- Where were you born & raised?
I was born in Rome. When I was three, my dad Bruno, moved us all to
Wollongong, near Sydney, Australia, and opened up an Italian restaurant called Bruno's. He
bought an old decrepit shack and turned into to the biggest, most successful restaurant on the east coast of Australia at the time. When I was 12, we sold the restaurant and moved back to Rome. My parent's were homesick for Italy.
- When did you come to America?
I came to the states in 1988. I had dreams of being a pro bodybuilder, but did
not have the genetics to hit the top. When I lived in Italy, I won the 1983 Mr. Europe, and the 1986 Pro Mr. Italy, and then placed 7th in the 1988 Mr. Universe. When I came
here, I became more fascinated with the commercial aspects of the sport and business.
- Is that when you got into photography?
I got into photography because I had a lot of actor friends and I would shoot
their head shots. Since photography was always a passion of fine, I shot a
couple of bodybuilder friends, and sent the pictures into MuscleMag
International. And Bob Kennedy started to buy my material. And the more I got
published, the more companies called me for the advertising layouts, and the
business just started to blossom from there. I now work for approximately 26
different publications worldwide.
- So which is better to photograph? Fitness or bodybuilding competitors?
Bodybuilding competitors are easier to shoot, as I shoot the guys the way I
would have liked to be shot. I know all the angles and the correct lighting
like the back of my hand. With women, it is a different story because you have
to find something beautiful or unique in each woman, and try to make it
evident in each photograph. So in a way, it is more of a challenge, thus, a lot more
interesting to shoot a woman.
- So I hear you recently got married? To who? When?
Yes, I am the happiest man in the world. Her name is Stephanie Richards, and
she has been waiting patiently for me for seven years to come to my senses. We
were married on August 23rd, here in Los Angeles. My parents came from Italy, and
other relatives came from Australia.
- So I hear you are now involved in a bodybuilding pro contest.
I am pretty excited about the NEW Fitness Expo Roma, and the new IFBB pro bodybuilding show, the Maximus Pro Invitational. It is on the 29th-30th of March, 2003, in Rome, Italy.
- How many athletes are you expecting for the show?
In the bodybuilding pro show, we expect to have 20 bodybuilders there, including Jay Cutler, Kevin Levrone, Darrem Charles, Melvin Anthony as well as some crazy freaky guys from Germany that will astound the audience.
The trade show will be unique is that is will be specific towards bodybuilding, and there
is nothing like that in Europe now, especially now that the FIBO in Germany is mainly cardio, fitness, etc. It is also unique that on 'every hour on the hour, there will be seminars by the top American champions, including Darrem Charles, Jay Cutler, etc. Timea Majorova, Amy Fahdli, and Kim Lyons will also give seminars there, as well as top sports nutritionists, and sports psychologists.
- Wow, this sounds pretty cool. Which companies will be at the expo in Rome?
Currently, Weider, MHP, Muscle Marketing USA, ISS Research, Labrada Nutrition,
Natures Best, Sci-Tec, Twinlabs, Dorian Yates Approved, Muscletech, Met-Rx and
others have already reserved spaces. We intend for this expo to be the biggest
sports nutrition and bodybuilding oriented show in Europe.
We also have confirmed almost every bodybuilding and fitness magazine, both
European, International and American magazines to covering the entire event,
including the expo and the shows.
- So, is this your first contest and expo that you are promoting? How did you get into it and why?
Yes, it is. In the last five or six years, I saw that at the expo's in Europe,
bodybuilding was being shoved into a corner, and not publicized at all. Since the European
market is growing so rapidly, I saw a need for a specific bodybuilding expo and trade show to caters to the store owners, and gym owners as well as the fans. So it will be a place to do business, the fans will see the top champions, and of course, the best fitness and figure girls.
- But how will you promote it if you live in Los Angeles?
Fortunately, with a computer and a phone, you can do a lot. But seriously, my
dad, who is co-promoting the event, owns ABC Commerciale, which is a big promotional company in Italy, and we have put everybody on the staff to work on promoting the expo. It is
definitely a group effort, and all my family in Italy is involved into making this a very
successful event. We will also promote the show via all international and American magazines. Wayne DeMilia, chairman of the pro division of the IFBB, has been helping us tremendously in the organization of the contest.
- How many people do you expect to be there?
We expect close to 50,000 people there. It may sound like a lot, but fitness
and bodybuilding is going through a boom in Europe similar to what happened in
the United States. That is why we see many smaller American supplement
companies do very well on the market in Europe. Even sportswear companies do
well out here.
- So about people interested in attending the show, or learning more about it,
where do they go.
They can call (818) 986-9567, which is my office number here in Los Angeles, or in Europe, they can call (39) 06-798-44289, or they can go to www.fitnessexporoma.com