Photographer Loredana Mantello is known for capturing the vows of exquisite weddings in the region. However, she’s never lost her artistic side, making her bridal portraits and personal projects unique.
My works have always represented an attempt to capture a moment to celebrate my love for life, nature and its colours.
– Loredana Mantello
OHLALA – Tell us how you became the recognised photographer you are today?
Loredana Mantello – I owe a lot to photography. It has given me the opportunity to visit the world and see it with a photographer’s eyes rather than a tourist. It allowed me to share passions and joys with an intimacy that would hardly have been possible without a camera. Above all, it permitted me to overcome my fears and my anxieties. I always try to tell my stories from a personal and intimate point of view. I look back on my life, and I realise how much photography has given me. My works have always represented an attempt to capture a moment to celebrate my love for life, nature and its colours, not only in the bridal area. I have dedicated myself to fine art photography for a while, participating in the Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition organised by BACA (Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities) and many events presenting my projects.
OHLALA – How did wedding photography enter your life?
Loredana – My story on the island as a professional photographer started more than 15 years ago. I was the only foreign woman photographer and, with some of the weddings being only for ladies, the photographer was required to be a woman. When I have assignments for big weddings, Valentina Costa and her Italian team of photographers and videographers from @haloweddings join me.
Our skills and singular eye for the grace of this special moment allowed us to capture the most beautiful marriage ceremonies in the Middle East.
OHLALA – What is the difference between wedding photography and creative photography for you?
Loredana – They are not much different; I always use my creativity in whatever kind of photography I perform. Capturing images is an art that, technologically speaking, evolves perhaps faster than the other forms of art. It is, therefore, always a challenge to study new techniques capable of leaving room for creativity. I think of photography as a means of expression. The photographer needs to feel this emotional drive to express themself, together with the technique, which is an indispensable tool to become a good professional.
OHLALA – From all the projects that you have done so far, which is the one that you feel most proud of?
Loredana – My body of work called Darkness & Light (Chiaroscuro). This work is composed of a series of photographs that create a symbiosis of past and present. An homage to the tenebrism (dramatic illumination), an art technique born in the Renaissance that emphasises light areas – well represented in Caravaggio’s, the Italian painter, creations. Through this style of work described as ‘Light Paintings’, the aim is to produce images that recreate the art technique by using an external light source contrasting to the complete darkness. The concept created in the shooting is similar to the application of the colour by a painter with a brush on the canvas. The portraits revolve around the central idea that light makes visible what is invisible. In Renaissance paintings, the technique was used to make them look like photographs, trying to get as close as possible to reality. The exhibition Darkness & Light (Chiaroscuro) showcased such detailed and delicate pictures that one can only think they were paintings.
OHLALA – You won a prize recently; can you tell us more about it?
Loredana – It was a photography competition organised by a Grape Consortium for the protection of the industry in Piedmont, a UNESCO area in Italy. I won the first place with my project called ‘Between Heaven and Hearth’, which was exhibited during the most important photography fair in Italy, the MIA (Milan Image Art) Photo Fair.
OHLALA – What do you like most about Bahrain?
Loredana – Bahrain has been my home for the last 20 years. I love everything and everybody on this island!