Mayk Azzato - the art of capturing the moment Featured

Italian star photographer Mayk Azzato tells us about his passions, projects and perspectives

by 19 May 2011

Mayk Azzato has been based in Frankfurt, his adoptive home, for over 20 years. From his stylish headquarters and studio, he and his team plan his shootings around the globe.
With creative talent, the perfection of a real craftsman and an eye attuned to detail, Mayk Azzato manages to capture the fleeting magic of the moment, transforming it into a piece of art that outlasts it, while maintaining his unique style.

As a photographer of people and lifestyle he has gained a reputation of international renown. The list of famous personalities photographed by him is extensive, and especially in the world of fashion and advertising Mayk Azzato has provoked considerable interest, noted in particular for his worldwide campaigns and productions. With the cinematic reinterpretation of his successful project “Nobody is perfect” he has recently entered new terrain and has once again proved his creativity. But let the man speak for himself.

What motivated you to pursue this career, and how did you come to discover photography for yourself?
Photography is something that accompanied me from an early age, as my father was an internationally renowned photo journalist. The passion that my father put into the meticulous representation of a situation fascinated me and has continued to influence me up to this day. Through him I learned to express ordinary everyday moments in an artistic light. Just changing the perspective or shifting the focus has the power to determine the way of seeing the whole picture.

You shot your first short film last year. What led you to explore that medium in addition to photography?
In the year 2000 I produced my first calendar, the Millennium Calendar. Throughout the following three years I witnessed a steadily increasing interest in those calendars. It even came to be referred to as the German Pirelli Calendar. The project “Nobody is perfect” originated from my wish to create something new to surprise my friends and clients. The fashion world represents one of the more glossy facets of our lives, and I am always trying to bring to light the diversity of the extraordinary. It is very important to sense the right moment, capturing it with a playful approach, to represent its essence and importance. With this photo series I wanted to look behind the curtain, enabling the viewer to do the same. As a result of the “Nobody is perfect” project and my work in general, I established a lot of close friendships with artists from the film business. And often the question was posed: why not produce a film together? My wife also encouraged me in this idea, and that is how the film project “Nobody is perfect director’s cut” was born – my first film.

Amongst your friends there are many celebrities. Who have you enjoyed working with especially?
I have worked with many international musicians such as 50 Cent, Seal, Snoop Dog, Estelle, Kim Wilde, Outkast and Silbermond. Photographing Bill Clinton, Ornella Muti, Brigitte Nielsen, Vitali Klitschko and pianist Lang Lang was also very interesting. Ralf Bauer is a long-term friend of mine and plays an integral part in most of my projects.

Could you give our readers an idea of what projects they can look forward to in the near future?
At the moment I am in the process of preparing my new film, but I can’t really say any more at this stage. Just one thing: I am really excited about it, and celebrities will be playing a major role again. I am also planning a new calendar, as well as many interesting projects in Germany and abroad.

It is quite unusual for a photographer to become a testimonial for luxury brands. How did that come about?
Amongst my clients are a lot of companies linked with lifestyle and luxury products. They have come to notice me through projects such as “Nobody is perfect” or exhibitions presented by Audi, like “Views”, “Seconds of the city” and many others. They were able to find a lot of parallels with their own brand philosophy, and our collaboration over many years has confirmed this. With photography I am trying to capture the beauty of the moment, to make it last for eternity. The trick is to stick as closely as possible to what you are offered. The same applies to designing products. The qualities unique to the materials have to be discerned as a basis to build on, allowing them to become a well-rounded whole. I have become a brand ambassador for brands like Maurice Lacroix, Vertu, Hensel, Nikon and Audi.