I haven’t been a professional photographer for that long; I left a secure job a few years ago to venture into a world that in part only reflected my passion, a deep love for art (or a discipline) which I never thought could become my profession. Photography represents the way in which to see the world; a way that may seem trivial but is actually quite complex to develop in a personal and professional manner. I don’t think of myself as an artist and this is why I love commercial photography, which might be considered as having little artistic content, but it’s actually the most complex. It leads you to challenge not so much your own personal view of the world, but the needs of those who commission the work, or rather those who think that you don’t have (or even worse, that you shouldn’t have) technical or expressive limitations and limitless equipment; or those who entrust you with the responsibility of their image, whether it be personal or professional, or a message to get across to get to know their products; or those who think of you, above all, as a skilled problem-solver whenever there is an unexpected complication on the set, or whether the lighting/shoot changes… and it is in these conditions that your professional skills are developed and you understand the invaluable lesson of the person who suggested to you to always take everything you possibly can with you, despite using some equipment only once a year. This is why I chose Manfrotto as my supplier even for bags for my equipment.
The following is a brief account of my work.
Towards the end of 2014 I received a call from Zanini Mobili for work that I was interested in right from the beginning.
The work dealt with helping out with their catalog, photographing furniture in a beautiful loft in Verona; a luxurious apartment full of light. After consulting Luca, my assistant, we decided to take on the work because it would no doubt be stimulating and because we were convinced we’d do a great job. Two days and roughly 80 photos to take. A tour de force, but Luca and I aren’t afraid of anything.
We brought quite a bit of equipment with us: Elinchrom lights, panels and all types and shapes of flags to tame the lighting in any situation, tripods, umbrellas, soft boxes… because despite the loft’s large windows, when photographing furniture you need to pay attention to those little precautions that will make the difference in emphasizing details and finishes.
I usually use my Fujifilm X-T1, but I already knew that with this kind of work I’d be using graduated filters and maybe ND filters to create the type of photography I need, so I decided to take the 5Ds, which have diameter lenses compatible with the Manfrotto filter set, the Singh Ray and Lee that I usually take with me in these situations. I put two camera bodies, 6 lenses (16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200mm, 40mm, 50mm, 100mm), exposure meter, remote control, accessories, battery chargers and a tripod in the spacious Manfrotto Bumblebee PL220. A backpack that I find comfortable to carry, given the weight that I take around with me and, unfortunately, my cervical spine problems. But it’s above all spacious, ideal, and once I place it on the ground it turns into a perfect work toolbox, practical and easy to use at the same time.
On location I usually look for the right place to arrange all my bags and that spot becomes my base, but in this case the loft was the set so I needed to have a bag that could also be comfortable to move around, depending on where we decided to have the set.
The two days went by frenetically, but smoothly; they were also electrifying and enjoyable and full of hard work. Luca and I assembled a dozen different sets, with different lighting problems, and in positions that sometimes even bordered on dangerous, but in the end we were extremely pleased with the work. As always, teamwork and the right working tools are the best support in achieving your objective.