Fourth Exibart Street Contest, Discover the Finalists: Simone Morelli

Dear Simone,
first of all, congratulations! You are one of the ten finalists in our fourth Street Photography Competition in the Best Series category, and we are very happy to have this interview with you. Can you tell us something about yourself and the finalist series? What was the main source of inspiration for this photo series? What did you hope to communicate through these images?

The series “Sale” is an excerpt from a much larger work that is still under construction. It is a collection of photographs intended to represent the emotions that the sea and that specific place convey to me. These are spontaneous shots, often taken impulsively, representing a new way of working and making the images communicate with each other as far as I’m concerned.

How do you choose the subjects or scenes to photograph?

As I was saying, apart from choosing the locations, all the photos or most of them are taken impulsively. This means that the shots are primarily instinctive or constructed entirely randomly. The real work happens during the selection of the photo, which will be much more meticulous.

Is there a theme or thread you follow when creating a new series?

In the case of “Sale,” I obviously followed the thread of emotions and the place, but for each series, I always strive to find new methods and languages, which can be visual, emotional as in this case, or simply following a specific theme.

Color seems to play a significant role in many of your photographs. How do you use color to influence the mood or message of your images?

I rarely work with color.

Many of your images capture everyday details that often go unnoticed. How do you decide which details to include and which to leave out?

It’s a somewhat generic question. I always work on different themes and topics. As I said before, it depends on the type of work I’m doing.

Can you describe some of the photographic techniques you use to capture the atmosphere and moment in your photographs?

I don’t use special techniques. I mainly shoot in black and white, often using hyperfocal settings if I’m in situations where something unexpected might happen. Or I simply look for something interesting in the places that catch my attention, like the bus windows I sought and still seek for my project “In The Bubble.”

“An analog camera is an excellent teacher, forcing you to do things correctly and precisely.”

How would you define your photographic style?

It always depends on the type of work.

Have you ever studied at a photography school or are you a self-taught artist?

I started as a self-taught photographer and took a couple of courses, but I believe my real training happened on the streets of Rome. An analog camera is an excellent teacher, forcing you to do things correctly and precisely.

Who are the Masters of Photography who inspired you most in your photographic works?

Among the photographers who inspired me, the first is my friend Perry Hall, with whom I grew up doing street photography. We discovered a lot about photography together on the streets of Rome. Later, I think photographers like Trent Parke, Josef Koudelka, and Luigi Ghirri have inspired me.

Do you ever do Street Photography with your smartphone?


Analog and digital photography. Do you see these as alternatives to one another or the same thing?

I would be lying if I said that the medium is the same for me. Analog photography puts me in a position where I can’t see what I’m doing, but it allows me to use my mind and ingenuity to create. Digital, on the other hand, decides for me in some way, making me lazy and not always allowing me to be more creative. However, I believe that the final result is what’s important. I don’t disdain digital photos if the work is good.

Do you think Street Photography has a more documentary or more artistic value?

Street photography undoubtedly has value, reflecting the times it traverses. There is still much to be done with photography, new things to discover. It’s also a good training ground for those who don’t exclusively prefer street photography.

Do you think there are ethical limits in street photography? Do you think it’s possible to shoot everything and everybody? What is your approach in street photography?

I believe everything and everyone can be photographed, but only if there’s a good final result. You can also be brutal if what you’re trying to convey comes across. Photography is no different from writing, and in books, we can write about and tell everything we want, then face the criticism or compliments from those who see it.

What kind of equipment do you use and what role, in your opinion, does equipment have in street photography?

I use a Leica M6 with a 35mm lens when doing street work. As light as possible.

“Photography is no different from writing, and in books, we can write about and tell everything we want, then face the criticism or compliments from those who see it.”

If you had to choose one lens that you would have to use for the rest of your life, which one would that be and why?

I would probably choose a 35mm lens. There’s no specific reason, but I simply started with that lens and feel comfortable with it. I don’t complicate my life too much; I prefer to use what I have and make the most of it.

After shooting, what actions do you take in terms of processing and editing?

After taking the shot, there’s the development of the photo, and then I print a contact sheet, choose the photo, and print it. If I need to publish it on the internet, I scan it and then publish it.

Do you have new projects or themes in mind that you would like to explore in the future?

Of course, I have many. I would like to visit remote places and get to know populations that still have indigenous characteristics, documenting people and places in a reportage style.

How do you see the evolution of your photographic work?

The further I go, the more I’m attracted to reportage, but nothing will stop me from going downstairs with a camera and photographing moments of everyday life that continue to surprise me every day.

Which are your favorite photography books?

My favorite photobook is probably “Gypsies” by Josef Koudelka.

Is there a country or a city that you like to photograph more than others?

I don’t have favorites, but it depends on the moment.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting to do street photography and wants to develop a unique and personal style?

Let yourself be carried by the places, go to the places that attract you, and start shooting instinctively. After some time, your style will take shape, and if you’re attentive enough, you’ll notice it soon.

Thank you!


I’m Simone Morelli, a photographer from Rome. I started obsessively photographing the streets of my hometown in 2016, using a German analog camera that was given to me as a gift. I never thought photography could be so interesting and that it would lead me to discover worlds and meet people I would have never known otherwise.

Currently, I continue to shoot in analog, but sometimes I also use a digital camera. For me, a photograph is a way of communicating, and I believe everyone should have the opportunity to be able to read it.

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account