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Interview: Photographer Barbara Cortili (Italy)


Can you tell us a little about you?

Sure! I am a freelancer portrait photographer based in Northern Italy. Self-taught photographer, with a training in graphic design that ended at the UAL in London, I started working as a freelance creative in 2011. I have a deep connection with Japanese culture, due to my collaborations with artists from this country for many years.


How and when did you get into photography?

Although art has always been part of my education, I only discovered photography during my university years. My first serious approach to the camera was during the time I lived in London, where I felt the need to tell my experience through a medium and the camera turned out to be the right one for me. I also had a blog about it at the time, which has now disappeared into oblivion.


What does photography mean to you?

Since childhood, fantasy and books have been my best friends. I have always had an inner world and I never found the right way to express it outside of myself with courage before my encounter with photography. In particular, I've always been attracted to people's faces and eyes. Photography is for me that revolutionary discovery, with which I felt a deep connection from the start and through which I can express myself truly, which has always been hard for me due to my innate shyness and anxiety.


Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I am a portrait photographer. Whether it's a classic, a fine art or a more experimental approach, the focus of my photography are always people's faces and eyes. Usually, I also combine that innate passion for the old days and tales, because I am an old soul. That’s my style.


Where do you get inspiration from?

Pre-Raphaelite and Romantic artists come first, as is my love for the Arts. But I also draw inspiration from travels, from the books I read, from the songs I listen to. Everything, really!


Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

I am a planner. It may happen that during the execution of a project, at the last minute, I feel the need to add a detail that I had not considered before, but it does not happen often. Mood board sare my best friends.


Studio, on location or both?

I am a studio person. Although I also love shooting on location, my little studio is my universe, where I can share my inner world and create my projects without worries.


Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

For some years now, I have become a professional and photography has become my job. This was a difficult choice, especially in Italy, where creative jobs are often considered hobbies and are not given the right value. Yes, it is very tough, but I do my best to hold on!


What has been your most memorable session and why?

The most memorable took place almost a year ago, inside a splendid historic building in my town, Palazzo Facchi, which was made available to me for a whole day, to work on a project that I had very much at heart and that had been pending for many months due to COVID19. It had been a memorable session, where I was able to regain the confidence in myself and the right energy to face my camera after some very difficult time.


Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

I am a true Nikon lover! And my favorite lens is the 85mm 1.8


What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

In this uncertain period, taking up a creative profession is even more difficult. You must be courageous, passionate and know how to seize opportunities. And work hard. Hard work always pays off, in the short and long haul!


What do you think of our new magazine?

I love your new magazine! I find it a great source of inspiration for those who, like me, deal with portrait photography. And I really like how creative your choices are. I am really happy that I discovered it!


Facebook @barbaracortiliph

Website barbaracortiliportraits.myportfolio.com

Instagram @barbaracortiliph


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