FAQ about Gabriella Where Were You Born? In Zurich, Switzerland, where I studied German, French, Italian and Latin! Whew. I loved the quality of life there... the beauty of the nature... and obviously, some of the security that comes with "home." Why Photography? My interest in photography started in a summer camp at the age of fifteen where I choose photography because I didn't think I could paint or draw. It was that year that I asked my father for a camera for Christmas. I started taking landscapes and photographed my friends and family, self-taught in the darkroom. At the age of sixteen my walls were covered in Sarah Moon and Helmut Newton pictures I found in magazines... and then, of course, there was Penn. Why did you leave Switzerland? I didn't feel challenged enough, and on a personal level, I wanted to see the world. I knew I needed more stimulation. Why America, and not another country? It was not so planned. (I didn't even speak English when I arrived). I came to NYC only to stay for six months, and then felt so free and happy that I didn't go back! Why still life photography? Since childhood, I have always had a lot of dialogue with the environment around me. For me, with still life, there is a certain sense of putting the world in order and having an inner, quiet conversation. It's a special way of focusing and centering myself. I have a natural fascination with form and texture and a strong interest in both natural and designed objects that connects my commercial, editorial and fine art work. People say the work is both feminine and bold. And for me, it also marries the descriptive and the mysterious. My still life work is also strongly connected to the way I approach the landscape, which I am exploring in a new body of fine art work. What drives you as an artist? Definitely an obsession to create. When I don't take pictures I sew, or knit, or plant, or cook. Taking pictures gives me peace of mind. How do you develop personal projects — why mushrooms, bird droppings, waterscapes? A lot of my personal projects are very nature-driven and minimal. It's the counterpoint to living in a busy, sometimes overwhelming, very urban environment. If you weren't a photographer, what would you do? I would probably be an architect or have a restaurant/wine bar. What makes you happy? Turquoise, orange, WHITE ! Flowers... I love to cook... Italian food, and wine is a passion... the ocean. I am an absolute romantic. La Bohème is my favorite opera... Chopin, Eric Satie (they used to be my favorite composers to play when I still played the piano). I love Sophia Loren and Ingrid Bergman... Fellini, Woody Allen’s "Midnight in Paris”… Jane Campion’s "The Portrait of a Lady", Richard Curtis’ "Love Actually"... I LOVE Jazz... my favorite Album of all time is Miles Davis’ "Kind of Blue,” Edith Piaf... Laura Pausini, Ella Fitzgerald, Adele… gardening... candle light... dimmed lights... linen... beautiful smells... Japanese incense... tea... not wearing shoes... my Volvo….