This is my semi-serious biography, written in 1992  after two long days of interviews. It narrates my beginnings as a photographer, first as an amateur, then as a professional. It is mainly targeted to those young people about to embark in this harsh but beautiful profession…

To break through, they will have to overcome significant obstacles, because of the competitive nature of this field: nobody dreams of becoming a butcher or a pastry chef nowadays, but many want to become photographers. Just remember that, before them, we have all had our fair share of experiences, failures, sufferings, and blunders.

I just happen to be a photographer

By Alessandro Menegazzo

My mom owned a camera that I would often borrow. The brand was ‘Pearl,’ but it definitely was not a pearl of a camera. I soon yearned to own a serious camera, and so I spent all my savings on buying a Canon AE1. It was sturdy and reliable, with a prime lens: it was a knock-out. It was like graduating from a bike to a car: a gulf between them. I quickly shot my way through the first roll of film, then I ran to the nearest print shop and bugged the owner until he gave me back my printed photos. It was right then that I decided to become a photographer.

Easy to say, but that decision was a bit a short of a miracle for me. I reached age 23 with a few confused ideas about life, after realizing that a degree in mats was not for me, after a bit of politics and after much bullshitting. However, I had finally realized what I wanted to be, and that was all that mattered. After a month, the darkroom no longer held any secrets from me and, with an Agfa kit, I learned how to develop my positives that I would later print in Cibachrome. I now lived for photography, and I wanted to be reciprocated: I expected photography to put bread on my table.

June 1977. Roll N. 0014. My very first strip about dummies. I still didn’t know that, many years later mannequin would become one of my more successful subjects. I loved Ilford films, but they told me that pros used the Kodak Tri X and…here it is… The featured image above: a transparency for a glamour shoot