Saturday, 18 December 2010

Interview with Sam Scott Schiavo

Please introduce yourself?

A Double Capricorn, a Workaholic but also a Dreamer, Born in Philadelphia, went to Milan to model in the late 80's and stayed in Italy more or less, working as a booker then photographer.
If your life were a film you’d be?
Margo Channing in 'All About Eve', there's always someone standing in the wings to replace you, qualified or not!
The song that makes your heart skip a beat?
'This is Your Life' by Jean Carne
Your favourite kind of pie?
So talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I am an early riser, spend most of the morning answering emails and calls with clients, research for projects, etc., planning productions, castings at agencies I do in the afternoon, love a walk through the city a few times a week. I often spend the evening going over layouts and ideas via emails with the Editor in Chef of CLIENT MAGAZINE where I am Senior Deputy Editor. Maybe a glass of wine with a stylist, client or friends in the early evening.
And going back a few steps, what made you pick up a camera in the first place and begin to start clicking away?
All happened by accident, I always had an eye for composition, styling ...One day a model showed me a horrible test that he had done, I asked him how much money he had thrown away for the photos, he said if I could do better, then to shoot him. I replied that I didn't have a camera ... the next day he showed up with a camera and the rest is history.
You have a wonderful way of photographing a model that really invites the viewer into the picture. The result is often an extremely personal image, as if we might be standing in the same room as the subject, and yet there is still something very high fashion and unattainable about the editorial. That’s just my take of course, so how would you comment on your style and approach to your work?
Well I believe that every picture should tell a story, leave the viewer with an emotion, even a sense of being in the picture, a witness to the scene, a voyeur. Also, it's important that the model, stylist, etc. understand the image that I want and that they are as anxious as I am to achieve the result.
And can you talk me through a typical shoot Sam…? Is it a walk in the park or a day at the Circus?
My shoot's are usually very relaxing, no stress, very spontaneous, great music and very quick, I do not like to waste time, I often work with the same people as they know what I want, and we get it often in the first few frames.
Having worked with a number of easy on the eye gentlemen for various fashion spreads, do you have a favourite male model that you enjoy working with?
Let's say I have a stable of models that it is a mutual admiration society.
What about someone you haven’t worked with… do you have a bucket list of models or personalities that you are *dying* to get in front of your camera lens?
Well recently I was able to shoot two of these models Philipp Bierbaum and Michael Gstoettner and still on my 'want' list Paolo Anchisi, Simon Nessman, Brian Shimansky, Will Lewis and David Gandy.
I have been flicking through a number of editorials that you have shot (research of course) and I am finding it hard to choose a favourite of mine. Might you be able to suggest a favourite of yours from your body of work?
It is also difficult for me, almost like a mother choosing her favourite child ... I would say some of my older editorials in 'THE ROOM', my 'Vodka & Antlers' pic in ATTITUDE and both Midnight Cowboy and especially Scorpio Rising in the recent CLIENT MAGAZINE, Shit! Also 'Sports Heroes' in NAME IT!
Growing up which artists, musicians or photographers inspired you as a young man?
Without a doubt the artists Francis Bacon, Warhol and Basquiat, the photographers Avedon, Penn, Horst, Barbieri and early Weber and growing up all those Motown and Sound of Philadelphia artists left an indelible soundtrack in my mind!
And where would you say your main source of inspiration comes from these days?
Often from cinema, especially Film Noir but also from recollections of my youth.
Would you like to take this opportunity to speak about any projects you might be working on at the moment or have in the pipeline?
I have many projects in preparation for next season, both as editor and photographer including my directorial debut with a short film. Also a CD is being recorded as we speak by a talented female singer in which I wrote the lyrics to many of the songs on the album. I do not want to elaborate too much about my projects as I mentioned there are too many Eve Harrington’s around!
When you aren’t working where are you most happy?
In a typical countryside tavern/restaurant sampling local cuisine and a good local wine with friends, laughing and definitely not taking about business!
If you weren’t a photographer you would probably be?
A restaurant owner or a film director
And to close, looking back over the year, what has been your highlight of twenty-ten?
Ummmmm, there are still 2 weeks left!
Good point, thanks buddy!



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