This book of the months photo book is chosen for its documentation of what it means to be a photographer, and anyone who aspires to be a photographer, this is the lifestyle your aiming for. It’s Studio and it’s by Paolo Roversi.
I picked this book from the library shelf for one main reason; I was drawn to the fact it has black pages. You might find that strange, but photo books tend to be only white. So I was drawn to know why Roversi uses black paper to frame the images in his book.
The layout is incredibly strong and it really makes the images be framed and more visually impacting than if they were perhaps white or set out in a range of layouts. Roversi also leaves blank pages within the book, time for the viewer to intake the work and create an opinion, but also creating a level of intensity. Every image is the same size, placed on the right side of the page, and sometimes on the left hand side too depending on the body of work. That’s another thing, it seems almost like a portfolio. Within the book there are different sections of Roversi’s body’s of work, and it makes the book seem more important and more like an artefact. This mix between close up portraits and full-length nude’s really show off the beauty that the human body possess.
However, the most fascinating part of this book for me was definitely seeing his way of life, and the environment he works in. It’s every aspiring photographers dream. It’s really interesting the way Roversi contrasts images of his portraiture with photographs of his workspace. It’s a successful way of combining the two together, creating a very visual platform for the viewer to see the photographer in full.
There’s one image that really stood out for me. It’s a photograph of Roversi’s notes from a shoot. Its so fascinating the fact these notes were never meant to be seen, but yet they are important when shooting and shows his thought process that he goes through; what shutter speed he uses, angles that appeal to him. He also shows images of his chairs stacked up high, a wooden bench smothered with equipment, sheets hung up to create blank canvas’s and various cameras that he uses. All items that are so necessary and important when producing these images, yet they are never photographed. This makes me beg the question why are they not? This relic’s should be documented and shown in full.
Its also really intriguing that Roversi choses to include a short written piece at the front. It creates a personal connection between the photographer and the viewer. And it begs the question whether or not this connection is needed more within bodies of work. Its nice that he includes some Italian as this furthers this bond with the viewer and the images become alive with this ‘Italian-ness’. ‘Ai miei bambini, grandi e piccoli’, meaning my children, big and small. Showing that his life is not only these tiny little beautiful images but also his studio. Everything he lives for is contained in one book. He also goes on to talk about the room in a very theatrical and romanticized way, particularly when he compares it to a stage and the images are, to him, considered to holy, ‘Every photograph enters the world as a sign of hope’.
If you’re looking for a photo book that screams a photographer’s life, as well as some remarkable portraits then this is the book for you. It’s unique, inspiring and stunning. Check it out now!