Gian-Paul Lozza

June 2021

Lozza is a man with few words. His pictures speak definitely  louder. 
Here is an attempt to put the two together.

Christian NeuenSchwander

Tell me when you started with skateboarding? 
Sometime very very long ago, I got a skateboard as a toy. At some point the toy became more and more…

What was your first pro model? 
I don’t know anymore… At some point I had a Powell Peralta Tony Hawk model that I can remember.

Who was your pro hero later on? 
Frankie Hill

When did you stop with skateboarding and why? 
I never really stopped, although I never really skate anymore. But let’s see when Zeno gets older. He thinks it’s great.

How has skateboard developed over the last 30 years from your point of view and where is it going? 
Like everything, it’s evolving. And that is good. I like to be surprised where it goes.

I knew you primarily as a photographer. How did you get into it? Did you start before skating? 
No, first I skateboarded and then I snowboarded and with time the photography came somehow parallel to it.

When did you know that you wanted to focus on photography? Who helped you along the way? 
I always wanted to do it right when I was doing it. There was not one point where I was photographing, this was fluid.

We were at this party sometime in 1196. This dude from a skateshop asked if you could a brand shoot which you declined. I though you are crazy to turn it down. Were you on another level before it all started.
No idea anymore, sorry. But until today there are always strange requests, that has nothing to do with the level.

Tell me which skatemag has paid you for your pictures first? I can help you with pleasure if there is a memory hole available. 
Backside, maybe. Got really rich with it and could cancel jobs afterwards…

“I always wanted to do it right when I was doing it. There was not one point where I was photographing, this was fluid”

Homeland Book

If I remember correctly, you even dropped out of your studies? How did that go over with your parents? Didn’t you ever have any doubts?
My parents didn’t think it was great, rather the opposite… but that’s another story. And yes, I had many doubts until today, but as I said, when I do something, I do it right.

What is your advice if someone is interested in your profession?
Enjoy photography, and don’t be afraid of a lot of work.

Can you be a little more specific about how to go about becoming a professional photographer? 
Difficult, because there is no actual path. Sure you can go to art school or do an apprenticeship, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make it as a photographer afterwards. As I said, I haven’t done anything except assist and I’m self-taught. I just think full commitment to the medium and being willing to work a lot and then the chance is good. And of course you need a bit of talent.

Which professional photographers have inspired you at that time/today?
Many and none, try to go my way, but of course you always have influences in everyday life.

If you go to your website, you see almost no skate/snowboard shots anymore. When did you make the transition in advertising/fashion/brand. What was the trigger? 
At some point I got bored of doing the same thing over and over again, so I started doing new things. That hasn’t changed until today. I find nothing worse than always doing the same thing.

“No comment, that was the stupidest thing I let myself be talked into”

Gian Simmen - Arosa

What have you not yet done on your wish list? 
Some things and yet nothing. It sounds stupid but the goal is the way and the one thing always leads to something new. And this has been happening for over 20 years now and it always remains exciting. So whenever I have a new desire, then I work to realize it and then something new comes and it starts all over again.

I used to fly around with SWISS and was amazed when I saw pictures of you from various European cities over the years. How did that come about? 
I lived in a flat share with the graphic artists. Full cousin economy so… but my performance was not so bad, they come back again and again until today.

A few years ago I read an article in the Tagesanzeiger about your art pictures (photography). It seems like there is no escape from you. How difficult is the balance between commercial and art photography?
Not difficult at all for me. As I said I always want to try something new… 

What has been the most special experience of your photography career so far? 
There are many, many things. I’ve met interesting personalities and been able to visit super cool places.

Which VIP/personality made the biggest impression on you?
The 35 Non document Americans I photographed for Time. Especially Jose Vargas.

…and who the least? 
Pete Sampras is an a….

Christian NeuenSchwander - FS Flip

“No comment, that was the stupidest thing I let myself be talked into”

Markus Keller - Laax

I still remember your intermezzo at Switzerland’s Next Top Model (or something like that) as a star photographer. How did it all go down backstage (in this case ‘catwalk’) and how did you get involved in the first place? 
No comment, that was the stupidest thing I let myself be talked into.

Do you work with one or more agents or do you do everything yourself?
I have one agent in Zurich and one in London that I work with. But even then you have to do a lot yourself.

Are you ready for someone to take the camera from you after the shoot, a la Golf Caddy? 
Depends on the shoot. There are all variants, from I have to do everything alone including clean up afterwards as well as shootings with several Assi, where I just press the shutter and otherwise do more the work of a director.

You’ve been living in London for the last six years. What made you decide to do that? 
My wife.

How did you find life in London? 

How was London great for you as a photographer? 
Above all it was great as a person, I learned a lot there. It’s always good to leave your familiar surroundings, it keeps your mind young. And as a photographer it gave me a lot of new contacts and the opportunity to work with very interesting media and people.

Now you are back since 2019. Why the journey home? 
Because it was time again for something different in life.

Last but not least, a question about skateboarding and the Olympics. 
Too bad for skateboarding.

Homeland Book