bearded guy with sunglasses and yellow polo Tomaso Baldessarini

“Use your intuition to implement your visions” | Interview with Tomaso Baldessarini

Hi Tomaso,

As an aspiring young photographer you know the scene. Your portrait series “Anti.Mono Stereo” 2015 won acclaimed prizes and made a name for you.

But tell us about your beginnings: How did you actually get into photography?

I am not the typical type of photographer that had a camera in my hands at the age of 9. With me, I think life directed me on the right path. I listened to my heart and knew that photography is exactly what I wanted to do. The freedom to do what I want with the medium of photography is limitless.

After many ups and downs in recent years, you’ve made it. Getting huge job offers on the table, but that´s not all, last Friday your first book “28mm EDITION | MANHATTAN ” came out. The special thing about this book is that you have made it with just one camera and a 28mm lens walking around New York City. For 30 days over 400km you have captured the life of one of the largest cities as honestly as possible.

But let's look behind the scenes: how did this project come about? Was the book planned right from the start?

I've been to New York a lot and I love the city for the individual art and their way of handling things. The people who move to New York are taking an extreme leap. New York is full of enthusiastic creative people from all over the world. This city transforms you and teaches you your own boundaries. It is brutal and hard, and this is a source for an enormous creative power. The feeling is really hard to describe, but I feel understood by the New Yorkers. I knew I would be spending a lot of money when I went to New York for 4 weeks. That's exactly why it was clear to me that I wanted to make a book from this project. The theme and visual thread took nearly two weeks of hard work on the streets of Manhattan to pinpoint. A well-known photographer, Olaf Heine, once said to me "Jump in at the deep end”. I held onto those words and have been working by them ever since. I tried to pay attention to what happened to me during this project and put these observations into a visual novella. This is for me the right way to realise a project.

Tomaso Baldessarini NYC street photo people in city

It must have been an emotional journey. What moments were the most touching?

It was a very emotional trip. I have learned a lot about myself. You can see things differently after a trip like this, you know how to question yourself differently. You overcome fear and begin to get better. The most important thing, however, is the process, the moment when you realise that you grow. There were many moving moments so I can´t only reduce it to one. I was eating burgers with the homeless and listened to their life stories. I learned to appreciate the little things in life. Life is something wonderful!

Do you have a tip or recommendation for any young photography talents?

Use your intuition to implement your visions. Listen to yourself and find your own visual language! This is a long process that requires a lot of patience. But in the end, it only pays off if you believe in yourself and work hard enough. You have to live, breathe and love photography. Photography is a very idealistic discipline in which you can only survive it when you have endurance, courage and will.

If time, money and other factors didn´t matter, what would your absolute dream project look like?

I just lived the dream! To see the creation of my first self-published book.

But there will always be new and goals in my career. Only when you have a dream and a vision will the path be paved. I am writing for 2 years now on a project called "The Origin Project". I will create a deep social cross-section of the social edge in America. The project is to be recorded in a documentary and as a book. I am also working on another part of the "28mm" series. I try to live my dreams, even if this is not always easy. But I live for the art of photography and the fact that I am telling more and more moving stories that are so close to life.

Can you tell our readers how you publish your pictures and how does social media play a role for you?

Even if I do not like social media, it is an important part of our everyday interaction with the Internet for us photographers. Since I have published the book myself, Facebook and my blog is an important component for sales. But there are also clear limits on the meaningfulness of Likes. Likes are relative, they have nothing to do with the reality. Many define themselves by Likes, but often these are of no relevant to potential customers such as agencies. It is about the quality and continuity of your own work. You have to persevere, get attention and social media.

What experiences have you got so far with image theft?

I haven´t had any disastrous image theft situations yet. However, bloggers have taken my pictures and they really ruin them by putting tacky iPhone filters over my pictures and ignore the CC license. I even had experience with people entering my photos into competitions without my permission. Unfortunately, this happened in the US, my legal assistance was close to nothing. I hope for the future that international image law will improve its structures and become more transparent.

What have you done so far to protect yourself from image piracy?

I have already used various platforms to monitor my pictures. However, these were negative then, especially when it comes to operation and speed. This is different with COPYTRACK. Everything I need from A to Z! Thanks, because the best thing is, it does not cost a single penny!

Thank You Tomaso

Tomaso Baldessarini, freelance photographer

As a freelance photographer, Tomaso Baldessarini completed his Bachelor of Arts in photography at the Berlin Technical College (BTK) in Berlin. Since then he has been working as an art photographer, concentrating on large and medium-format portraits and open street portraits. His portraits stand out for their attention to detail, lighting and post-production. Tomaso´s mission is to tell unique deep stories in his long-term projects. He has won eight international prizes over the past four years. Among them are the “International Photography Awards” of the Lucie Foundation 2016 and the first place of the PX3 Competition 2016. But also numerous newspapers and magazines like the “LFI Magazine” have already printed his pictures.

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