Tommaso Biagetti, aka FOTODI? just released the second issue of his fanzine featuring 200 photos captured on film -- some of them even taken with the LomoChrome Metropolis film -- and shares to us the bits of his fanzine-making and a glimpse of the contemporary Italian music scene.
Who's behind FOTODI? and what is the meaning behind the name?
Behind FOTODI? there's Tommaso Biagetti, a guy who, at one point in his life realized that he wanted music to become his main occupation, so he quit everything and jumped headfirst off a cliff.
Photography has grown hand in hand with the creative work I was doing with artists and the name comes from my early days: at the time when the first photos were published on some artists' Instagram profiles, people were not used to tagging the photographer (back in 2017) and this thing really pissed me off. Banana (Coez's DJ), under each photo used to comment "Fotodi?" which means "Photo by?" and used to tag random celebrities like Obama or Britney Spears. Eventually, this thing stuck with me and became my nickname. (Afterward, adding the photographers' tags, became a habit haha).
In the first edition of FANZINEDI? you unveiled unpublished photos of artists from the Italian indie and rap scene: what can we expect from this new issue?
The first fanzine was the seed of everything that came after. In this new edition, in addition to two years of photographs, there is the whole path and personal study that I did; not only on analogue photography but also on graphics and layout. I started out not knowing how to do anything and I ended up creating myself the layout of an 88-page fanzine.
Where did the idea of creating a fanzine in this digital age come from?
Digital things could suddenly disappear, it just takes a hacker or a bug for example. So I wanted to create something tangible, plus, I'm really a big fan of all things paper.
Tell us about your photography background. What's your story?
As I mentioned before, my photography background developed hand in hand with music. After the video of "Colpa del Vino" by Frah Quintale, I started shooting with analogue cameras, photographing everything I was experiencing. The first official project I did was the cover photo for Coez's single "Faccio un Casino", shot in his old house in Milan. I was a beginner there but thanks to the trust I received after this project I kept taking photos.
For some time now you have been working on the communication and art direction for artists of the Italian indie and rap scene, to name a few Coez, Frah Quintale and many others, who, over time, have also become friends. Where did the idea of photographing them in everyday situations come from?
New photos are always needed every time there is an official release for a single or an album, during a tour and in general for Instagram. So it goes without saying that every time we're together, it's a good opportunity for me to take photos. We never liked photos that were too much posed, we prefer natural shots. So over time, the daily life shots became our style and trademark.
What kind of photographic equipment do you always carry with you?
I always carry a couple of cameras with me (mainly a Contax T2 and another one that I choose depending on the situation), because if one of them should leave me on the spot, I have a spare one. Plus, I always have a new roll of film in my fanny pack and a spare battery.
Will you ever start shooting digital?
I admire many photographers who make beautiful digital shots and manage to create their own very personal trademark. Personally, I believe I was simply born with analogue photography and every time I pick up a digital camera I feel like I lose all my powers. That said, never say never, but at the moment I don't see it as my path.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I do a lot of research. I always buy magazines like 032c, Highsnobiety, i-D and I also use a lot both Pinterest and Instagram. I save anything I like and then pull it out when I need inspiration for a new project.
Is there a photographer you particularly like?
I really like some of Dexter Navy's and Frank Lebon's works because, in addition to taking beautiful photos, they also have a mega stylish, personal and creative way of presenting and posting them, which is the key for me.
Among other things, you are also part of the record label Undamento: how do you think the post covid music scene will change?
We can say that it has already changed. Almost all the big artists have totally paused and are not releasing any records. The fact that is not possible to play live has stopped everything because releasing music now is a big risk. When everything will start moving once again, the balance that existed before will be completely changed, and all the security that the so-called big had, will no longer be there. It will be necessary to start from the bottom, and who will understand it first, will go up faster.
Who are the up-and-coming Italian artists we should be keeping an eye on?
Definitely Laila Al Habash: she's the newest project I'm working on and I'm very happy with what we're creating together.
What's next for you in the future? Any interesting projects or collaborations planned?
I'm definitely going to do a reprint of the fanzine now because the first one is already sold out. Then I've got a year's worth of photos saved up and I'm going to start working on the third fanzine. And finally, I'd like to do CULTO MAG, which is a magazine where I can bring together all the artists, illustrators and photographers who are kicking ass and make a sort of independent magazine. Is it too much?