Giovanni Corabi, a 22 year old Italian student at the University of Central Saint Martins, takes us through his passion for photography and people. His photos have already featured in magazines such as Dazed&Confused and Nylon Magazine, and he has even photographed personalities like Winston Reedy. He explains how everything started…
Words: Costanza Maraffio, Subeditor: Bea Renshaw
As a third year student at CSM with a particular love for faces, Giovanni Corabi finds inspiration from everyday life. Whilst finishing his BA in Graphic Communication Design, he is working on (mysterious!) future projects, while keeping up with his ‘portraits’. Trying to understand how such a young man can have an equally strong passion, we interviewed him in order to figure it out. The real gem, however, is his talent in capturing normality and turning it into art.
Why did you decide to study Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins, and how does that relate to your passion for photography?
“I just really wanted to study something that I liked. I think that was my main concern. Central Saint Martins is a great place to do that, you are surrounded by all these different creatives and it’s very exciting!”
When did your love for photography begin?
“Photography has always been a passion of mine, from taking pictures of cats as a little kid, to going to the skate park in Australia to take pictures of skaters when I was a teenager.”
Who is your biggest inspiration?
“Ahh this is too hard. There are too many. I generally tend to look at people who are closer to me in age rather than the big photography heroes. I mean, I still have those of course, but I find that young people often have a more modern take on things. Something fresh that I haven’t seen before”.
What made you start the ‘collection of moments and faces in Central Saint Martin’?
“That started as photography project for uni and became much more. In a way it’s very important to me as it has been the starting point for everything that came after. It made me realize how good it is for a young person to live in London and study at CSM”.
What is your biggest achievement in photography? The project you are most proud of?
“The one that is yet to be done. I am generally very hard on my work so I try to change and get better each time. Creative professions often work this way, they are a continuous progression I think. You are never really done”.
You seem to prefer portraits. Why?
“I like to think of a portrait as a collaborative job. I love the interaction with the subject. I try to create something we are both pleased with. Something that represents that moment. On top of that, every person is unique. They have different stories, personalities, backgrounds… I find that very interesting”.
If a person were to decide to study photography, what would you suggest for them? Do you think that a good photographer needs a degree on the subject in order to be defined as such?
“I don’t think you must have a degree, but you need a lot of practice and people to look up to. Photography is a profession, it’s a skill to develop. Too often people take ok photos and think they are done learning, but the truth is that you are never done. University gives you a platform to fuck up and experiment. To try things before you are in the real world. I think a good course of study always helps”.
The world of photography is extremely competitive, do you fear this competition?
“I don’t fear the competition but I am aware of it. In almost every job there is competition, might as well compete on something you enjoy doing”.
Your photos appeared in Nylon Magazine, how did you achieve that?
“They needed a photographer in London and I was there”.