Sunday Chronicle headliners 19 Jun 2016 The eyes of a photod ...

The eyes of a photodreamer

Published Jun 19, 2016, 12:40 am IST
Updated Jun 19, 2016, 12:40 am IST
Stefano Tomassetti talks about his love for travel, photography, and being captivated by the innocent and pure eyes of children.
A rice terrace in China
 A rice terrace in China

Stefano Tomassetti says that at nearly 40 years old, he’s still a child inside, making kids a naturally easy subject for him to shoot. “The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry is my favourite book,” says the Italian photographer, who was in India last month to exhibit some of his images. He says ‘all grown-ups were children once, but only few of them remember it,’ and that’s what I live by.”

Bagon MyanmarBagon Myanmar


The book inspired one of Stefano’s earliest exhibitions, ‘Little Princes’, images for which were shot on his maiden trip to India in 2013. His association with clicking children and working with them goes back to 2012, when he donated proceeds from the sale of his exhibitions to an orphanage in Kenya.

The animal kingdom in Kenya, AfricaThe animal kingdom in Kenya, Africa

A candid shot in CambodiaA candid shot in Cambodia

One of Stefano’s exhibitions includes reportage from the Saharwi refugee camp in Algeria, where pictures displayed were clicked by 15 children in a camp. “It’s very easy for me to be captivated by the pure eyes of the child,” explains Stefano.

A Kazakh eagle hunter at Bayan Ölgii Aimag, MongoliaA Kazakh eagle hunter at Bayan Ölgii Aimag, Mongolia

The photographer, who calls himself a “photodreamer,” started out learning on a Pentax 500 analog camera in the 90s, but he says buying his first SLR in Kenya is what started off his obsession with photography, spurring him on to travel across countries in search of perfect images.


Kids playing around in Yangon, MyanmarKids playing around in Yangon, Myanmar

“I am a curious animal, a keen observer of the world around him taking pictures even when he is not holding a camera in his own hand,” says Stefano. “Travelling is a great way to learn about yourself through the places and people that you experience. Every time you travel you are no longer the same person as before.”

A young boy in Barsana, India A young boy in Barsana, India

He’s currently touring several countries with his exhibit, ‘Eyes of Stefano Tomassetti in Africa, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Mynmar, Thailand, USA and Vietnam’ — the rather long title only giving a glimpse of the myriad variety of travel, wildlife, landscape and portrait photos on display. “I always try to find something interesting in each country I visit,” says Stefano. “But the country that has stimulated me the most from a photographic point of view is Myanmar.”