Why Be Authentic?
Welcome to my practice. What follows will explain how my practice, “A Photographic Experience,”
supports the quest for an authentic life.
Being authentic is an intense task. The fear of facing
what is authentic leads many to a life of utter denial, one I observe in behaviors of blind conformity
and blind anti-conformity. Conversely, authenticity brings balance and defense against alienation from reality.
How? By practicing free will; by choosing while listening to our own conscience and by accepting consequences within a real environment, one we cannot control.
The quest for an authentic life has been opposed, throughout history,
by all sorts of dominators and manipulators. In current times, we are all facing virtual systems.
From virtual relationships to virtual education, machines lure us with
tailored illusions promising a life wiped out of the hardship of decision-making. Propaganda
hides the deception that is taking place. By clicking what seems "convenient," "free," and "easy"
we slowly relinquish the skills that allow us to take real decisions: our empathy, our discernment,
our grit and perseverance. Rest assured, the glitz of the virtual world is nothing but a decoy; the
true agenda is the manipulation of human perception and attention. The outcome is
the booming materialistic philosophy that denies the very existence of conscience, of free will, and the point of
being authentic. This recurring force sees humans as egotistical machines and aims at the
mutation of mankind. Such ideology can be confuted once we grasp that our nature is not algorithmic.
The only way we can survive this epic battle is by engaging our own identity, everyday. Practicing
an authentic life shields us from technocratic chimeras and uncovers bliss in what is unique and in
union with the rest of reality.
How "A Photographic Experience" Works
Now, how can my practice, "A Photographic Experience," help in the quest
for authenticity? Photography might sound like an outlandish choice compared to established ones.
Myself, I learn from yoga and from philosophical and psychological investigations, but each method should
be considered for its unique opportunity and its boundaries. Liberated from its long history
of misconceptions and of digital and chemical manipulations, photography has a unique strength
at its core. The core photographic act, the genesis of each photograph, needs interaction
among real elements: our environment, light, matter, and our awareness. What is fundamental
here is to grasp that this rich interaction happens in one moment. There is no rewind button.
Photography adheres to time. Unlike introspection, photography can’t rely only on our own
imagination and past experiences. We can imagine our ideal love, or a love in our past, or
the one that we will meet, but we can only photograph the one in front of us. Then, there, in the
moment we release the shutter, we seal our decision-making; we capture a fragment of our life
in the form of exposed emulsion. This is a unique historical document; its inestimable value
is existential. On this account, by choosing to photograph we acknowledge that we need to make
contact with another nature to reveal our own. Authenticity has ground to grow.
All this has to happen in the field. An authentic photographic act needs the practice of freedom.
Rationality alone is not sufficient to earn this awareness and liberate ourselves from toxic habits.
Freedom happens by understanding our boundaries while we explore what is real. Freedom is
NOT expecting to achieve whatever we desire. Contrary to popular slogans, we cannot
become 'whatever we want,' but we can experience freedom by learning who we are. On this account,
"A Photographic Experience" is an exploration of freedom.
This is why I offer my practice in the form of programs for individuals
and small groups. I also offer lectures to large groups. The goal of the practice will be
to exercise and strengthen authentic behavior and to be accountable for it and to it: we will use only photographic film
(silver halide emulsion), no digital pictures. Accountable to whom? To yourself. How? After a first conversation, sessions
will occur on a location we agree upon. We will each have one camera, one lens, a few rolls
of film. I will guide you through my method and you will photograph what interests you. In
a nutshell: I will not ask you to achieve a specific style or composition; this is not an
art class. I will not tell you what to photograph; I will guide you on how to read light.
You will observe and learn from what I call reality “uncut,” a field where
all our forces—our rationality, our emotions, and our spirit—interact with our environment.
To begin, you do not need any technical experience about photography. You need curiosity
and desire for what the search for authenticity can disclose in your life. Then, on the
successive session we will comment on your photographs and photograph again.
PRIVACY MATTERS to me and I value the privacy of my clientele. Therefore, I ask to respect the following conditions:
I am offering my professional practice to share more of my findings with you and to help you
experiencing my method. According to it, it is fundamental to differentiate a filter, a barrier, from an
interaction, an opportunity of union. For more information, I encourage you to read my
book, The Photographer's Choice,
where you will get a more detailed analysis of my method, as well as inspiration to practice.
At the bottom of this webpage you will also find a
list of books and motion pictures I consider pivotal for the understanding of this topic.
Practicing “A Photographic Experience” means challenging the complexity
of the visual realm. It is a hard task, dense with prejudices and conventions to dismantle,
but it will help us unveiling common illusions and defending ourselves from phenomena like:
social media addiction, body dysmorphia, video gaming addiction, loss of motivation, shopping
addictions, excessive exhibitionism, low and excessive self-esteem, stress from decision-making
and visual noise. My practice is not intended only as a form of defense for mental balance.
I believe it can be a precious tool for those who are interested in challenging and developing
their creative talents. Certainly, I will not reveal how to achieve “amazing photos;”
there is no such thing. Indeed, I can help you, as a sparring partner, finding and refining your