Over the last couple of years, I’ve been following the work of Italian photographer Benedetta Falugi and in particular her series A Summer. In it, we share the sometimes unglamorous but always compelling world of La Maremma’s beaches close to her home in Follonica, Tuscany.
A Summer stems from Benedetta’s love of the sea and beach, often visiting alone but always with her camera she started to capture the characters and situations going on all around her. The series has evolved over time as Benedetta has stalked the sand and waters edge season after season conceiving unique and mildly comic moments of everyday life. Beauty and stereotype are ignored in favour of reality. The diversity of her subjects body shape and ages, the unconventional backdrops together with her lizard-eye view all serve to make one feel a strong sense of observation and perspective.
Her use of 35mm film fits perfectly the work, the atmosphere, reproduction and colours “are completely different from digital” and like so many film users she enjoys the discipline of film as opposed to the endless shots that can be taken digitally. Moreover, she especially enjoys the wait. The wait to see what comes back from the lab. “It’s fun to see if something good came out or not, many times it's almost like waiting for a gift from Santa Claus”.
For me, there is an instinctive and natural feel to her work only amplified by the colours and grain of the film, unglamorous maybe but always real and true. I certainly hope to continue enjoying these summer stories of the Tuscan seaside for a few more summers. You can see A Summer and other projects on Benedetta’s website www.benedettafalugi.com.
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