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SBF Personnel : Enrico Cano


© Enrico Cano, Mario Botta, Scuola Media, Morbio ticino

Italian-born photographer Enrico Cano studied at the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan (1985-1989). Since 1990 he has worked as a freelance photographer in Lugano, specialising in architectural photography. Cano has also been working for over twenty years with the Mendrisio Academy of Architecture, where, in collaboration with future architects, he develops reports and exhibitions, and organises conferences and photographic campaigns such as "La Villa Girasole", "Les Bains de Bellinzone" and "Chandigarh - Brasilia".

Cano became interested in photography when he was ten years old. With a Kodak Instamatic, then later with an SLR camera, he started taking pictures in the mountains. Since then, photography has never left him. He tells the SBF editorial team about his everyday life as a photographer between Como and Lugano.
You live in Como, but your workplace is in Lugano. That's an interesting working model. What are the advantages? From the beginning, my work and my clients were mainly in Italy and Switzerland. Since 2010, my work in Switzerland has become predominant. That's why I thought it made more sense to move my studio to Switzerland. The tax system has changed a lot in Italy in recent years and there are no longer big differences in taxation. However, the tax rules in Switzerland are clearer and simpler.
You specialise in architectural photography, why? In the first few years I photographed mainly still life and furniture, even in the studio. Photographing objects, finding the right angle, creating the right light is interesting. But as time went by, I got more and more excited about architectural objects, about getting to know new places and meeting new people.
You shoot in Italy and Switzerland - are there differences in the way you approach photography? Do you photograph differently in Italy? I have worked in many places around the world. One of the most fascinating aspects of this profession is that it never repeats itself. The beauty is that you are confronted with different situations every time. But wherever you are, the style of work remains the same; the way you approach and discover architecture doesn't change whether you're in Italy, Switzerland or China.
You also work with videos, you also do interviews with internationally known architects like Renzo Piano. How do these videos complement your work as a photographer? The person who shoots the videos in our studio is my eldest son Michele, he is also an SBF member. Today, video is a very effective way to tell the story of architecture. We are increasingly commissioned to shoot videos of different lengths. Today, video complements the photo shoot and sometimes replaces it.
Is there a building that you particularly remember through your photography? There is no particular building, although the Casa del Fascio in Como is significant because of its proximity and its genius. There are memorable reportages, such as the Chandigarh - Brasilia reportage of 2006, done with and for the Accademia di Mendrisio - and many others, but no particular building.

Why are you an SBF member? Since I have my office in Switzerland, I think it is necessary and right to get to know my colleagues in Switzerland and to work together with them. In a community it is very important to build relationships, discuss current issues and grow together.