamin Blanck was decisive for the development of the book. He wanted to publish a book just with the first stay, because the result was already consistent. But there were still some particularly interesting places that I could not visit and we agreed that another trip could complete the images we had in our hands.
My goal was to keep the same look when I returned to Japan in April 2018. It was essential with the same freshness and the same curiosity, which sometimes can escape us when we return to a country.
Architecture and contemporary art were the common thread of my approach. I prepare my trip as well as possible, but I leave a lot of improvisation once I get there. Claude Lelouch once said about the making of his films, a sentence which perfectly illustrates my state of mind when I prepare a project: “A film must be prepared like a heist. We have a plan to do it the best we can and then we have to be ready for surprises. ”
What does the creation of an editorial object involve in your work as a photographer?
The publication of the book alone is a culmination, in collaboration with an editor who left me great artistic freedom and choice of images. The edition also benefited from the support of the Rive Gauche Gallery, founded by my agent 1718 Paris to develop the artistic and personal projects of its artists. Inside Japan is also a photographic exhibition which has already been shown at the Cyrille Putman Gallery during the International Photography Festival in Arles, for example. This is a particularly rewarding project since it allows you to feel the emotions provoked in those who watch it.