Multimedia Laboratory

Interview with photographer | Bill Diodato

When did you first become involved in photography and why?

I became a professional photographer in 1993.  I wanted to be challenged everyday and felt art was the way I could achieve this.


Who are some of your favorite photographers and why do you admire their work?

Irving Penn is probably the most inspirational photographer for me as he bridged the gap between fine art and commercial photography better than anyone.  After him the list goes on for miles… Bernd & Hilla Becher, Aaron Siskind, Sally Mann, O. Winston Link, Cindy Sherman, August Sander, Helmut Newton, Leni Reifenstall, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Edward Weston, Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, William  Eggleston,  and Larry Clark, to name a few that come to mind.


What is your greatest experience as a photographer?

“Photography is a reason to meet the people I meet…” I have met so many interesting people that I would say that would be my greatest experience.

I think that my greatest achievement to this point has been my first book, Care of Ward 81,  which just came out.  Mary Ellen Mark wrote the foreword to this book.  This project is about the demise of institutional services and its effect on the women’s ward known as Ward 81, located at the Oregon State Insane Asylum.  This is the same hospital where One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was filmed.



What equipment do you prefer to use and why?

The most valuable tool is my mind.  After that any camera that suits the style of the shoot. If I only pick one camera I choose the Hasselblad V series cameras as they are versatile and indestructible and a Phase One back.


Describe your editing process (i.e. How do you go about selecting, retouching and printing your photographs?)

This is an area of my business that I do not like.  It is time-consuming and boring to look at images you have already created… I want to move on to the next creation and not get bogged down with past work…



What sets your work apart from that of others?

I guess my images tend to have a narrative and my lighting abilities… but that is for you and other journalists / editors to decide what sets me apart from other image makers.


What are your plans and aspirations for the future regarding photography?

To complete my second book and to work on more video projects.

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