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Interview for @Fotografiamo - Italian Photography Website

Fotografiamo Interview

Fotografiamo Interview

Fotografiamo is an Italian based Photography blog created by 3 Italian photographers, Rodolfo Felici, Gianluca Laurentini and Alessandro Fabiani.

Official website HERE
Instagram HERE

They are passionate about photography and talk about different topics, technicals, inspirational
Understand our story via their interview:

I know you're from Toulouse, France. What brought you to settle in Hong Kong? Has you been living there for a long time? Were you already practicing as a photographer when you decided to move?
My previous job offered me a position in Asia, based in HK.
After 6 years working in the telecommunications industry, I decided to setup my own company, doing photography.
I guess I was looking for new challenges and wanted to try something on my own. Photography came out as no surprise, since I was really hooked at the time.

Does being a European help you in any way in the profession? Does it make you look at things with a different look? Do your creations taste exotic to your customers?
HK is an international place but it is really hard to survive here. Cost of leaving is insane. Good thing is that is you try hard you can make it happen, step by step.
It took me roughly 3 years to make my business take off, and I still struggle somedays !
I guess what helps me the most is my sense of Sales and Marketing I learnt in my previous position. 
Not only the artistic aspect is important when being a photographer, you really need to think as an entrepreneur. 

I know Hong Kong only from the movies and stories of dear friends that have been there. I know it is the most European city in China, and that is very different from the rest of the country. Could you tell us what was your first impression once you got there? I guess it's a chaotic city, but ideal for street photography.
For sure HK is an Iconic city, extremely photogenic. Beautiful, chaotic, contrasty, full of colours. 
It mixes nature and city in a confined area, it's really something. Over the years you still discover new faces of HK. So Far I must say I love it.
Street photographers would certainly have a lot of fun here, you can still get that "genuine Street" feeling in some areas of the city.

Your works range from portraits, to architectural photos, lifestyle, still life and events, but also to fine art prints and street photography. Would you define yourself as an eclectic photographer? Is there a huge demand for images in Hong Kong? Is there a great interest in art photography?
At first I only wanted to be an artist and live out of my art photography by selling prints. However, I guess I was too less experimented in that field and most certainly wasn't mature enough in terms of body of work, I had and I still am looking for my own style. 
This said, I decided to focus on commercial photography instead and leave the personal projects aside, only for my own love and pleasure. 

Commercial photography is tough, extremely competitive and there are tons of photographers in the market. 
I guess and as I said, it's a constant battle on how to renew your style and offers. How do you understand the business. 
New Marketing strategies are changing every seconds, this drives new medias to be used, new formats, you need to work faster and adapt yourself to your customer's needs at any time. 

Art Photography on the other hand is taking off slowly, with new dedicated galleries offering fine art or Asian Artist.
We also see the emerging of new affordable photography galleries (international franchise). Problem is space, since HK leavings are really tiny. Only the super rich can afford a decent flat, hence decoration and art doesn't necessary comes as a priority for most people.

What kind of equipment do you use? I know you love classic as well as digital photography. Do you think that the instrument and the technology used influence the message or the way of working?
Lately I've started to shoot 35mm film with a Canon AE1 that I bought in Japan during my last trip there. 
I reckon this has been a rebirth to me. I've completely changed my approach of taking pictures for myself. Taking the time and not being constraint to any kind of style. I just shoot what I feel. 
I mostly develop rolls myself and started darkroom with enlargers for prints.
I guess slowing down is the key and film has helped me a lot in that sense.
I also snap with my Iphone, I found at that being a better photographer is all about experimentations and awareness, No matter the camera, try just to always have one with you!
(you can check my IG: @harolddp)

For commercial work I mostly use Canon digital camera and prime lenses.
For post production the classic bundle Photoshop, Lightroom and Capture1.

I guess technology helps for productivity and quality of work of course. Now I've stopped investing to much in gear. I've realised that the less you have and the more creative you'll become. It's not about the gear really, plus you need to be careful with your money and it may be worth investing in different fields rather than on gear (marketing, staff. office etc..) 

How is your photo studio equipped? Do you prefer to shoot in the studio or work outdoors?

Most of the time I work on Location. I do have a small studio where I shoot portrait and still life. I've got a few lights and all types of backdrops and stands.
But I reckon being on the field is what I prefer doing.


In what direction is the world of photography in China going? Are there photography schools, or a visual arts tradition to refer to? Could you suggest to our readers some young Chinese artist to keep an eye on?
I don't know much about art schools or digital art school in china.
For commercial photography the most famous photographer is Chen Man.
Chinese artist are becoming trendy, with good sense of creativity, there are for sure worth following to understand this part of the world better.

I imagine that photography is a work for you but also a path of personal research. What does it represent for you and your life? Has photography ever opened you unexpected doors, or changed the way you see things?
Honestly it's been really hard, but I got lucky enough and I today can live out of photography. I need to work hard everyday, but with time I made new connections and partnerships, people are trusting my work and I could not be more happy. 
My ultimate goal is to feel free of my actions, this has a price of course, especially here in HK.