Today we have a quick chat with the award winning photographer Francesco Aresta. Read below to see what he’s been up to
Your photography is stunning, how would you define your style and how did it all start?
Thank you for featuring me in your beautiful site. Truth be told, I never thought about defining my style. Most people would probably call it a sort of “illustrated style”. I don’t love that definition but I think it gives an idea of what I do, especially in post-production, to my images. I love to redefine and enforce all the light and shadows, making the subject and his attitude pop out.
It all started when I was an art director in a small advertising agency in Milan. I think that’s the point when I started developing my style, retouching my personal pictures as well as those of other peoples. After creating my own agency and working in it for two years, I decided I wanted to start all over again and follow my passion, so I became a full-time photographer. It is the best choice I have ever made.
You have won a couple of awards, please tell us what you’ve won and please tell us a little about the winning artworks
I won three awards during my first year on the field: two were honourable mentions at the International Photo Awards in “Portraiture” and “Digitally Enhanced” categories. That means I’ve been shortlisted for the victory in that category. The images I submitted to the contest were five out of my “Stylized Portraiture” series that you can see on my site, and it’s the body of work that probably reflects my style the most.
The other prize I won was the “Photo of the Year Award” at the Photoblog Awards 2010. The winning picture is the landscape “On the Road to Whistler”, shot in Canada with a beautiful panorama of clouds, mountains, sea and a man kayaking.
Your photography is very vibrant. Please tell us about the “broken models images” and what inspired the idea.
I’m very proud of that series. The idea was born one day in cooperation with Milan gallery curator, Francesca Partesi (bylinephoto.com), as she commissioned a body of work for me to exhibit at the opening of her newborn gallery. The idea behind that series is the fragility of female beauty, and we decided to show that concept with the usage of bandage and desaturated colours. I hope it works.
What are you working on at the moment and what are your hopes for the future?
As my core business is commercial photography, my hope is that my next job will be always more important and intriguing than the last one. Right now I’m working on some Italian television advertising projects and I’m still in the post-production process of more “Broken models” images. Another thing I love to do is teaching, so I’m trying to arrange some workshops here in Milan. And if Milan is too far from where you are, I also publish some Photoshop tutorials every now and then on tutorials.francescoaresta.com
What advice would you give to our budding photographers in South Africa looking to do what you do?
I always say “keep it simple, keep it yours”. I think that the best thing that can happen to a photographer is to develop a style that can be immediately recognisable. You will have to shoot a lot to find your own style, and even when you get it you will notice it will be constantly changing, shoot after shoot.
My second piece of advice is to go out and promote yourself. Cold call, send promos and mails to potential clients, make everybody know you exist. Work will never come magically to you. You will have to go and look for it.
Where can the readers view more of your work?
I have my official site: www.francescoaresta.com