The photographer Olimpia Taliani de Marchio showed us her universe made of romantic landscapes, delicate looks and soft lights. She made this wonderful series of portraits with the Petzval 80.5 f/1.9 MKII Art Lens on Berlin Kino 35 mm film, which gave the photos an elegant old-fashioned feel. Check out all the photos below!
Hello Olimpia, welcome to our magazine! Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi Lomography! Before introducing myself, I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell my story in this magazine. My name is Olimpia, I am twenty-nine years old and I am a freelance photographer. I am from the Marche region, but I have been living in Milan for a long time. I love photography, writing and I have a great passion for flowers.
Tell us about your photographic background. When did you start your journey in the world of photography?
For me, photography began as a great passion. I have always been fascinated by the photos taken by my grandfather. Fascinated especially by how photographs can transport us to the world of memories. And I'm not just talking about our own memories, but also into the memories of others. Thanks to photography you can see through other people's eyes. You can experience stories you never lived, you can go on journeys you never thought you would go on. For me it is truly a precious world.
I am self-taught. I started shooting many years ago, thanks to a good friend of mine who left me his camera for a whole day and told me: "try to use it, shoot as much as you want, and bring it back to me later!" At that time I was living in Rimini and I remember well the feeling I had as I walked down the streets on that summer afternoon. I was happy but scared at the same time. I was afraid of breaking the camera somehow and I was handling it like it was made of crystal. Since that day, I have never stopped shooting!
Why do you choose to shoot on film?
My personal quest is based on film. I fell in love with this world after finding a 35 mm Minox inside a drawer at home. It was my great-grandfather's! Unbelievable. I became more and more passionate about the process, the anticipation, the incredible colors that only film can give you. The feeling I get every time I take a roll to develop is a bit like a child waiting for Christmas. You wait and wait and wait. Then the negative comes and it's usually better than you expected. There's always that picture you forgot you took, the little exposure error and that wonderful image you fall in love with. Of course, I don't disdain digital, but my imagery is film. I like to take pictures that can feel timeless.
I decided to shoot in a place that I'm very familiar with and which is important to me, the Marche region. Benedetta, one of my closest friends, was my model for this shooting. So, it could only go well! I chose the 80.5 f/1.9 because I prefer shooting portraits and this lens was perfect for what I had in mind. As for the film, I chose the Berlin Kino, a black and white film that gave the story the old-timey effect I was looking for.
How was the experience with the lens? What was your favourite and least favourite feature?
I have to say that I really enjoyed my experience with this lens. I like its weight and the fact that you can handle it easily. It is also beautiful! I don't know what I liked least. I can tell you that I really appreciated the soft effect it can give to the image and the fact that it is a very bright lens.
Your photographic style is soft and romantic, with a delicacy that shines through even in your fashion shots. You manage to capture some very unique details. How much does image study matter to you versus instinct and improvisation?
I prefer instinct and improvisation, I rarely find myself studying an image in detail. I like to make my photographs as natural and spontaneous as possible. I always want the reality of things to shine through, the true beauty of the subjects. For example, when I shoot someone for my projects, I always prefer that they decide for themselves what to wear, how to do their makeup or what to do. I like to think of these shoots as opportunities to get to know each other, to be able to show ourselves a little bit. And while we tell each other about ourselves we shoot something!
What's next for you? Do you have any interesting projects planned that you would like to share with our readers?
I have two projects planned that I care a lot about. The first is a fanzine that I am creating together with my boyfriend, who is also a photographer, that is based on a beautiful trip I took last summer to the French Riviera. The second project, which I am really happy about, is my first photography book. A book that will be developed by an all-female team and will have flowers as its main subject. That's all I'm saying for now, but if all goes as it should, you will see it in September!