A conversation with black-and-white photographer John Ciamillo about his working methods and mixing portrait and street photography.
Words: Ger Ger Images: John Ciamillo
"My favorite part of a woman's body is her hair. I'm always looking for people with great hair, whether it's really nicely taken care of or a dirty mess."
Ciamillo solely works with film: Kodak Tri-X 400 processed in XTOL.
"Most of my models are friends or just out in the world. [I'm] basically street casting everyday people going about their lives."
"The cameras are always out and in use. Everyday is different, sometimes I have a specific place or area I would like to explore, other times I'll just wander around wherever I am looking for nice light."
"I take photographs all the time. How I would feel about not taking pictures for weeks or months? Lost. It's how I view the world. I see pictures everywhere and try to capture them as they happen."
If I'm traveling, I'm out the door early and make my way through the world photographing. Usually, I'm taking a break for lunch while the light is bad and I'm back at it in the afternoon until sunset."
"I photograph a lot and generally let time pass before I process film and edit contact sheets. I don't want to let my emotions about a picture get in the way of selecting a photograph I'm just emotionally attached to because of the way I felt taking it."
"I'm always trying new things while photographing. In terms of exposure and darkroom work, I rarely stray from my formula. I have it worked out to give me the best negative for a nice print."
"I really love to watch people going about their everyday lives. I also find my inspiration in traveling. I just visited Japan for the first time this fall and would really love to return for a longer stay to further explore."
"Beauty for me is nice light. My favorite season is fall."
What intimacy means to me? Being completely open with another person."
— John Ciamillo