Photographer Mattia Baldi shares he is often impressed with the human perception of beauty and its changing. In a world where Instagram filters and Photoshop retouches skin, women often feel as if they are being held to impossible beauty standards, something I often feel as a working model. But in reality, we are living and seeing an augmented and edited version of the truth. “I always like a kind of photography that designs an idea, a composition of shadows using real-life elements. If photography is based on something that is not the reality is not photography but something else,” Baldi shares.
His current book project, “Casting,” is a black and white photography book showcasing modern beauty standards within the fashion world. The subjects within the images are models, actresses, and dancers living and working in Bangkok. None of the images have any digital retouch or alteration in hopes of showing sincere female beauty. “Most of them have never seen their face in the way I shot them, let’s say natural and without enhancement of any kind,” Baldi shares about the models he works with. “I’m happily surprised that they like my work, and they ask me to shoot more, or they recommend their model friends to me.”
Baldi, an Italian commercial and Fine-Art photographer now living in the Far East, shares the tone and goal of this project are to showcase ‘a raw filter of reality.’ In Thailand, where the whole book was shot, beauty standards are often manipulated through social media, but “Casting” showcases the true beauty of people who are currently in Bangkok. Showcasing true and raw beauty in a place like Thailand is incredibly interesting since, according to Baldi, Thai people spend more time on their devices than in other parts of the world, and the youngest generation is now growing up idealizing non-attainable standards of beauty.
Baldi shares this is only the first formate and volume of the book. In fact, he plans to create one book-volume per city, including places like New York, Paris, and Milan. “It will be amazing to realize one book per city all around the world to check the status of a wide spectrum of humanity,” said Baldi.
The project features social media pages, creating a community of models and women sharing their stories, experiences, and insecurities of women in the digital age. Baldi shared this project was the perfect way to “explore and understand the human condition and show the side of the people.”