Biography

Photo Silvia Campagna

How did you start?

With a very old camera my parents gave me when I was sixteen.
The ludicrous idea was to have a darkroom built in the house’s kitchen.
A friend of mine and I had the brilliant idea.

Studies?

Finance at the Catholic University of Milan.
Along the way I definitely pulled my focus on another target!

When did the game get rough?

I started professionally when I bumped into this photo agency called Publifoto, founded by Vincenzo Carrese. It was around 1968.
From being a reportage photo agency following the trails of world’s beloved Magnum, Pubblifoto started thinking about Industrial photography, and then advertising and ultimately fashion.
With the beginning of advertising photography in those years, Pubblifoto became a crosspoint for the upcoming young talents. Although for the big advertising jobs english photographers were called, to cope with the tasks instead of us.
We were literally left out of the studio. They didn’t want us to see how they worked.
We created “the hole bunch”. We would make a hole in the wall to steal their technics. Closed in a room overlooking through the hole the studio where they would do their secret act. Actually we were in a huge camera watching smaller cameras and I suppose we were the film on which, uncounsciously, they printed their secrets…
I laugh thinking about it…

Why advertising?

Because it is an unlimited experimental field for a young photographer, it challenges all the technical aspects of the job.
I started out in 1972 and I can’t live without it ever since. Still life is my swimming pool, although I do other stuff too.

What has changed since you started?

Well, looking at it, it’s history repeating. Looking back at those years a lot changed, but then again, not much. Let’s say we are into digital now, big leap for photography.
As fierce as the passage from exterior reportage picture to the studio picture with lights.
Different areas of the same. Still eyepiece you need, so to speak. The camera is still there, whether it is digital or analog, taste is all you need. This will never change, I suppose.

Your Location?

Milan, Italian hotspot for advertising and “muse” for my experiments… Cool place.

Your clients?

Barilla, Mulino bianco, Nestlè, Buitoni, Kraft, Cameo, Vicenzi, Mc Donald’s, Knorr, Unilever, Galbani, Granarolo, Latterie dell’Alto Adige, Parmalat, Cirio, Henkel, Ferrero, Condorelli, Bertolli, Rio Mare, Monini, Ballantine, Mutti, Cavit, Rotari, Giovanni Rana, Autogrill, Amadori, Emmentaler, Scholtès, Muller, Burro Giglio, Carapelli, Biosel, Plasmon, Motorola, Birra Moretti, Heineken, Bud, Campari, San.pellegrino, Coca Cola company, Gualtiero Marchesi, Beaume & Mercier, Cartier, Bulgari, Pomellato, De Beers, Crivelli, Panerai, Luxottica, Nicoletti, Alessi, Thun, Rex, Sole 24 Ore, Mondadori, L’Oreal, Krizia profumi, Valentino profumi, Asprey, Artemide, Swarovsky, Bmw, Renault, Gruppo Lactalis.

Which advertising company do you work with?

Leo Burnett, Armando Testa, Ogilvy, Publicis, Dadda Lorenzini Vigorelli, Saatchi & Saatchi, Ddb, Young & Rubicam, Mc Cann Erickson, Jwt, Bates, Lowe, La scuola di Emanuele Pirella, Bcube, Tbwa, Eurorscg, Fcb, Milano e Gray, Goettsche, In ADV, Hmc, Rba, Robilant & associati, Adart.

Your exhibitions?

  • San Fedele – Milano
  • La belle Aurore – Milano
  • Foyer Teatro Comunale di Casale Monferrato

What would you have been if not a Photographer?

I guess I would have loved to be a camera.

INTERVIEW BY
Teresa Marchesi film critic RAI TV

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