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Flickr Showcase: Chiara Balza

The Milan-based photographer has been shooting prolifically since she discovered analogic two years ago.

Chiara Balza also known as Unoundici on Flickr describes herself as “pale and mistaken” but come across assured in her analogic shots that are beautifully incidental.  

Dazed Digital: What's your background as a photographer?
Chiara Balza: I take photos since i have memory but it started to be a little more "serious" two years ago when I bought a semi professional digital camera, but true love arrived with analogic a couple of months later.

DD: What do you look for when setting up a shot?
Chiara Balza: Enough light and something inspiring, it could be a person or an object or an animal, it's not so important. Generally it's all instinct.

DD: What equipment/film do you use? What do you like about the equipment/film you use?
Chiara Balza: I have about ten analogic camera but lately my favorite one is my Nikon EM, she's little, not heavy, the lens is excellent and has a wonderful depth of field. It's very sharp and is the one I use the most.
I also enjoy my toy cameras  and my beautiful Mamiya C22.. the only one I throw over is the digital and, honestly, I don't miss her. Sometimes I use expired films, but generally I'm not interested about what kind of film I use. I haven't got a favorite brand, film brands are not important to me at all.

DD: Are you inspired by any particular films? Art? Literature?
Chiara Balza: Oh yes, arts cinema inspires me the most - I'm a film buff! My look is very influenced from cinema, especially by the latest american director very very talented like Paul Thomas Anderson or Wes Anderson (Anderson rocks!) and also by the masters, Lynch, Cronenberg, Allen and Kubrick of course - his movies are pure photograhy!

DD: What about other photographers?
Chiara Balza: I really like Nan Goldin, if you search her name in Wikipedia the first line of the page says: “the work of Nan Goldin is inseparable from her life” this is great and I think that there’s nothing to add. There are also many Flickr members that are very talented, a sort of new wave of young photographers that are very innovative. I like this period (photographically speaking!).

DD: Who are your main subjects, and what significance do they hold to you, and your images?
Chiara Balza: I shoot in my everyday life so my main subjects are my friends, my family, the places I visit in my routine, the cities where I live and work. I like to photograph the same person a thousand times. For example, I have many photos of my granny, she is the best model ever, she's so multifaceted.

When you shoot do you have a strong idea in your mind what you want , or do you carry a camera at all times, and see what happens?
 Do you control or stage your images?
Chiara Balza: No I don't control anything, the camera takes life when she wants, even in rare cases where I have a strong idea.

DD: There are strong repetitions in your composition and cropping. Quite often your subjects are viewed from behind or their faces are obscured. What are you symbolising by this?
Chiara Balza: I can't honestly say that I know the meaning of this or if it symbolises something. I think this is just the wish to focus the attention far from the common idea of a portrait, far from eyes wide open and big smiles or sensual, forced and winking faces.

DD: Aside from your images of people there is also a sense of the 'everyday monument' , and 'personal shrines' in your depictions of objects. Is this intentional? What significance do they hold?
Chiara Balza: Well, it’s is always the same with me, I don't generally have an idea of the project and the sense of “everyday” photos have the upper hand. It’s the same with common objects. Common objects and common people are important and wonderful for me.