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5 quirky questions with photographer Matteo Cattabriga

Photography time today! For the first time a photographer gets to answer 5 quirky questions!


Curiosity, depth, artistic expression and a talent for capturing the “right moment” are all important ingredients for an excellent documentary photographer. Fortunately this guy has them all!

Matteo Cattabriga is well-known Italian documentary photographer and we figured it would be interesting to hear a little bit about what that means.


Earthquake in Emilia Romagna, 2012

1So let’s start with the normal stuff… why, how and when did you realize that photography was something more than just a hobby? And what does it mean to be a working photo reporter in 2014? where smartphones, social media and everything “instant” has come to replace a lot of the quality that we were used to…

It all started during my first interRail travel when my dad had lent me his old camera (I was 19 so this was way before the digital era) and I realized it was a really good way to discover the world and meet new people. I’ve always been into art so it came natural to me. I’ve been freelancing since 2005 now and I mostly do documentary photography because I like the idea to be able to tell a story with my work. My personal stuff are often long-term projects where I follow and study people or environments for a long timeperiod.
Yeah, Obviously social media has changed the world as we know it and it’s difficult to say what the future will bring to professional photography, but I do think that quality will beat quantity… and there will always be a place for “artistic interpretation”.
I don’t think that there’s is a “crisis” in the world of photojournalism I mean have you noticed how many festivals,competions and exhibitions are being organized nowdays, but I do think that the old way of looking at it is dead R.IP…


Gunshot wounds, Rio de Janeiro, 2009

2Working as a photo reporter means your travel a lot right? where are people the most crazy? Has anything really weird happened to you during a photoshoot?

I always try to be as careful as possible so that I can work saftely but a lot of absurd stuff has happend over the years.. even a lot of funny things, but did get threatened with a pair of scissors by an angry barber once! I usually always ask people before taking a picture to avoid situations like that.
But the most dangerous situation I’ve been in has to be when I was working on a personal project in the Favelas in Brazil and the situation between rival gangs were really tense, it was really close they opend fire… so yeah, that was a difficult situation to handle!


Dead pigeon in the old psychiatric hospital, 2013

2Since you’re Italian, do you agree good food is very important? let’s talk a bit about what you’d eat on a perfect day? I mean to keep you fueled up for an intense day of photographing old people, favelas and whatever..

Well…hehe I don’t know if being Italian means the same thing as eating healthy though. I don’t follow any particular diet but I try to eat as healty as possible since I belive it’s important to stay sane.
I usually eat pasta or rice and a lot of veggies and I don’t drink alcohol. When I have to work I usually don’t eat much maybe some furit or something sweet… I do love sweets…especially if they’re cinnamon flavoured, like cinnamon rolls and such.


View from Nemrut Dağı, Turkey, 2007

2If I was an Editor for a really important magazine what story would you pitch me and why?

Well I’m currently working on a personal project where I want to show the radical cultural and social changes that has occured in the last decenniums in the areas where I grew up.
Where some areas have remained unaltered others have been transformed to the extent that they are now completely unrecognizable.
I’m also working on another project but it’s still in development so at the moment I’d prefer not to say anything about it.


When I was a miner in Belgium, 2010

2So as a serious photographer what do you think about instagram and fake polaroid filter apps? do you use them or are you “to cool for school”? And since we’re on the subject..internet cats? love them or hate them?

I don’t use my smarphone to take pictures just because It doesn’t come natural to me, but everyone is free to do as they please. About them, but “internet cats” ? what are they? (Editor’s Note – if you heard a big noise right now, do not  worry it was only petite curie’s editorial staff that fainted by surprise)


From the series “Journey through the province”, 2013
to contact Matteo write to

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