I recently had the opportunity to interview the very talented Mr. Luca Patrone. I’m honored and very happy that he is the first fashion photographer in the new Flickrista Interviews series.
Andreas: For those who don’t know you, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Luca: I’m a fashion photographer working in Milan, who chose this work for love.
When did you first get interested in photography?
About 16 years ago, when I bought my first camera, an old Kodak.
What inspires you?
Life first of all, movies, people and often my unconscious feelings.
Are you self taught or did you go to school to study photography?
I’m self taught. I did not attended any photography school.
I’ve attended management engineering and took my degree, worked for 5 years in a FSI consultancy firm, and after that I dropped the growing career to follow my passion: photography.
How did you get your first payed fashion shoot?
It was from a communication agency, they saw some of the photos on my first web site, and called me for a catalogue.
What equipment do you use?
I use a canon 5d MK2, with:
Canon 50mm f1.2,
Canon 100mm 2.8 macro,
3 ex flashes and of course studio lights, both flashes and neon.
I’m often really impressed by the lighting, styling and attitude in your shots. Do you have any particular technique you use to create great shots?
Yes, and it is very simple.
I begin from an idea, I transform it into a project, (in my last work experience I was a project manager, so it is easy ;)) I staff the team, and when all the “material” part is done, I add the feelings.
I think that from the rational side it is very important how I staff the team, and define the project. From the emotional side, I get better results when I really feel what I’m doing and I manage to transfer my deepest and irrational emotions (good or bad, happiness or fear).
You have an iPhone app showcasing your portfolio. What has the response to your app been? Have you gotten any new assignments from clients who found you via the iPhone app?
Great response: I get more that 10.000 downloads in two months and many contacts that I’m developing in this time. My app was done from solomodels.com, they are the most cost-efficient and quality producer of apps for photographers.
What is your process like on new photo shoots?
As told before: 50 % of strong rational approach to organization, and 50% of emotional.
How many people usually make up your team on shoots?
Between 2 to 10, it depends on the shoot.
Many fashion photographers dream of working in Milan. Is it as amazing as people imagine?
Milan is amazing for a lot of reasons: working opportunities, parties, fashion shows, etc…
All is fast, and you have to be fast. In Milan, all is focused on work, maybe too little space for emotions.
What tips do you have for aspiring fashion photographers?
First. Be sure that it is what you want to do. It is very important.
I begun my career at 31 years, and I discovered that it was my job after studying engineering and beginning a businessman career. If you are 100% sure of it, and you are ready to make sacrifices for your dreams, what to do is:
1. Make a deep culture about photography, read about most famous photographers and understand which is your way. There are many ways to be a photographer, it is important to choose the right one.
2. Make portfolios for all the life: I mean: dedicate 20% of your time to development and research. Every time.
3. After your first portfolio is done, check that it works. Compare it to “working photographers” portfolios, and if it is needed, do it again.
4. Find collaborators: check in fashion schools.
5. Find small jobs: tests for fashion agencies for example.
6. Build online credibility and spread your work.
7. Always keep your senses open for getting inputs. Select them, elaborate them, and transform them with your vision.
8. Find clients and check financial stuff. There is financial crisis in the world now, and you have to keep your project alive.
9. This job is not like a normal job. You have to love it and get satisfaction from it. There will be very hard moments, and you can only go on if you love your work. This is very important.
What has been your most memorable photo shoot so far, and why?
I’ve not a preferred one, but the more funny usually are the ones when I’m away some days in cool locations ;-)
If you also mean “biggest” clients:
P&G Brasil, Walt Disney, Epson Italia, Marie Claire Belgium, Virgin Active.
What one thing have you learned that has had the most positive impact on your photography?
It is the courage to keep my line: many people will tell you what to do, but some are right and some not. In every case, trust in yourself.
Where can people find you on the web?
That’s it for this interview. Make sure to head over to Flickr to see Luca’s latest work! – Andreas