Magnum Photos Workshop Showcase: Angelo Cirrincione

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Earlier this year, Magnum Photos and British Journal of Photography announced a special partnership around education that sees the world’s longest running photography magazine work with the participants of Magnum Photos’ international workshop program to showcase selected portfolios online.

Initiated in 2007 as part of Magnum’s 60th year anniversary celebrations, Magnum’s workshop programs provide opportunities for photographers at different stages in their careers to benefit from the vast experience of Magnum’s established photographers. In November, Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin hosted a workshop in Paris, France. At the end of the one-week event, he selected Angelo Cirrincione’s portfolio to be featured in British Journal of Photography. “I think of all the students work Angelo embraced fully the spirit of the brief and brought back pictures that were carefully seen,” says Franklin. “Angelo produced photographs of fashion show extras at the edge of this popular but somehow ridiculous extravaganza.”


We spoke to Angelo about his experience.

BJP: What is our project story about?

Angelo: It is a project born the same day of the workshop, this idea “Mode à Paris” came to my mind for organisational reasons and I used it as much as I could. I wanted to tell about the world and dimensions of the Paris fashion week-goers, in this case. The idea was different, it was about getting into the events, the catwalk shows, and collecting anthropological undertones that change every year according to the new trends. This fashion  world has become too fast a place to not freeze for a moment and study these trends.

BJP: Why did you choose this particular subject and how did you go about shooting it?

Angelo: A I said above, since I couldn’t get the authorizations to enter this world I focused on the people standing outside and acting a role just if they were inside. I liked to see the emotions of the people brushing against their beloved celebrities for a few seconds, I liked to see totally normal people getting mistaken for celebrities, I liked to see normal people feeling like celebrities and I liked to be a paparazzo for five days. In order to portray all this I used a different photographic technique than what I usually use, I used a focused flash unit like I wanted to say “Look here!”, I wanted to isolate the subject and suspend it among a stream of people, I wanted to give him/her the attention he/she expected to receive.

BJP: Why did you decide to sign up to the Magnum workshop?

Angelo: Well, actually this is my third workshop, I really enjoyed the first two, so I wanted to participate in a third one  because I think the quality of the photographers is beyond doubt, both on a human and a professional level. These experiences have been very useful to me and I highly recommend them.

BJP: How was the experience of learning with Franklin?

Angelo: The experience with Franklin has been very pleasant and full of harmony, we were part of a great team  thanks to our relaxed and professional approach to the staff and vice versa. I learned that you need to move forward long before and carefully if you want to get the authorizations, and that the life of a photojournalist is really busy because you need to work hard to prepare your photoshoot accurately and in a short time.

BJP: What’s the best advice you received from the workshop?

Angelo: To work, to work, to work hard, not to give up and always get a result. This increases your professional competences.

BJP: What are you planning next?

Angelo: I’m working on a social project but it’s still early, I’m still planning it, it’s not the usual work about denunciation, it’s about valuing positive things, telling the good that is done, who does it and the people taking advantage from it. We need positivity! I also have other anthropological projects that require more human and economic resources which I’m hoping to find soon because the ideas are very interesting. I love these long sequential anthropological projects, in fact my project “Lido” has required five years of work and it is a research that today is unique and consists of over 400 unique images.