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SAVERIO CARDIA: the interview

Posted on: 2011/05/02

 SC: Change can't happen if you don't really feel it !

 Florian Van Bael @WHY NOT


Thomas Hoefnagels @ELITE

PR: Mr. Cardia, welcome to Pony Ryder... We have to start with the most expected question - when and how did you start working as a photographer?

SAVERIO CARDIA: I use to put the beginning date when I jumped into the Slurp office introducing myself and 2 days after I was shooting my first editorial for the first issue. It was 2007.

PR: Has your work changed dramatically since you first started? Have you ever tried recreating one of your earlier images, trying to improve or modify and old idea?
SAVERIO CARDIA: My work is always in motion even if sometimes it's a slow motion... It depends on what I feel. 

I think change can't happen if you don't really feel it. 

I tried a couple of time but I must tell that modifying or improving doesn’t work with me ‘cos I always think that there's something fake. Like when I shoot in color and then I convert the picture in black and white. I feel so strange ‘cos that picture was taken in color and so that was the right one. The first one. I don't feel comfortable with changes.   

PR: Congratulations on the Spring/Summer cover of Client Magazine! Your image of Sean O'Pry is very captivating and strong. Is Sean one of your favorite and most inspirational models? We still remember the moment when we first saw his polaroids! When was the first time you saw him and met him?
SAVERIO CARDIA: Sean is my muse. He's such a great model, absolutely handsome and so confident with himself. The first time we met was at an agency dinner in Milan. Then we worked one year or a bit more later for the first time. Actually we shot three times and for three different magazine covers. He's not just a poser, he's used to acting in front of the camera and shooting him is like being somewhere else and not there. He's got that old movie actor attitude. I can admit that he helped me a lot to start my career. 
I love my dude Sean.

Jon Kortajarena @ I LOVE & Ash @ Why Not

PR: Your stunning clean images work perfectly both for new faces and superstars like Jon Kortajarena, Patrick Kafka, Simon Nessman, Josh Beech... Even if the final images are equally beautiful, is there a difference between photographing a new face and an established superstar?
SAVERIO CARDIA: It depends. Sometimes new faces can give you much more then a super model. For example, with Jon it was so easy ‘cos he's great but when I shot him he was already a top model full of experience. 
Some models are aggressive posers, some others are silent and static and it depends on their mood. Of course experience helps a lot but that's not the rule. You never know what's gonna happen with models.

Noah Mills @WHY NOT styling Ivan Bontchev

PR: Is there more pressure from the editors and the agencies when you're shooting a top model, or a new face?
SAVERIO CARDIA: The only time I felt under pressure was when I shot Noah Mills. He's the  first top model I've ever shot. I was nervous and I didn't have much time for the shooting. But the pressure depended on me and no one else... Fortunately I've got a great relationship with all the model agencies because they know my work and they all trust me if I shoot a top model or a new face.

PR: Do you take a different approach depending on the model, or does the model's experience make the difference?
SAVERIO CARDIA: It depends on the models, as I said. I let myself feel their attitude. I try to go deep inside them and so I can capture the best that they can give. In other cases the model starts moving and if I like the way he does it I start following him and telling just a few suggestions.

Robert Perovich @ why not

PR: Your images are often shot in black and white.... Do you shoot digital or film?

SAVERIO CARDIA: I'm shooting digital at the moment and, as I said, I shoot straight in black and white if I see that picture in black and white. A few times I can convert them.

PR: In your case, do male and female models need different lighting and retouching?
SAVERIO CARDIA: I like not to retouch too much the skin in both cases. I often shoot models without make up but female models obviously need it most of the time.

Sean O'Pry @VNY styling Emil Rebek

PR: Are male models sometime too difficult and demanding, acting like "divas"? How do you deal with the wrong attitude... have you every sent somebody home?
SAVERIO CARDIA: That happens with Italian models sometimes. They're like "I'm the model" and that's embarrassing.  I always tell clearly what I absolutely don't want and try to do my best, but I've never sent somebody home. I think that with the right energy you can always find a way.

PR: Even if we've noticed you shoot boys more often, we have to ask - who is your favorite female model? What about a new face that we should keep an eye one?
SAVERIO CARDIA: Actually I'm in love with Daphne Groeneveld, Abbey Lee Kershaw and Rosie Huntington Whiteley. I recommend Aymeline Valade as one of the best new faces and a special eye on Alina Ilie.

Marie-Helene McCormack @Beatrice
PR: From what we've noticed, you are one of the few established photographers who also shoot tests sometimes. How do you select models for a test shoot? Is it also a good casting process for your next big editorial?
SAVERIO CARDIA: I go on doing tests when the agencies ask me to. I shoot just the models I like. I like helping and collaborate with my booker friends and that become kinda a casting every time I go to the agency. 

PR: Who is in your team most often ?
SAVERIO CARDIA: If I work with them it means I like what they do. I don't feel like saying who my favorite ones are. I can just tell you that I'm loving my last collaboration with the stylist Emil Rebek.

Sebastian Sauve @WHY NOT
PR: Do you spend most of your time in Milan, or do you travel often?
SAVERIO CARDIA: I spend most of my time in Milan because I was also as a teacher at Marangoni fashion school but when I have some time I like to fly somewhere.

PR: What are your plans for 2011?
SAVERIO CARDIA: Doing better then 2010 and go to the gym!

PR: Best of luck!

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