Crush: intense intimacy with photographer Bettina Pittaluga

Bettina pittaluga AMV

From the pages of M le Monde to those of Vanity Fair by way of art galleries, Parisian photographer Bettina Pittaluga offers us photos steeped in sensitivity. A way of sharing her vision of the world.

How would you define your approach to photography?

I consider myself a photographer, but not necessarily an artist. I like everything that is connected to images, which is why I also make videos. When it comes down to it, what I’m most interested in and moved by is humans. My work unites emotions, sensitivity, lights, colours and staging.

What are your favourite themes?

In line with my values, I like to showcase people whom our societies tend to overlook. My power is to photograph everyone, regardless of their size, gender or skin colour… I also fight against the objectification of individuals, especially women. A body is neither a coatrack nor an object.

How do you find your models?

By following my instinct! Sometimes it’s obvious: it might happen in the street, in a supermarket, but also on Instagram. It took years for me to build up the confidence to ask someone if I could photograph them. I also love taking photos of my friends and family, who are huge sources of inspiration.

Your latest commissions that made an impact on you?

My work for M le Monde, for whom I shot the artistic director of Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Off the top of my head, I would also mention the portrait I did of Laure Adler for Vanity Fair. Women I greatly admire and respect.

Do you use analogue photography?

Yes, exclusively. In medium format, often a Pentax. When I can, I develop my own photos. With analogue, there’s a rather strong relationship to time. For example, I can’t show the model or the client what I just shot. They have to wait and trust me. I need this incompressible development time to edit my photos, choose them, digest them, build my subject. Also, the sensitivity is completely different. In a lab, I can have access to truer colours. “Truer”: that’s really the word. It’s the best way to be able to control my colours, my light, my prints. It’s incredible. And film is a physical, material thing. You can touch it. You can organise it.

Which photographers and artists inspire you?

There are so many! I love the work of Joel Meyerowitz, for example. But also, Alec Soth, Mary Ellen Mark, Nan Goldin, Dorothea Lange and Jane Evelyn Atwood. I like their sensitivity. When I look at their work, I feel sensations, emotions. It’s human, warm, moving and beautiful.

Your future projects?

I have two exhibitions planned. The first with the Palm Studio Prize in London. This will take place at the East Photographic Gallery as of 14 November. And another starting on 30 October with Vogue Italia in the Porta Venezia Park in Milan, amongst a selection of 30 artists. I am delighted to be one of them.