A Passionate Pursuer of Art and Engineering Excellence
By Guillaume Jean Lefebvre
Vincenzo Mattei, an Italian native, is a name that resonates with the fusion of creativity and precision. Born in the heart of Rome, in the charming Trastevere neighborhood, he embarked on a journey that seamlessly wove together his love for art and the rigor of engineering.
In his formative years, Vincenzo experienced a serene childhood within a close-knit family, sharing cherished moments with a younger brother and sister. These early familial bonds instilled in him a deep appreciation for simplicity and the value of lasting connections.
While nurturing his academic pursuits, Vincenzo always found time to cultivate his passions. His dedication to sports and the captivating world of photography grew steadily alongside his studies and professional endeavors. With unwavering commitment, he honed his skills and crafted his unique artistic perspective.
Vincenzo's first foray into the world of photography began during his university years, driven by the desire to fund his leisure activities. He joined a photography studio specializing in capturing the magic of wedding moments. This initial step marked the inception of a remarkable journey in the world of visual storytelling.
Armed with a degree in civil construction engineering, Vincenzo combined his technical acumen with his artistic sensibilities to create a distinctive approach to his work. While engineering demanded meticulous preparation and attention to detail, his photography thrived on evoking emotions rather than relying solely on technique.
Throughout his professional career, Vincenzo explored various genres of photography, often interwoven with his other passions. His lens journeyed through architectural marvels, exotic travel destinations, the depths of underwater worlds, and the captivating realms of portrait and fashion/glamour photography.
Vincenzo takes immense pride in his ability to infuse his work with a sense of joy and narrative depth. His naturalistic and glamour shots transcend mere images, telling stories that linger in the hearts of viewers. Over the years, he has graced the pages of numerous specialized magazines with his evocative editorials, spanning diverse domains.
Balancing a bustling professional life with personal commitments, Vincenzo's work often took him far from the cobblestone streets of his beloved Rome. Yet, he managed to maintain a delicate equilibrium, safeguarding the values that matter most to him.
As he looks to the future, Vincenzo aspires to carve out even more space for his passions and revel in the sheer joy they bring. His vision includes exciting collaborations with tourist organizations, such as photosub ventures, and commercial brands, particularly within the realms of fashion and glamour.
Vincenzo Mattei's desire is simple yet profound: to be perceived as a person of integrity, competence, flair, and boundless passion. His journey embodies the harmonious blend of engineering precision and artistic expression, making him a truly remarkable figure in both worlds.
1. Can you tell us more about your journey in becoming a professional photographer while pursuing a degree in civil construction engineering? How did you manage to balance both fields effectively?
I have always considered photography more as a passion than a job. Only during my university studies was photography - and in particular wedding photography - the main source of income that allowed me to gain some satisfaction before starting my profession as an engineer. Subsequently, I was able to dedicate myself to deepening my experience as a photographer in various genres, without the need to sell my photographs.
2. You mentioned a passion for architecture and travel photography. Could you share some of the most memorable locations you've photographed and the stories behind those shots?
Every trip can remain memorable; it depends on the period of life in which it is done, on the people who accompany you, or on those you know locally, and taking photographs certainly helps you remember better. Among all, I can mention the nature and underwater trips to the Maldives or Malaysia, African safaris, or the always exciting visits to New York, where I love to practice "street" and architecture photography. Also, those closer to my country in the splendid European capitals, with the charm of history and culture that create infinite suggestions, including photographic ones. However, I can say that when I often travel in Italy, I also find "at home" wonderful and unforgettable places to keep in my heart and in my hard drives.
3. As someone who practices different genres of photography, what challenges do you face in switching between naturalistic shots and glamour photography, and how do you adapt your approach accordingly?
The passion for beauty, in all its expressions, is the common thread that keeps me linked to photography. It can therefore be said that the different genres that I practice are not in conflict with each other, and once I have prepared the specific technique and equipment, I easily apply it to my research. Obviously, underwater photography is a very particular field, and to practice it, I had to prepare myself with professional courses. However, once I am ready to face the sea with confidence, photographing underwater or terrestrial beauties does not make much difference.
Photographer: Vincenzo Mattei - @vincenzo_mattei_phglam
Model: Nicole Vincenti - @sadiegraymodel
Photo Studio: Massimiliano Uccelletti - @maxu_it
4. You've achieved success in publishing editorials in specialized magazines. Can you elaborate on the stories or themes you aim to convey through your photographic work, particularly in the editorial context?
Publishing my shots is a way to share my passions with the public and acquire new elements of discussion and insight into my work. So every time I visit an interesting underwater site or organize a fashion or glamorous set that I'm passionate about, I try to propose it to specialized magazines who often appreciate my proposals. However, the main theme is always that of the emotion that beauty arouses.
5. Traveling extensively for work can be demanding. How do you maintain creativity and enthusiasm for your craft while constantly being on the move?
Movement is life, and a continuous source of inspiration. Traveling with passion and curiosity generates energy and always creates new opportunities for personal knowledge or ideas for interesting projects. Obviously, the critical issue is the time available, and unfortunately, there is little to do there: it flows inexorably, and you have to live it with a balance between necessity and leisure.
6. Collaborating with tourist organizations and commercial brands is on your radar. Could you share your vision for these collaborations and how they align with your photography style and philosophy?
As time passes, I hope to be able to dedicate more space to my project of "capturing the emotion of beauty" and find commercial entities interested in the results of my work. On the other hand, putting the natural beauty of a location or the charm of a dress or lingerie in the right light is the basis for advertising them.
7. Could you describe a particularly challenging or rewarding project you've worked on in your photography career and the lessons you've learned from it?
I don't have a special project to talk about, but I like to focus on the paths that lead to successful projects. In whatever field I have ventured into, I have always started with an in-depth study of the specific technique of that sector and the particular equipment to practice it. It is a process that can last even years. Immediately afterward, however, I always tried to put the technique in the background to make room for the emotion and passion for what you want to convey with photography. For me, an important editorial is not the one with the most "perfect" photographs, but the one that conveys the most stories and emotions.
8. Your approach prioritizes emotion over technique. Can you share an example of how this approach has influenced the outcome of a specific photoshoot or project?
I want to answer with an example. To photograph sharks, you must have specific training ranging from the ability to stay at ease in the water even in extreme conditions to knowledge of the animals and ways of approaching them. What distinguishes an exceptional photograph is the emotion that the shot transmits, which is not the natural consequence of having done everything well from a technical point of view but the ability to capture a particular act or even an instinctive thought of the animal. In analogy, to obtain an exceptional glamour photograph, it is not enough to have a beautiful girl or an exclusive location or to position the lights well, but you must have the luck and ability to capture a special look, a thought, or an emotion of the model.
9. With your background in engineering and photography, do you find any intersections or common principles between the two fields that have influenced your creative process or problem-solving abilities?
Being an engineer helped me in the study of photographic technique, in the meticulous planning of sets, and in the ability to methodically search for solutions to various problems. But true photography is art, and it is not enough to have a profession; it is a skill that is not acquired over time: you need to have creativity and genius within. So I'm happy with being a good engineer and a good photographer even if I'm not an artist.
10. Looking ahead, what steps or strategies do you plan to employ to further your career in both engineering and photography simultaneously?
In my future, given my age, I see less and less space for engineering and more time for
photography, so the problem of overlap does not arise too much (which I faced for many years in the past). My strategy is, therefore, very simple: to seek more and more free time to develop my passions and, in particular, photography, to share with collaborators I respect and with those who admire the results of my commitment.
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