[Originally posted on September 2008]
Carlotta Manaigo is an emerging fashion photographer, born and raised in Italy. She then went on to study at Rhode Island School of Design, in New York, and moved to the city right after graduation. Over the last few years, she has been working for some of the most cutting edge magazines, such as Dazed & Confused, recently shooting punks and skinhead kids for the Japanese edition, as well as with some of the finest publications such as Vogue Italia and the forthcoming Vogue Homme Japan.
How did you start to work with fashion photography? When did your passion for photography came about?
I took up photography when I finally admitted to myself I was really a lousy drawer. I began taking pictures of my younger brother Antonio, who looks like Tadzio in Death in Venice. I am very sensitive to beauty, I think this brought me to becoming interested in fashion.
What is it like to work for some of the best magazines worldwide and to be a fashion photographer nowadays; can you tell one of your best experiences?
I find every day really exciting. I like the uncertainty of this job, which allows for new projects, travels and new friends. Shooting for Vogue Italia in the Camargue in the middle of winter, surrounded by salt mines and wild horses, was a fun experience.
What would your advice be to any woman fashion photographer starting up today?
To follow their sensibility, don’t get discouraged and keep making great work.
You have also been included in some group art shows lately, would you ever like to pursue an art career?
I would very much like to, and I am still considering. Because you are able to MAKE pictures then.
Who is your favorite photographer and why?
Martina Hoogland Ivanow because her world is pure magic. Ola Rindal because his work is made of light and mist.
How do you find working in New York City? Can you tell us a bit about what’s life there like? Why did you choose to live there in the first place?
Moving to NY simply made sense after graduating, all my friends were moving here. It’s a great city full of opportunities, I strongly believe I wouldn’t have been able to do all I have done if I had gone back to Italy. There is a special energy all around, and the feeling that everything is possible if you believe in it strongly enough.
What would you recommend to do during a weekend out in NY?
I don’t like to go out on weekends, I prefer late week nights when the city is a little more empty and a little more mysterious. So on Saturdays and Sundays I much rather sleep, take walks in the park, go to see stars and animals at the Natural History museum.
What are your personal hobbies and interests?
I enjoy reading, listening to vampire and ghost stories… I would like to play piano again.
What kind of music do you listen to? Does music influences your way of working?
I like music in general, like “Music is my boyfriend” sort of thing. Electric guitars and violins. Any music that makes you listen, daydream, cry. Kate Bush, Radiohead, I listen to Opera really loud. Maria Callas. Yes, it greatly influences the way I experience and feel things around me.
Where do you see yourself in a few years time? Would you ever consider moving back to Italy?
I see myself moving back to Europe, not necessarily to Italy. I would like to have a big family and a house in the countryside, and get my hour of sunshine.