Spotlight Interview … Fashion Photographer Gianluca Fontana

JRP: Fashion Photographer Gianluca Fontana joins us to share his thoughts and images with James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Gianluca for taking a few moments with us.

Gianluca Fontana: Thanks James for inviting me.

JRP: Where do you call home Gianluca?

Gianluca Fontana: Milan at this moment is the place where I call home.

JRP: How did you get your start in photography? Do you have any formal training?

Gianluca Fontana: It started after my degree in Architecture. I wanted to follow my love for photography, learning “the job” of a photographer. I decided that becoming an assistant was the best training for me.

JRP: What is it about Fashion Photography that inspires you?

Gianluca Fontana: Basically the possibility to tell a story. Fashion gives me this opportunity to develop an idea in a space (studio or location), and to make things and feelings happen as I imagined.

JRP: Name two photographers that you feel have contributed to your growth.

Gianluca Fontana: Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton (if you asked me for three, I would have added Peter Lindbergh!).

JRP: What equipment would I find in your camera bag for a typical shoot?

Gianluca Fontana: Canon DS Mk III with 24-70mm, 50mm, 85 mm. A Hasselblad H4D with Phase One P45 with a 55-110mm, and a 120mm macro. Tripod, digital workstation, and a small printer.

JRP: Lighting? What type do you favor and why? What type of modifiers do you use and why?

Gianluca Fontana: I use mostly strobe lights (Broncolor if possible), and if needed I mix it with natural light (sunlight, candles, sticklites). As to the effects I need I use umbrellas, grids, and softboxes.

JRP: Describe your digital work-flow and the software you use? Does your post processing contribute heavily to your style?

Gianluca Fontana: I always shoot in raw, mostly cable connected to the workstation. I develop files with Photoshop Camera Raw (even the P45 ones), and then Photoshop for retouching. I make rough corrections on set, and my retoucher does it properly after that.

Digital processing didn’t change my style but it changed my way of shooting. When I used film I balanced the lights with more contrast. Now I prefer to have all the details in my raw file pushing the contrast during the post process.

JRP: Do you print your own images or ship them to a lab?

Gianluca Fontana: The retouching studio I work with manages my printing as well.

JRP: Do you prefer working independently or with a regular crew?

Gianluca Fontana: A regular crew.

JRP: How do you retain your creative edge in today’s troubled economy?

Gianluca Fontana: I think you can keep that edge in this troubled market only if your “matrix” is well-defined, if you have your own style. There is not enough space for everyone anymore. If you are respected for your style you will have the chance to express yourself.

JRP:  Please share one of your most memorable shoots and what made it special for you?

Gianluca Fontana: I hope that my most memorable is yet to come! There are different memorable moments, most of them are related to time, or absence of time.

Last year I was in Istanbul for a shoot for Vogue Turkey when the actress I had to work with arrived really late on set. The problem was that I had a flight to catch in a few hours! I had just two hours to complete an 8 page story. Fortunately you don’t sense it when looking at the magazine images!

JRP: If not photography what would you be doing with your time?

Gianluca Fontana: Cooking I guess. 🙂

JRP: What has been some of the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Gianluca Fontana: Work hard, there are no shortcuts.

JRP: What special advice would you like to share with other photographers?

Gianluca Fontana: Richard Avedon once said that every moment is crucial, and I totally agree. The client (magazine or commercial one) you have at that precise moment is your best chance to do something considerable. If you think that you will give your best to a better client, you probably won’t have the chance, ever.

JRP: Thank you Gianluca for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure and I wish you continued success.

Gianluca Fontana: Thanks James. It has been a pleasure for me too.

JRP: To view more of Gianluca Fontana’s photography please follow this link:


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