When I was a child,
the person I’ve used to spend my time the most, was my great grandmother.
My mother was young and was working, and my grandmother was working as a teacher.
So the woman who has given me almost all of her time was my nana Claudia.
She was a tailor, and had this cozy little apartment at the 4th floor of a soviet block. No lift. The coziness of her house was inversely proportional to the ugliness of the block.
I remember “mind-photos” of that place: small kitchen with a awkwardly large window, low hanging wall cabinets ( she was a tiny lady!) , her room, narrow but long and always full of sunlight, with and old wardrobe containing treasures. Large corridor where the telephone was, the living room with an antique mirror and unlimited quantity of books.
She always tried to teach me interesting things, I was ( and am) pretty bad with everything she was good with: sewing, knitting, cooking, quietly sitting. I’ve managed to knit one sock under her careful attention. Just one.
But the thing she was great the most, was telling me stories. I was impressed every time. Everyday it was a different story. Sometimes the stories were brutally real, sometimes reality was transformed in tales, sometimes tales had real people I knew in them.
When I was a grown up she has told me real stories about her life: about her first husband, about how he was on front during WWII and about her, tailoring uniforms for soldiers. About her second husband and about the childhood of my mother and her friends. The strange thing was that even reality was oneiric, villains were super mean, heroes were heroic and girls were princesses in a certain way!
Inspired by all this, I’ve tried to become a writer or a journalist, but have so hardly failed that thought I would never find a way to transmit that specific atmosphere and feel it again.
I was wrong, I’ve found it with photography. I’ve realised I can tell stories too, but not with words, with images. I can create memories, memories of love, memories of tenderness, moments describing a life.
My work is her heritage, that’s why wedding photography is something very personal to me.