July 18, 2014
Being born just outside of Rome and having lived in Brooklyn before, photographer Ilenia Martini now enjoys the more relaxed Berlin lifestyle. “The people, the streets, the architecture, everything got my attention and not in the superficial ‘I’d like to be back’ kind of way, I was in awe.”
Beginnings are always the hardest part, as usual. Let’s start from Italy then. I am originally from a town just outside of Rome, I was born and raised there. Soon after high school I started experimenting with Europe and the creative fields. I moved to London where I studied Media and that’s when I started pursuing photography. One of my roommates gifted me of an old film camera needing some serious repair. I paid for the repairs by helping at a photographer’s studio in my neighborhood, that’s how I started to get real serious about it.
But now let’s take a step back. I grew up with my dad being glued to his photo and video cameras, I’d love to see the way he’d document our daily lives in film and 16mm. To my eyes, it was pure art. Years after I’d find myself putting together the projector and watching all those silent films and looking through the highly saturated scans of my childhood. I slowly started doing the same thing by documenting everything on film. The faces of the people I’d meet and my friends. London was a wonderful background to do so but New York was always in the back of my mind, it was the city I’d always wanted to be.
I moved there soon after and I studied filmmaking, more precisely, Direction of Photography. I lived there for a little over six years. My passion for photography evolved and my business started growing finding Brooklyn to be my home. I worked for wonderful people, learned about the industry and made some wonderful friends. Back in October I had to fly to the UK for a couple of working projects and to renew my Visa. When in Scotland, I was invited to visit a dear friend in Berlin to be part of a collaborative project. That’s when I visited Berlin for the first time in my life.
The people, the streets, the architecture, everything got my attention and not in the superficial ‘I’d like to be back’ kind of way, I was in awe. I can say that I started falling in love with all things Berlin. The combination of colors, the people and the attitude made it a wonderful place for me to be in. I started meeting new people and working on new projects and collaborations like it’s the most natural thing to do. I feel inspired by the diversity and by the openness of its inhabitants, you could go out for coffee and start talking with the person next to you and find artists from all over the world and that’s how it all begins.
As a photographer more then ever I feel the need to create, explore, and I love to get lost in its streets, to admire the classic elegance beside the innovation of the buildings, the nature that integrates gracefully through the shapes and colors, in secret gardens or over blooming balconies. The creativity that continuously shows itself, from a tiny café carefully designed to an independent shop of greetings cards. I try to capture all this beauty and energy and feelings, and to document them through the images and words on my instagram and blog. Being a lifestyle and interiors photographer I find Berlin to be an endless source of creative inspiration and I’m excited to just ride the wave and see where it leads to because, well, I feel like this city loves me back!