This week on the blog, we interview Giulia Valente, a talented fine art portrait photographer from Italy.
Giulia is a true expert in capturing intense emotions in beautiful portraits with a great eye for inspirational detail. Let's discover her work with 16 photos in full resolution!
A few words about you, how did you start photography?
I started photographing concerts many years ago, using an old analog Nikon camera. In 2017, I realized that concert photography was not enough anymore and that I needed something different to express myself.
I've always had a big passion for figurative art and one of the positive aspects of living in Italy is that you can find centuries of art in every city you visit. I live near Venice which is one of the birthplaces of Renaissance and Baroque art.
This love for art has found his way in portrait photography, so I started taking portraits, studying color, composition, and mostly light, trying to recreate in my photos the painterly style of the Italian Masters, such as Leonardo and Caravaggio of course, but also Tiziano, Parmigianino, Sebastiano del Piombo.
Can you briefly explain your creative process for a great portrait photograph?
For me, the right concept is everything: I see the camera, the lighting gear, the props, the costumes and retouching softwares as tools at the service of creativity. So I spend a lot of time, even months, planning the new projects. Then, once I have clear in mind the mood and the ideas, I start searching or making the props, drawing the storyboards, thinking how to build the set, and finally finding the “right” face which can better deliver the purpose of the shoot.
Any advice for beginners who want to start portrait photography?
I don't know if I am the right person for advicing since I still have a lot of things to learn and understand, the only thing I could say is: cultivate your curiosity for what is new and unknown, don't be afraid of trying different points of view. Take the time to make a lot of mistakes, because they are your way to learn new things. And study: always, in every free moment.
Where do you find your inspiration? From other photographers or painters?
I take my inspiration from everything! Art, music, cinema, books, sometimes from my nightmares or dreams too: it frequently happens that I have to wake up in the middle of the night to write down an idea on a piece of paper so i don't forget it in the morning!
A huge inspiration comes of course from Masters photographers: Tim Walker is my favourite, but also Paolo Roversi and Sølve Sundsbø.
Is there someone in the world you dream to photograph or a particular goal you wish to reach?
My main interest at the moment is keeping inspiration alive, feed my creativity and never stop learning.
About your photography gears, what are your favorite tools?
I actually shoot with a Canon 6D with 50L and 85L prime lenses; at the moment I use continuous hmi light, but I'll soon switch to flash system.
Do you have projects for the future like workshops, personal series?
I'm going to finish “Wonderland” series, which I started in 2018: I will shoot the last three characters in the next months. I have also started thinking about a new series, and finally I hope to make an exhibition of my works.
To see more from Giulia:
All photographs copyright Giulia Valente and used with her permission.
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