Interview with Marco Cheli; Published in our printed edition #16

I think that Dodho provides a fantastic opportunity for those who want to be recognized by an informed public and by their peers. Seeing my work in the pages of Dodho, well, it is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me, and I have photography to thank for it.

Marco Cheli was born in Siena in the end of seventies. His passion for photography grew up slowly through years spent working as graphic designer and he starts using a reflex with the desire of tell stories.

“Fortza Pàris” portrays the dream of becoming a jockey of the Palio of Siena. “The Palio is as hard as bread with seven crusts”, so said Salvatore Ladu, aka “Cianchino”. A jockey born in Bono and winner of 7 Palio races, he is the idol of a generation of Sardinians who were ready to bite into that bread, fully aware that the harder it was, the greater the glory would be the day that they too would ride in the Piazza del Campo. [Official Website][Printed Edition][Digital Edition]

Tell us about yourself. Who is Marco Cheli and what is he all about? Did you discover photography, or did it find you? What was it that captivated you from the beginning? In short, what does photography mean to you?

I am a graphic designer, even though my education prepared me for the world of accountancy. It was thanks to graphic design that I discovered photography, but perhaps instead it discovered me. For years I handled, selected, framed, and created layouts for professional photographs, until I began to ask myself how and why such photos came to be. What struck me immediately was the narrative potential this medium had and so I decided that I would try and tell stories with it. I think that photography has considerable influence in our society today, especially when we use it conscientiously or as a means to contribute to fields such as anthropology or sociology.

You are, in addition to being a photographer, a graphic designer. If you had to choose between these two fields, in which direction would you lean? How do these disciplines complement each other in your work?

At the moment, graphic design pays the bills. It’s a job, but a wonderful job in which you can excel if you have the passion and aptitude for it. However, it is not an outlet for one’s artistic abilities. A good graphic designer is one who follows the client’s specifications, translating them into effective messages for a target audience. If the finished product leaves room for interpretation, then it’s not a job well done. Photography, however, is a world I can lose myself in, one that is all my own where I can express myself without having to comply with clients’ requirements or adhere to briefs. I’m pursuing both paths concurrently, although I realize that my experience as a graphic designer greatly influences the composition of each shot because I’m always searching for patterns and balance. When light and contrast allow, I see the frame as a graphic layout and even visualize blocks of text in empty spaces. I am enamoured of the Cartier-Bresson theory, but the decisive moment must be contextualized within an aesthetically pleasing setting.

“Fortza Pàris” describes the professional life of five young people who try to join the ranks of the best riders of the Palio di Siena. What inspired you to undertake this project? Why did you want to tell the story? Tell us a bit about your experience.

I’m Italian; I was born in Siena and have lived here for all of my 42 years. The Palio is a fundamental part of my culture and way of life. For some time I’ve been unhappy with the way that our world has been represented. I realized that what was being transmitted was only a small part of what the Palio really is, and those images were often stereotypical or obsolete. The Palio of Siena is not just a horserace, nor is it simply a historical reenactment. It is the culture of a people, it is tradition, it is a microcosm that has continued uninterrupted for centuries. I simply changed the point of view so that I could convey it in a way that no one else had done before. It was relatively easy because I was working in a world I know incredibly well and so had no problems getting certain doors to open.

As you already know, one of our favourite photographs of “Fortza Pàris” is that of the young rider lifted up after his victory. This image transmits passion, commitment, hard work; it is a portrayal of triumph. What do you hope that people will take away from this project?

Funnily enough, the photo you’re referring to isn’t one of my favourites, and during the first editing phase it was relegated to the “no” pile. The credit must go to Loredana De Pace, my photo consultant, who as soon as she took on the project breathed new life into it, giving form to all that you see, appreciating images to which I had, wrongly, granted little importance. Putting myself in the hands of a professional was certainly the right choice because it allowed me to improve the quality of the project in a way that I would have been incapable of otherwise. It takes humility to understand that we can’t do everything on our own and that we may lack certain skills; having someone to collaborate with is essential.

I met Loredana during a portfolio viewing. I singled her out of a number of possible mentors because she immediately responded well to my work. I was struck by her approach; she was respectful, decisive, and, above all, professional. We were on the same page from the start. It was she who encouraged me to present my work to Parallelozero (www.parallelozero.com), the agency which is now promoting “Fortza Pàris”. This is how I have chosen to publicize the project, even to those who view the Palio of Siena as merely a historical performance. The reality, as you can see, is that it contains a world that has been preserved for centuries.

You are a person who has travelled to different countries to take pictures. Why this desire to communicate what you think is important? Would you say that it is more important to improvise or to plan to capture a specific moment?

Travel photography was really the first step into the world of photography. I just combined my two passions – travel and my SLR. Now when I go anywhere it’s unthinkable that I should do so without my equipment. I don’t travel just to take photos, but the two do go hand in hand. Indeed, my travel stories are not proper projects with a particular focus, but rather unpretentious chronicles with an aesthetic focus.

Improvising will only get you so far, unless you are extremely lucky. You need to be ready to capture the moment, but you can only do this if you know what you’re looking for. When I plan a trip I spend a lot of time studying the customs and cultural aspects of the country I will be a guest in, even if I’ll only be there for a short while. Conducting yourself well and being respectful are always paramount. I also really enjoy connecting with my subjects. I would never take someone’s portrait without having first exchanged a few words with them, and even when I gain access to a particular location or situation, I never do so in a furtive manner.

How do you know when you’ve got a good photo? In your opinion, what ingredients does a photograph need to transmit emotion and communicate with the viewer?

A good photo is one that makes you want to see what happens next.

What was the strangest thing that ever happened to you while taking a photo? And what was the most poignant?

I was in Warsaw on the day commemorating the Ghetto Uprising. I saw an elderly gentleman accompanied by his son walking along the street, and I noticed his red armband. I approached to say hello and to ask him what it symbolized (even though I already knew); this was of course an excuse to take his portrait. He was one of the last surviving members of the revolt, he told me with tears in his eyes, and after ten minutes it was he who asked me to take his photograph!

What equipment do you usually use? What do you normally carry in your backpack?

I do everything with my Sony Alpha and 35mm camera. I adore this lens because it forces me to move, to enter right into the scene, and, most importantly, use my head.

Digital technology has brought along with it an obsessive pursuit of image quality. I know I’m not as technically proficient as some because I have never been as interested in megapixels, filters, or shutter speed. A photograph must evoke an emotion and I prefer an imperfect image taken thoughtfully to one that is technically perfect but devoid of content.

Marco, what do you think of the current situation, the ubiquity of photography and the difficulties professionals have in making a living? How does social media impact the work of photographers? Do you think these platforms are harmful, or can they be a vehicle to make a name for yourself?

I think professional photography is going through a transitional phase. It’s following painting, in that people once painted for decorative purposes or were commissioned for portraiture, but with the arrival of photography, painting became a means for expressing oneself. Here the same thing is happening. Photography is now an art form in all respects, and as you know, it’s difficult to make a living as an artist, especially when the competition is as stiff as it is today. Things have only intensified with the advent of digital photography, where everything is much easier, faster, and less costly, leading to a decline in the quality of work. I’m discovering this in my professional field as well, that of graphic design, where what I see as the essential processes related to typography and printing are being bypassed. Over time I’ve also learned to limit my use of social media. I only go on Facebook to follow groups I’m interested in, but I’m giving up on Instagram because it has become, in my opinion, no more than a photo popularity contest, judged by people who have no expertise in the medium.

Marco, what are your plans for the future?

My future projects involve taking a step back in time. I have recently embraced analogue photography and I’ve been experimenting with a completely different way of shooting. I’ve also realized the importance of the darkroom process, which allows you to produce a tangible and unique piece. I think I’m on the right path to enhancing my personal and, dare I say, artistic style in my photojournalism projects.

For now I do see reportage as the way to go. I have a great desire to communicate visually and am constantly looking for interesting stories to relate via images that make an impact not only for their content but also for their aesthetic value.

Finally, the obligatory question: what do you think of our magazine?

I think that Dodho provides a fantastic opportunity for those who want to be recognized by an informed public and by their peers. Seeing my work in the pages of Dodho, well, it is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me, and I have photography to thank for it.

Maria Oliva

Since 2016 she is director of marketing and responsible for content. She began her career at an early age in the world of image and design. Involved in the constant pursuit of talent she is responsible for the Dodho Magazine success.With a gift and experience more than proven in her field, she maintains relations with the best agencies and publishers to promote the photographers careers published in Dodho, responsible to some extent of the rapid success that Dodho Magazine has had in the world photography industry.

More Stories

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Boxing; Muay Thai kids by Alain Schroeder

Muay Thai kids project was selected and published in our print edition 19. Far from Thailand’s iconic tourist destinations, Isaan, the kingdom’s largest region, reaches north and east to the borders of Laos and Cambodia.
Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

Spirit of India by Jacque Rupp

India has always held a special place in my heart. My first visit was during an extremely difficult period in my life, as my husband had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness. 
Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

Fotopoesie: The backstage story of a photo book

An image only makes sense if it "sees the light" and if it is seen by someone. Otherwise it would be just a visual thought. In my opinion, the best way to bring an image to life is through a book.

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN
Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

Nude Portraits by Martin Zurmühle

My specialty in nude photography is landscape nudes in beautiful locations. In the last year, however, I have also frequently created nude portraits with my models in my photo studio.
A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A virtual summer by Thomas H.P. Jerusalem

A Virtual Summer project was selected and published in our print edition 19. A story about a girl being stuck at home pretending to be on the beach.
Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

Death is a teacher by Srideep Banerjee

It was around 1'O clock when grief crept in with the chilly winds of the Ganges caressing my face. Witnessing death of a near relative isn't always easy to handle.

Featured Stories

Delhi … where life never stops 
by Victoria Knobloch & Jagdev Singh

Delhi … where life never stops 
by Victoria Knobloch & Jagdev Singh

Monochrome Photoart is a joint venture of the german photographer Victoria Knobloch and the indian photographer Jagdev Singh. Their work highlights the essence of human existence with the same loving eyes yet individualy different.
Ryan Cooper ; Essence of personality

Ryan Cooper ; Essence of personality

It is pretty common for the photographer’s to get tirelessly hung up on a search for the perfect photo.
Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

Diego Bardone : Unpredictable coincidences

In his eyes there's the lesson of humanist postwar French photographers: Doisneau, Boubat, Izis those he likes more but even Bresson and Erwitt are a big source of inspiration
Homeless people; On the street by Zoltán Molnár

Homeless people; On the street by Zoltán Molnár

In the EU, the number of homeless people has grown by seventy percent in one decade. Nowadays more than 700 thousand people have to face the fact daily that they have no roof above their heads.
Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits : Visual Artist

Olympe Tits is a self-taught photographer. Born in Marseille, 3rd April 1992, she has now settled in Antwerp, Belgium. She combines this with a life as a contemporary dancer, teaching at the Royal Ballet school of Antwerp and choreographing for dance-theatre pieces.
Himalaya; Sound of silence by Jagdev Singh

Himalaya; Sound of silence by Jagdev Singh

The land of high passes in Ladakh, India in the shadow of the Himalayas impregnates nature in its most immaculate form. The boundless beauty of the mystic peaks, fathomless vastness, cloud shadows playing hide n seek on mountains all during the day
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Points of the compass by Suvobroto Ray Chaudhuri

Examining life by over-thinking all the various life paths in front of you will always present a scary picture. In this journey over the last few years of your life, you might have been trying to figure out which path to go on.
Schwarz Flaneur by Pogus Caesar

Schwarz Flaneur by Pogus Caesar

The first thing that catches your eye is a young man inhaling deeply from a solvent filled plastic bag, Dinner Ladies sharing intimate conversations and a man’s scarred and tattooed arms folded in majestic defiance.
Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Ramnami Community by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Low-caste Hindus in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh first began tattooing their bodies and faces more than 100 years ago as an act of devotion and defiance after being denied entry to temples and forced to use separate wells.
Covid; Portrait series by Alkan Emin

Covid; Portrait series by Alkan Emin

Covid had struck planet earth and I was literally lost in all of my thoughts. I had these visions of the world ending and I felt like I was in a prison in my mind with all of this. 
Nude York by Reka Nyari

Nude York by Reka Nyari

Artist Reka Nyari has been shooting nudes all over the roofs of New York City for the past 3 years. Inspired by her feeling of loneliness from when she first arrived to the city, as well as her desire to conquer the Big Apple.
Ghost by Naoual Peleau

Ghost by Naoual Peleau

The memory is fragile. I’m afraid of closing my eyes once too many and blow away all my memories in one blink. I shoot and I forgot, I have stopped struggling.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV

Trending Stories

Ensemble by Varvara Shinkarenko

Ensemble by Varvara Shinkarenko

I’m a self-taught photographer, originally coming from Russia. I’m not a great talker, so trying to explain and express the way I see the world around me through the lens. Photography for me is a unique type of art. 
Italian Easter Rituals by Giancarlo Zuccarone

Italian Easter Rituals by Giancarlo Zuccarone

Women dressed in black, local politicians, members of mysterious brotherhoods, Passion's statues and symbols... all inhabitants are involved in the celebrations.
Photography and Identity; Walk by Abdo Shanan

Photography and Identity; Walk by Abdo Shanan

Abdo Shanan, born in 1982 in Oran-Algeria to Sudanese father and Algerian mother, studied telecom engineering in University of Sirt-Libya. After graduation in 2006 my life has taken an unexpected turn to photography, ever since photography became my Identity.
Half lights, half shadows by Diego Orlando

Half lights, half shadows by Diego Orlando

My photographic vocation is born from the tireless search for "the light" that is capable of illuminating a personal world full of shadows.
Michele Zousmer ; Human experience

Michele Zousmer ; Human experience

I am a humanitarian photographer. The camera is my tool.  I give voice to marginalized communities and witness to the human experience.  My work celebrates the individual’s strength and beauty, as well as their vulnerability and spirit, going beyond how one presents oneself to the world.
In Plain Sight by Bruce Haswell

In Plain Sight by Bruce Haswell

I have been involved in this project over the past three years after deciding to devote my creative self to the pursuit of my life in pictures, so to speak, as that is how I view my work, in the most simple terms.
The Cattle Camps of South Sudan by Trevor Cole

The Cattle Camps of South Sudan by Trevor Cole

The Mundari cattle camp, seldom visited by outsiders, is quite simply incredible. I saw Sebastiao Salgado’s photos of these camps years ago and there was little change that I could see.
Transcendental tranquility  by Dirk Roseport

Transcendental tranquility by Dirk Roseport

Seas and oceans are central to the work of Dirk Roseport. With his Transcendental Tranquility - Oceans Project he makes a contemporary reference to a romantic tradition within painting: that of the artist/photographer shunning the turbulence of the 21st century.
Gittan Beheydt : A perception of the world as I see him

Gittan Beheydt : A perception of the world as I see him

At a very young age I received my very first Kodak, it made me look differently to the world, seen true a very small hole it narrowed my view and showed only the things I wanted to see.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.