The art of visual storytelling lies in the little moments. Cinematic frames that convey stories inside stories, details within details. Embedded narratives that are artistically captured and carefully entwined to paint a bigger picture.
For London artist Gione da Silva, both a wedding photographer and filmmaker, the harmonious interrelation of the two genres creates a rare magic. His images dance with light, they document the fluidity of romance and hold those moments still. His films pull you in with their bold drama and quiet intimacy. They draw your eye to the silent details that often go unnoticed. The ones you might have felt but were too fleeting to rest on. Drawing beauty from the raw and imperfect, artistically playing with composition and form, and arranging abstract moments into linear stories, Gione gifts impermanent moments to infinitely relive.
Finding a moment between shooting London celebrations and being whisked across Europe to shoot destination weddings, Gione shares a little insight into his emotive storytelling…
What do you love most about capturing intimate celebrations of love?
I love how for a day, we are invited into somebody’s life, in a way that you couldn’t imagine otherwise. We are allowed to get close, see their vulnerability and emotions, and for a moment, catch a glimpse of who they are in their most natural way. It is also a big responsibility to be entrusted with someone’s memories, and contrary to what people may think, that makes me excited and gives me a sense of pride. It makes me even more determined to do my best and surprise the couple with something that is always going to bring them joy and remind them of that special day. We love weddings because we believe there is something particularly great about them — they seem to serve as a reminder of the very best about humanity, embodying love, joy, beauty and companionship.
A wedding is a live event that will never be replicated. It’s a wonderful celebration of love and interactions and is always something unique and personal. It’s exciting to know that by means of our art, we will be bringing moments of joy for generations to come.
What are the sources of inspiration for your work? How does this influence your captures and film narratives?
I have always been involved with arts of one form or another, from drawing cartoons that I used to watch in my childhood, to acting in school productions, to later on having my own band and living from my music. Therefore, sources of inspiration don’t only influence my work but are a vital part of my life, where I find meaning, joy and fulfillment. So pinpointing the main source is quite impossible. That being said, I clearly remember watching American Westerns and being curious about how the scenes were created, so I fell in love with films at an early stage in my life, and have since devoted a big part of my life to watching and studying movies.
I find a lot of inspiration from old and contemporary directors and directors of photography, such as Roger Deakins, Wes Anderson, Alejandro Iñárritu, David Lynch, and Gordon Willis. I also love abstract and conceptual photography and draw a lot of inspiration from photographers such a Saul Leiter, Ernst Haas and Robert Frank.
Another source of inspiration is the work of painters such as Salvador Dali, Edward Hopper and Carravaggio. Furthermore, I find calm, peace, and a lot of inspiration in music. Music can really set the tone for a project and help to open my mind when I feel stuck. Finally, I believe that having my supportive and loving family around me provides a strong foundation for me to build from. I do get a lot from my children’s well-being and happiness and feel excited to help them realise their dreams.
Like Lavoisier said, “nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. I believe that feeding yourself with beauty, inspirational content, and material that challenges your thinking, makes you a more inquisitive artist, always keen to explore and challenge the status quo. I also believe in the power of improvisation. However, like a musician, to improvise, you need to learn the rules and the patterns first. So I really practice a lot, and all this content that I consume acts as a form of rules and patterns for my creative endeavours. David Lynch once said that “ideas come from the world — look around and portray that.” This could not be more true, as I often find the narratives that we create are just life in its raw state. You don’t have to fantasize to create something special (although daydreaming is recommended). You just need to be true to the event in front of you and apply your creativity.
“I believe that feeding yourself with beauty, inspirational content, and material that challenges your thinking, makes you a more inquisitive artist, always keen to explore and challenge the status quo.”
What are the moments that draw you in? What are the key components that create a poetic capture?
I love how our body language is so powerful and communicative. We often capture moments that sometimes maybe pass on as just insignificant, but somehow when looking deeper, the images open the hidden world of thoughts and emotions. The way we manipulate the capture, the light, colours, layers, and movement, can help to emphasise or even hide the real meaning. For this reason, I think it is important to be present and true to the moment. We love letting people be themselves, as that allows them to express the real meaning behind their actions. Although I am fascinated by loudness and fun, conversely, I am also really drawn to solitude, sometimes capturing somebody as a ‘fly on the wall,’ with a telephoto lens that can really bring the viewer into that person’s world and that moment they are living.
I also love moments that can invite the viewer to share that moment with the person captured. Maybe a quiet scene, or a crazy dance move. I am also drawn to light, and how the light interacts with the environment, the objects, the people, and how it can create shapes, and tell their own story. Sometimes, the subject is the light itself. When you combine light, environments, emotions, interpretations, and human interaction, poetry happens! Some of these elements can be manipulated, and the astute artist should do so. However, we also need to be sensitive to what happens around us and be open to allow for silence, which is the basis for everything. Silence is that black canvas upon which we create our poetry.
“When you analyse people’s portfolios, don’t think about how sharp the image is or how colourful, or even how deep the black and white is, as all these things are trends that come and go…consider how their work makes you feel.”
For couples getting married, what advice do you give to them in regard to their wedding photography and videography?
I believe the most important thing is to be yourself. We will tailor our approach based on our client’s personalities. This is why we feel it’s so important to get to know and connect with your photographer and videographer. The wedding day is about you and your loved ones, so just enjoy the moment and try to forget about anything else as your joy will shine through in the images. We will be there to guide you so that you look great in your photos and videos whilst having a wonderful time.
It’s really important to choose the right photographer and videographer for you. Make sure you know what you are looking for in terms of style, look and feel, but more importantly, make sure the person that is going to be capturing your day is someone you connect with on a deeper level. Because as Maya Angelou said, “Nobody will remember what is done or said, but they will remember how you made them feel.” And it’s the experience on the day with your suppliers and how they helped and enhanced that experience that you are going to remember.
When you analyse people’s portfolios, don’t think about how sharp the image is or how colourful, or even how deep the black and white is, as all these things are trends that come and go. More importantly, consider how their work makes you feel. If you have that gut feeling, something that sweeps you off your feet and compels you to want to know more, that is a good indication that this is going to be the right supplier for you.
My final advice is to put as much energy as you like into the planning, then on the day, just relax and enjoy the day, and don’t worry about a thing. If you are happy and relaxed on the day, that will come across in the photos and videos.
What’s next for you in 2021 and beyond…
After having been through lockdown and only having shot two weddings over the last eighteen months due to restrictions, what we are looking forward to most is to start travelling again and documenting events all over the world. We get a buzz from travelling, meeting people and documenting the beautiful events that we have been honoured to be invited to.
As our brand has grown over the years, we have found that we are being invited to bigger and bigger events – therefore we are developing our team of storytellers as well. We want to further develop our commercial brand, telling meaningful stories that can have a big impact on people’s lives. We are also continuously growing and expanding the education side of our business and are planning to release some online classes as well as deliver some in-person masterclasses somewhere around the world.
Finally, it’s been a big dream of mine to write and produce a short film, and we want to spend some time doing more research to complement our knowledge on this subject and bring this project to life as soon as possible.
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