Bari fan culture | Creating a visual identity 

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Alessandro Lupelli is a lifelong fan Bari, the city of his birth in Southern Italy. It is a family tradition, supporting his local side, and Lupelli enjoys recording the fans and, the culture and atmosphere.

Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

“I would describe myself as someone that likes to tell stories to others” he said. “Photography is the best way I know to do it.

“I’ve been inspired by all the photos of football supporters, especially Ultras ones, and I want to give Bari’s fans a respectable visual identity, through my shots.”

Lupelli tries to be discreet taking his pictures.

“When I shoot, an obstacle is to not be seen by the subjects,” he said. “I want to give the most realistic and true expression of supporting.

“It’s fun because people don’t know that I’ve taken a photo of them, and when they see themselves on my Instagram, they ask me for their photo; this is one of the things that I love most about my job.”

Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

Restricted to using an iPhone to capture stadium crowd scenes on occasion, Lupelli was able to shoot Bari’s promotion celebrations in the city using a Sony 7ii and lightweight Sony 50mm 1.8 lens.

Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

“The key about football culture is the pure passion of supporters, of every team all over the world and I try to give back to them photos that represent their love for the squad.”

Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

That was Lupelli’s first event he had covered with a camera, and it presented him with lifelong memories. 

“It has been something incredible,” he said, “and my shots will help me remember it.

“A photographic influence that I have is the reportage genre, in fact I always try to give a reportage / photojournalism vision to my works.

“I have two favourite photos: the one from the back of the guy with the shirt “Bari” at the stadium, and the other is from the celebrations in the street, where you can see the supporter in the right and the autobus going out of the “fire” of the smoke bombs.

Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

“For me the key about the football culture is the pure passion of supporters, of every team all over the world, and I try to give back to them photos that represent their love for the squad.”

Lupelli plans to follow Bari throughout the season, recording scenes along the way for a book reflecting the true meaning of being a football fan.

“Now people at the stadium are starting to recognise me as ‘the photographer’,” he said. “This is a sign that I’m working well and to keep going in this way.”

Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli
Baro football fans Stadio San Nicola.
©Alessandro Lupelli

If you enjoyed that, you may also like An eye for the Ultra, where photographer and Inter Milan supporter Francesca Scandella focuses on Italian football culture and style. 

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