Freddie Bonfanti is an Italian photographer and film technician, based in London, who has a unique ability to distill an entire personality and character into a captivating single frame.
Although there is a varied selection of fashion and reportage in his portfolio, the magic of Bonfanti’s photography seems to be in his portraits where he is somehow able to capture the mood or feeling of a subject and illustrate a distinct atmosphere in sharp black-and-white tones.
His first zine Eora Country is a collection of street photography shot in Sydney over a two-year period and paints a picture of Australian misfits – from disruptive teens to salty beach bums – in all their raw glory. Published by B-Rad zines, Eora Country launches at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston tonight, March 25, so we caught up with the temperature-taker to find out more.
When and why did you start making zines?
This is my first go at zine-making, really, although I have been wanting to get involved for a while now. As a photographer I feel it’s important to have tangible work at hand: it’s part of the craft. We tend to rely on the internet and digital world too much these days. It’s nice to have something in your hands.
What do you like about the medium?
It’s analogue, it’s print, it’s in your hands.
What’s Eora Country all about?
I was in Australia for two years and I was hooked by the country’s energy, youth and positivity. I felt like hitting the streets and documenting it all. I was interested by its variety and history, by the way people look. There’s great pride amongst them, but a lot of insecurity too. It’s a young nation with a troubled past, coming to terms with it and moving on is difficult.
When were the photos shot and how did you decide to present them together in this way?
The project was shot for a over year around 2012, mainly in black and white. I processed and printed the film myself and kept everything as raw as possible, I don’t like gimmicks or manipulations, I wanted to find the unusual in the ordinary straight in camera and leave it like that.
What do you do for a living and how does zine-making fit into your life?
I’m a photographer and a film lighting gaffer, O constantly go back and forth between photo shoots and film sets, I like the variety. Zine-making has huge potential and it’s something I’ll definitely keep doing in the future.
Have you swapped Eora Country for any other good zines?
Not yet, the launch is tonight so I’ll be looking for some great swaps later on!
What are your favourite zines?
Tough question. Buffalo Zine and Illuminati Girl Gang would be my top two.
You can find out more about the Eora Country launch on the Doomed gallery Facebook page.