Fashion business graduate Maki Oddo found inspiration for her photography in her grandfather’s love of Italian football side A.C. Monza.
“This project is in some way very personal,” she says.
“It all started when Monza started to really fight and actually have a chance of going into Serie A, as my Grandad, that unfortunately I never met, had always been a huge fan of A.C. Monza.
“As soon as they got promoted I immediately thought of him and of how nice it would have been to live that with him. For this reason I want to immortalise every moment as a way to never forget and be able to make him in some way part of it.”
Oddo, from Monza and living in Milan, has divided loyalties. Inter has always been her team, but being from Monza, she says, she has always followed their fortunes as well.
“Now having them in the same league as Inter is incredible,” she said.
“My idol has always been Andrea Pirlo, for his talent and football intelligence. However, I always loved how quiet, calm and focused he is. I played alongside him once and it was honestly one of the best days of my life, I remember my legs shaking like leaves.”
Her first ever live match, though, was Manchester United vs Tottenham around the 2012/13 season.
“My dad used to live in London and I remember being a huge fan of Wayne Rooney. I still have the scarf from the match. Again, one of the best moments of my life, seeing players like Gareth Bale, Rooney, Nani, Rio Ferdinand and being a kid walking into Old Trafford was a magic moment that I will forever share with my parents.”
She can identify a sense of belonging that goes hand in hand with following a favourite team.
“You almost feel like a family every time you go and watch a match,” she said. ” The tension, the excitement, the look in children’s eyes when they see their favourite player.
“The tears and the joy when the ball hits the net, the nervous sweating, the chat during the break, the beers, the friends, the colours, the smells, the structure of the stadium… everywhere you turn there is an interesting subject that will be part of your experience.”
She can see a clear link between football and fashion, or as she says, “the aesthetics”.
“I don’t care too much about the economical aspect of it,” she said, “but when unified the art and collaborations that sometimes form between these different worlds sometimes create some interesting moments.
“I don’t exactly know what brought me to football… my parents aren’t big fans and no one in my family really pushed my towards it. I just remember it being something I was always attracted to as soon as I saw the green grass on TV.
“Growing up in Italy made it very easy to access, as in school all the boys would always talk about football in some way. Thanks to my friends I started to really live it and play it. I joined the Monza female team for a couple of years before moving to London and continuing playing representing my school.”
Oddo embraces all aspects of the game. “As far as football culture, I always loved it,” she said. “The idea of being completely free and switch off the mind from any issues or worries for 90 minutes is priceless and nothing ever gives me the same feeling.
“I love the stadium, going with my dad as he got more into football over the year and sharing these experiences, the way to the stadium, the food, the people, the atmosphere, the way back….everything.”
For this Monza project she used a “half broken” Canon Prima Junior AF with a 400 ASA Kodak film
“I was always into photography as my dad and uncle had jobs that rotated around it,” she said. “However, I really got into film photography in 2016 when I had started using disposables that after a while didn’t really fulfil my needs.
“So I got a Canon AE1 and from there I really never went nowhere without a little point and shoot and my AE1.
Oddo’s first match with a camera was the Inter v AC Milan derby, the so called ‘Della Madonnina’, in the San Siro in 2019.
“I knew the atmosphere was going to be great'” she said, “and I just had to bring the camera with me, even though security wasn’t really into the idea. However, my first match as a photo journalist focusing on really capturing every special moment was A.C. Milan vs A.C. Monza this October.”
That served to whet the appetite and Oddo, at the very start of her journey, wants more of the same.
“I’ve got so much to learn,” she says. “However, I’d say take pictures of what you like because there is nothing like being part of something that you feel proud of.
“For my future I see myself at the stadium taking pictures, I don’t know who for or if it’ll only be for fun… I just know I want to be there.
“This is my passion and I want to keep it going. Who knows where this road will take me.”
Check out Maki’s online portfolio of her creative work here.
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