Fashion Photographer Della Bass is our “Spotlight” guest in this segment. Thank you Della for sharing some of your time with James Robinson Photography Blog.
Where do you call home Della?
Della Bass: New York but I’m originally from Australia.
JRP: What led you to fashion photography? Is there any formal training or assisting in your background?
Della Bass: I was always interested in fashion but not so much photography. After completing a degree with a major in Economics I did a short photography course. After that I was hooked. I got most of my training from testing models in Milan.
JRP: Name some photographers that have inspired you and your approach to fashion photography?
Della Bass: Peter Lindbergh, Ellen Von Unwerth, Mario Sorrenti, Corinne Day.
JRP: In your opinion how important are personal projects in the development of a photographer?
Della Bass: They are extremely important because most of the time on jobs you’re shooting pictures that the clients need. Your personal projects give some insight into your perspective.
JRP: What would we find in your camera bag for a typical assignment shoot in studio or on location?
Della Bass: Two 5d Mark 2’s, a 50 and an 85 L lens, 2 light meters, and a silver/gold reflector. I’d probably have a bunch of lighting depending on where we are shooting. However, on location I prefer using natural light if possible.
JRP: Della what is your approach to lighting? Do you prefer artificial or available light? What are your most used light modifiers?
Della Bass: I much prefer natural light and the use of reflectors especially on location. I’ll only use flash about 5% of the time when I’m shooting outdoors.
JRP: Do you spend a lot of time processing images? Could you please describe your digital work flow and the software you use?
Della Bass: When I work with my digital tech we use Capture 1 and I shoot tethered. If it’s a personal project I’ll generally shoot to card and process the images with Photoshop CS5.
JRP: Do you make use of custom white balances and color checks when you shoot?
Della Bass: Yes I do.
JRP: Image printing, how is that handled?
Della Bass: I use Wolf from Wolfprints for all my printing.
JRP: As you look through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of an image?
Della Bass: I like spontaneous moments the best such as a strand of hair blowing onto the girls face or an unexpected burst of light coming through the trees. I actually love shooting when it’s just the model and myself but that happens less and less frequently these days. There are usually at least 10 -15 people crowded around when I shoot.
JRP: With today’s economy what changes are driving the fashion market place and how have you adjusted?
Della Bass: I think everyone’s working for clients at reduced rates. We’re doing projects we may have turned down a few years ago. I’m actually busier then I’ve ever been so I can’t complain really.
JRP: What seems to be the biggest obstacle to over-come in building a client base?
Della Bass: For me it’s really important for the client to get what they want. Of course with my perspective on it. That’s what gets you hired again. I think it’s important to be easy to work with and not have any attitude.
JRP: If not fashion photography what would Della Bass be doing with her time?
Della Bass: I’d either be working for a magazine or in the wine industry.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Della Bass: Always see the model a few days before you shoot her. That’s not always possible when you’re traveling to other places but if I’m in New York I always meet the model first. Just because you saw them 6 months ago and they looked amazing doesn’t mean they still do. I’ve had so many shoots ruined because the model didn’t look like they did in their portfolio.
JRP: What advice would you like to share with photographers starting out?
Della Bass: I think it’s really important to develop your own style and stick to it. You’ll never be hired if your portfolio is a mix of styles. Clients want to know what they’re going to get when they hire you.
JRP: Thank you Della for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure. We wish you continued success. To view more of Della Bass’ photography please follow these links: