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Interview: Photographer Stefano De Masala (Italy)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I was born almost 50 years ago, in a region that I consider special, both for the quality of life and for the opportunities it offers to a photographer: Tuscany. I have been passionate about photography since I was a boy, studying the theory and experimenting with the few means I had, but only as an adult was I able to invest in equipment to the point of turning the hobby into something much more intense, in which I was able to combine the passion for photography with that for the female body.

 

How and when did you get into photography?

I discovered photography when I was a teenager, it was love at first sight: I started shooting with my father's Olympus, learning the theory through bad rolls but still gaining some satisfaction. However, I was only able to buy my first professional equipment when I was much older (in 2020), thanks to the fact that I needed the camera for my real job (I'm an engineer). Since then the hobby has become a true passion

 

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is a means of expression. I love beauty in all its forms and photography, for me, is the means by which I try to derive such beauty in every situation. It's not always easy, sometimes the beauty in nature is such that it's not even possible to represent it, ..but sometimes it's there but it's hidden in a detail, in a non-trivial shot... and photography is the means by which I try to find, especially this form of beauty.

 

Where do you get inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from beauty, in general. I often use the same portals where I publish my photos, as a source of examples and ideas to inspire me, without ever imitating.

 

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

Generally, in my shots I try to express the concept of beauty to the maximum and, to do so, I rely on female subjects, trying to enhance the best qualities of the subject, sometimes the face, sometimes the body, sometimes a detail, an expression. In postproduction I try to emphasize this concept, smoothing out imperfections, looking for the best set, without however distorting the initial idea (I don't use Photoshop). I love playing with shadows and low-key shooting, but I love experimenting so I try to never repeat the same set and style more than once.

 

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

At the time of shooting I already know what I want from the shot but I don't always plan the shot beforehand. Generally, when I don't know the subject who will pose for me beforehand, I tend to improvise: at the beginning I try to study the subject and understand its characteristics, only then do I plan the shot with the aim of making the most of the subject's characteristics.

 

Studio, on location or both?

Studio is a certainty, so I prefer the uncertainty of the location, almost always. I like to experiment, I like the challenge of having to study the lights and poses, every time. It's rare that I go back to the same set more than once, even if the set turns out great the first time.

 

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I like to think of myself as a professional hobbyist. My job is different, I shoot only for passion and I never get paid... but I like to think that I do my job with the same technique and competence as a professional... with the added freedom to shoot how, where, who and when I want.. and that's no small thing.

 

What has been your most memorable session and why?

I'm tied to all my sessions, for one reason or another... but when I manage to combine my passion for urbex locations, with a model that I like and who knows how to anticipate my requests and with exceptional natural lights, well .. that's a set I don't forget. All this happened a few weeks ago: we were in an abandoned hotel, not far from my town, with Psikodelia, one of my favorite models: fantastic set!

 

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Canon!  you never forget your first love and I'm very attached to Canon... but I wouldn't have any problems cheating on her. I believe that a good post-production is now much more important than whatever machine is used on set. I'm still tied to the reflex world but I believe that very soon the time will come to change in this too. Considering my subjects, I have no particular needs in terms of optics and it is often sufficient for me to just use my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM, which I am very fond of.

 

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

Talent and passion are nothing without adequate technical preparation, so first of all I recommend studying, in any form, but studying. At first your budget will be limited so it is better to invest it in a pair of good lights and quality optics rather than an expensive camera body. Don't forget post-production, which is fundamental.

 

What do you think of our new magazine?

I discovered MODELLENLAND thanks to Facebook and I must say that I was very pleased to see my work published there. I like the format and above all I appreciate the quality of the selected photos, I consider it an excellent showcase for professionals, and an good opportunity for those who still have to make their work known to the public, like me.

 



















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