"The Ameriguns" is a new book by Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti. He traveled all over the U.S. to capture American gun owners and their collections. The book was made with the support of National Geographic.
“We actually tried to make a portrait of this phenomenon without taking a position,” Galimberti told Guns.com from his home in Italy.
The book began while Galimberti was on a photo assignment about dinosaurs in Kansas in 2018 for National Geographic. He had a few days off and was intrigued by a huge gun store he passed by. Naturally curious, he started to talk to people about their gun collections, and before he knew it, he was photographing them at their home surrounded by their firearms.
When he returned home to Italy, he had five portraits of gun owners. He felt so inspired by the subject matter and people he met that he decided to pursue the project. He contacted Facebook groups for gun enthusiasts and influencers. He gradually got in touch with people who were willing to be photographed. He then jumped on a plane and returned to the U.S. for a three-month tour photographing 50 willing subjects in 30 different states.
The book was published this year and is 136 pages with a hard cover. He described how the news in Italy was always negative when reporting anything to do with guns in America. That's not at all what he experienced while making his book.
“All of the people that I photographed are actually really cool, and really good people," he said. "I was dealing with normal people who had a passion for guns. That’s what I saw, so that’s what I photographed."
If Galimberti had to choose one photo from his book as his favorite, it would be the photo he took of Black Rambo by his pool holding two flamethrowers surrounded by his guns, family, and friends. It's a pretty great photo.
Galimberti promised all the people that he photographed in his book that his work would never be used pro or against guns. “I sort of want to be in the middle and say this is what I saw. I took a portrait of this phenomenon that you have in the U.S.,” he said. The book also includes information about the Second Amendment and statistics about gun ownership in the U.S. The project also gave Galimberti a chance to shoot some guns.
“When I was there in the U.S. taking photos for this project, I had to try guns, I had to try guns because the people wanted me to try it. And so I was like, why not? It was actually part of my understanding and course, I have to say, it was fun,” he said.
I commended Galimberti on his book. From what I’ve seen online, there are some nice images in it. I asked him how he would feel if his book inspired people to get into guns. “That was not my intention, but I cannot control the power of photography,” he said.
If you're interested in a copy of "The Ameriguns," it can be ordered here.