Interview with Fulvio Maiani

Twitter has become a constant in my life for the last couples of years. I’m not altogether sure that is a positive addition to my life with its time wasting capabilities, ability to fuel vapid gossip and it’s innate encouragement of self involvement. However, I owe this particular social network a thanks, for gifting me with a few new lovely friends, brilliant work contacts and it’s ability to introduce me to some inspiring creative talents…..

Photographer Fulvio Maiani has an incredibly impressive client list, one that boasts the likes of D&G, Nike and L’Oreal. His Stunning editorial captures have also graced the pages of British GQ, L’Uomo Vogue, ELLE and Grazia to name but a few. I wanted to grill!/fulviomaiani to gain more of an insight into the process of creating a beautiful and potentially iconic fashion image …….

When did you first realize you had a talent/interest in photography?

There’s not a moment when you wake up one day and decide to be a photographer. I remember being a child and playing with my daddys Super8 movie camera. I always found myself more confident expressing myself with visual arguments than words.

Was there an image you saw that inspired you to pursue that career?

Well not exactly an image, more precisely the work of photographers such as Guy Bourdin,Helmut Newton, Oliviero Toscani, Irving Penn…..

Did you study photography, how have you learnt and progressed your craft?

First I went to an Art Scool in Italy’s town of Urbino, then graduated in photograpy at the European institute of Design in Milan. My formation continued assisting some great Photographers.

What was your first major job?

To my eyes are all are major jobs, or at least I have to try to make them major every time I’m shooting.

Who makes the perfect subject for you?

There’s no perfect situation never, a good photographer should try to create a good pic, even after difficult circumstances. Every time I’m approaching a shoot, I try to put together all the right conditions for my story to come out, then the magic will happens on the set, and I have to be ready to catch it on my camera.

How do you put your subjects/models at ease?

It all depend on the subject, I usually try to challenge the person in front of me, or I try to make the subjects an accomplice to the shooting. Every single case it’s different, it takes some psychology….

What photographers do you admire?

Every photographer that has achieved visibility somehow have my admiration, I don’t think anyone got it for free, we are all in the businness and have to make it with a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of sacrifice and hard work. Concerning someone elses style, I rather concentrate on my own style, and not be distracted by the work of other photographers.

Do you like it to be a collaborative thing with stylists or do you like to be have free reign to do what you want?

It’s difficult…., idealistic I should always have a free reign, but i must admit, most of the time my creativity has to face different attempts from clients or the fashion editor or other people involved. Sometimes commercial works are very difficult situations to handle, and I have to protect my work, but it is collabortive work with my trusty team.

You’ve worked with a vast amount of clients, what do you prefer doing editorials, advertisements or celebrity for instance?

Editorial is the field where I can challenge my creativity, where I can explore my fantasy, my dreams, and transport all this into the pics. Advertisements are also a challenge in order to fulfiill the clients requests and still maintain my integrity as an artist. Celebs are on other planets, there you have to play with psychology a lot… most of them are public figures and sometimes feel vulnerable and afraid about the end result in the picture, so there must be a lot of smoothness on the process. But hey every single shoot is a different story….

What are the notable different about shooting celebrities as opposed to models?

Models have the “Physique du role” to wear samples clothes, beauty and a skill to stand in front of the camera… With celebrities I’m always try to dig out their strong personality (if they have one…) I never ask a celeb to act like a model…

What has been your favourite shoot to date, and why?

The next one….

What are the toughest things about the industry?

It’s a highly competitive business. The making of a picture is the easiest part of it.

What are the best parts of your job?

Travelling the world, always meeting new and interesting people, the constant search for the next beauty and of course the recognition of a well done picture from the audience, we all live for the acclaim after all….

Who/What/Where would you most like to shoot that you haven’t so far?

The future it’s unwritten, what may come, I’ll always try to succeed as a photographer, I mean..
it’s not the subjects that matter, but the way I photograph them…. so many things to do, so little time!

In your opinion what magazine produces the best editorial shoots?

So hard to say, there’s a lot to name, but still it’s so personal that I rather not to say.

What is distinctive about your photography style, what sets you apart from others?

I like it when people says that my work it’s recognizable ’cause I’m always try to put myself
in it, it’s the best compliment, but then if you asks people what they find interesting in one of my pic, you’ll get thousand different interpretation from thousand different people. All the inspiration comes from inside me, everything that happened to me, every single book I read, every eyesight I had, it has contribute to be what I am today…

What do you do if a shoots just not producing the images you want… how do you improve or change things on the day?

Mmm it should never happen… but let’s put it this way..Doing a photoshoot involves so many casual circumstances that if you bring home the 50% of what you had in mind, it’s a big success…
As I said every day I step into the studio I have to provide a work that stands by my own standard quality, just to start, then sometimes magic happens infront of my camera and that’s a blessing. I have to give at least the quality people are expecting from me…

What tips would you give to those wanting to pursue a career in photography?

Work Hard, train your brain to look and see…. real looking.

What camera do you use?

I don’t own a camera…. I always rent the best in technology the market offers .

What are you views on digital as opposed to using film?

Today we can recreate the same result of a film using a digital camera and much more, so that means that we don’t need films camera anymore. Technology evolves so fast that it’s exiting to know where we can go from here….What it hasn’t changed is the emotion that a picture can make you feel, no this hasn’t changed…

What are your plans for 2011?

Keep on looking for happiness and love in my life (what else..)

See more of Fulvios amazing work here….

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