“I think I still do something very similar. Meeting and observing young people of all styles and from different parts of the world. Fantasizing about different adolescences from the one I had. Trying to understand and connect with young people that are going through the same things I went through a few years ago – or are going through the things I didn’t have the courage to live through myself.”
It was as a teenager he started capturing the world around him with his cameras, but it wasn’t always easy to stay true to his own creative vision.
“I think the greatest challenge was always to not lose the passion when things didn’t go as expected,” he says. “ It’s not easy trying to earn a living from personal projects, trying to work on things that are faithful to what you believe and feel.
“But over time, I realized that although it’s a longer road, you can do it. It’s super gratifying to start seeing that different artists, brands and media are interested in that point of view, and to collaborate with them doing what I love the most.”
Now he’s very in-demand – whether it’s branded work for Yves Saint Laurent, music videos for Tofel Santana and MNKYBSNSS, shorts for i-D and Nowness or his personal photo series, Leo creates beguiling visuals, supercharged with sexuality.