Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Donato Giannese (Budapest)
Tell us something about yourself
Italian, 30 yo currently based in Budapest, looking to refresh my ideas.
I’ve spent the last three years in Sydney working in photography and few other thinks.. Right now I’m focused on my tests and I’m even considering to work much closer to model agencies.
I’m courious to test myself in new ideas. I love scouting models. I use to train models and I know what means to see a new face get her first commercial. It’s a big sensation.
How and when did you get into photography?
I’ve got an entry into the image world based on a project approach.
I graduated in 2008 in Design and Visual Communication, choosing photography as expression and fashion as a new goal. Finishing college, at 23, I moved to Milan and soon began work with the advertising agency Saatchi&Saatchi. I completed a masters degree in photography at
Jhon Kaverdash Academy in Milan, where for few months I was given the opportunity to boost my skills working as assistant. There I understood that professional photography was my life.
After the school, I worked with some senior photographer, assisting and managing more productions, when I began to consider all the possibilities of my career. 2011 was an important period. I founded my own studio, Studio Bubbles, in the heart of Milan’s fashion and design district, working for two years on fashion and beauty productions.
2013 was the time to change something, to taste a new light. I moved to Sydney, Australia, where I’ve been busy with Sydney Props Studios as photographer and studio crew for huge and amazing productions, and by my own on few commercial jobs as freelance. After more than two years down under I decided to head back to Europe because is magic. You can be everywhere in just one hour, that makes me happy!
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is project. Photography is research, test, love, taste, emotion, photography is time.
There is the time to plan the shooting, and the time to get the shot. And in the meanwhile there is the time when everything you though becames real. You follow your ideas first, then you think about the rules and you start to follow your breath, your model’s breath. Because if you know the rules you can even break them.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
That’s the hardest question.
What I can talk about, is that I always put my feelings in every picture. So, from my photos you should be able to understand at least what’s my point of view. Every woman, as everything she wears, reflects the light in a different way. That’s about her mood, her life and the way she has to appear on the set. All she has to do is to mix herself with what I want to get from her. I love the idea of women, what they really are. I’ve built the concept to get them delicate, romantic, and in love. Even in a strong pose or in a black leather jacket. Because fashion change your style, not yourself.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Inspiration is everywhere. There are moments while I’m looking for that, and that’s the research part of my job, the beginning of a project. A goal. But every day I get inspired by thousands of things. I love to walk around, watching peoples, trends and the world we’re living. I love shopping.
Over that, I know, that inspiration arrives when you feel good, when you’re positive. When you feel you can play with colors, with lights.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Yes, I use to work with moodboards. That means having everything in my mind and know what will be the result. But as I’ve already said, It’s very easy to get involved in new ideas.
Maybe, is because I always want to do better, to do my best. And if you know what you’re doing, is always great to change idea. So, never forget to follow your instinct.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
That’s something I don’t like of me. When I was studing, I used to bring always my camera with me. Free time, travelling, having fun with my dogs, friends, nature, landscapes.. But when I started to work in photography, it slowly became just my job. Yes, something I love to do, but is just work. And in this job, you often work for yourself. You don’t get payed, but you know why you’re doing that. You know how you feel doing that. You’re constantly growing and getting new skills every project you do. So, I don’t take pictures during my free time, unless few shots to share with my Iphone, but I can tell you what I think about it.. Many times, happens that the situation you’re living is so important and cool that you should take a shot. When a photo is a must. You know what?! My life is made of so many photos that the best ones are not taken by a camera. It’s only my mind taking that shot. I’ve got an entire archive of pictures of my life that are only mine, and they’ll be for ever.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Life, women and everything I see everyday and that gives me a little elettro shock.
Ah of course markets, the ocean and some cute vintage boutique.
Studio, on location or both?
It’s up to the production, depends what you need. I’ve seen studios propped as unbelievable locations and locations equipped as super studios. Anyway, I prefer outdoor, where I feel the air in my head and I canget inspired by thousands of things are all around me. Even a drop of water, a flower or a smell, can make me fly higher.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Every shooting is memorable for something that happened.
I rember once, I was shooting a lookbook and a male model collapsed on the set pulling lights and all the equipment down with him.. We just wanted to kill him if he was still alive. I’m joking but he crashed everything because he didn’t have his breakfast.. He was on diet! Come on! Another time, I was shooting and I felt, but in love for the model and she has been my partner for two years. Then, the best shooting I remember, was something for myself. I planned a weekend shooting in a very old house lost in the mountains, I went there with my creative director at that time, a model and a make up artist. No outifts, that was the idea. We had to do something with what we could found in the old country granma’s wardrobe. And that was amazing. So that was the time, no project just instinct.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I’m no one who can say what’s better.
Onestly, I don’t care. We have enough quality for what we need.
We could have a chat about small and medium format, that’s the difference. But is not required in this topic. Anyway, Canon! I can’t even handle a Nikon. I just feel comfortable with Canon, maybe the shape, maybe because I’ve always used Canon. And I often use medium format lenses on my canon. I love it. In my case you’ll find an 85, a 100 macro, and my 28-300 that I love.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
That’s one of the most beautiful job you can do.
So, if you really want to do that, you have to know that it’s hard.
You first have to became a tiger, think as a tiger, eat as a tiger.
I’m still learning, but I can eat as a tiger and that’s a good point!
What I’m sure I’ve got, is that I’ve learnt to push for myrself and never give up.
Today the world goes too fast that looks like is too slow.
So, keep going on your route!
What do you think of our new magazine?
I like it because it has an international appeal. It’s a good window for professionals and even a platform for networking.
Then, I’m the one who is always looking for new people to collaborate, and it is great for that.
Than, it pushes young and fresh people. Cool!
FB: Donato Giannese