With Domenico Cennamo

The Locker Room 21 by Domenico Cennamo

FA4M Mag interviews Domenico Cennamo.

FA4M: Why are you a photographer?

DC: It never occurred to me that I could become a photographer – even though my mother was always telling me that this could be my world since I was painting a lot. I always loved to work with images.  That first day, that first day I found myself with a camera I realized that I wanted to express myself with it, and that I could live off that.

FA4M: Where do you find the motivation, the inspiration, to produce the kind of work you do?

DC: For every work, it can be something different that inspires me.  Most of the time I’m working on instinct.  Sometimes I start working with a precise idea, a picture in my mind, but while I am shooting I start having fun with the rest of the team or because of the situation and these are the pictures I keep at the end of the work, without thinking of my original idea. Sometimes it’s the person I have in my camera or the location that takes me in one direction or another.

FA4M: How would you describe your work?

DC: I don’t like to describe my work. I can’t describe it.

FA4M: What is the most satisfying moment of your working process?

DC: The moment I’m shooting.  Having the camera in my hand.  Having something to shoot.  I almost feel like a child playing.

FA4M: Your models have a level of charm and comfort and authenticity and joy too that is uncommon in male photography.  How do you create this energy, this comfort level with your models?

DC: I don’t know if I’m the one to create this atmosphere during the shooting. What I can tell you is that I’m seduced by guys who own these characteristics. I think that beauty is not only a good body or a perfect face, but an attitude. And the right attitude for my models is to be authentic, joyful and comfortable with themselves and the situation. I would never choose a model that acts like a statue or doesn’t interact with the location or the other guys.

One of the other reasons why I think my models are so easy-going during the shooting is that I don’t want any sexual reference in my pictures. It’s just about nudity, acting naturally. If there was anything sexual in the shootings, I’m sure there wouldn’t be any authenticity in it.

The last reason to explain this is simply that I’m joyful.  I like to have fun and I like my work and I never feel any pressure to have to get a result at the end of the day. So the shootings are always very friendly, and this is true when I work with nudes, with fashion or with food.

FA4M: You like to photograph sports boys.  What’s your favorite sport to photograph?  Why?

DC: I don’t have a sport that I’m eager to photograph, but there is a certain kind of sportsman that I like very much. Usually they are guys doing team sports, especially soccer and rugby, both very popular in Italy. These guys have a different spirit. They are very natural, and they have the typical “locker room” behavior that I’m looking for. They are used to being nude by nature with other guys and they don’t think there is anything wrong at it. They feel at ease and it’s easier for them to play in front of my camera. You can see at my pictures that I want this playful atmosphere. Guys who play individual sports rather than team sports are not as accustomed to interacting with others in this way.  The other reason, of course, is that I like the kind of body that soccer and rugby players have – a very healthy body created by game and athleticism rather than a body built artificially.

FA4M: Your compositions have a strong artistic sensibility.  Where does that awareness of composition come from?

DC: I never know how to compose the image. When I organize a shoot, I just have a few models and a location. All the rest is totally intuitive. I’m totally dependent on my intuition. I don’t have to think when I work, I just feel it.

FA4M: What is your definition of beauty?

DC: There’s no definition for it. It’s something you can’t have in your hand, that’s why I go on in searching for it.

FA4M: Is there such a thing as gay art, a gay aesthetic?

DC: There’s no such thing. There’s a gay market but not gay art.

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Fine Art for Men is an international online gallery showcasing the male nude in fine art as well as gay art and homoerotic art while including contemporary artists and collectible vintage works.