In a world dedicated to a constant search for perfection requested in many instances by a demanding market. The creator behind the scenes does the impossible to achieve admirable results. One of those innovators is VALENTINA SOCCI, who understand perfectly the joy of getting satisfactory results in an implacable industry.
The work of Valentina segmented into various items highlighted by the precision of the photography and a good taste developed over the years. A work supported by the choice of recognized labels worldwide as Vanity Fair, Condé Nast or Architectural Digest allow us to give an idea of the scope of the perspective that Valentina contributes to each project. We had the pleasure of communicating with her where we could talk a little and discover her opinions and ideas.
Hi Valentina, you got a width spectrum of images in your catalog. But who is Valentina?
Every time they ask me this question, I never know what to answer. Not because I don’t know who I am, but because as a photographer, you tend to focus more on others than on yourself. What can I say? I was born in a small town in Italy called Perugia. I always felt out of place there and felt the urge to travel and see the world, that town was never enough for me. I started taking pictures when I was seven years old. My dad had given me an old film camera for my birthday and while my friends would play with theirs dolls, I would take pictures of them. That’s when my love affair with photography began.
I’ve always been a free spirit, I love traveling. When I was eighteen, I moved to London where I started working as an assistant to a well-known photographer. I then continued traveling around Europe and South America, always with my camera and taking pictures. I then moved to Milan and realized that my passion for photography could become my actual job, as I couldn’t live without taking pictures. When I arrived at Milan, photography was booming. It was pre-digital camera era, and only if you were great you would succeed. I was very lucky to have been able to work with photographers like Giovanni Gastel, Marco Glaviano and Niegel Perry.
In a personal note, what topic is your favorite? Fashion o maybe celebrities?
In my background there is fashion because starting out in Milan, the capital of fashion, that’s where the majority of the work was. Moving to Los Angeles, I realized that I prefer taking pictures of celebrities because I’d rather work with real people, capturing their personalities through my lens. Lighting is the most important factor for portrait photography and I love to find the right light that unveils the true essence of the subject I have in front of me.
How hard is to setup the right studio for your commercial needs?
Well, it depends, it is never the same. Every client has different needs and a different budget. I try to have the same quality for each budget, obviously, have good budget help a lot! Rent the equipment is very expensive especially for a professional shoot. The budget for a commercial is becoming very important.
Difficult? No, it isn’t! You have to know the lights! I love work with light and create magic images .
In these days is possible to get a professional photo look with a smartphone?
NO!! Absolutely not! You can take pictures with a smartphone to capture memories with friend and family, but professional photography is something else. Nowadays, people think that if they have a digital camera or a smartphone and take many pictures, they can be considered a professional photographer. I want to share an anecdote: I was in an Uber the other day. The driver asked me what my profession was. I answered “photographer” and he said, “ me too”! He hands me a digital camera and says “ take a selfie with my professional camera so I can post it on my Instagram page”. So I took the camera, went to settings, took it off P ( program), put it on M ( manual) and adjusted the shutter speed and depth of field. He then saw the pictured and was stunned “ Wow! How did you take that?!” I explained to him what I had done with the settings and he replied: “ What is a shutter speed?”. I smiled to myself and replied: “ not something you can find on a smartphone.”.
Photography is for some people an agonizing practice. In your experience, there’s is a new digital rival capable of getting a highlight in this industry?
I am a photographer and I work every day, I think the photographer career never ended! The evolution of photography is not the camera or the technologies, the evolution is inside of the photographer.
We have to evolution the art, technologies is a help to develops not the reason. The History and the art teach us that! In the last decade, the technologies help many people to explore photography because it becomes easier, but photography is light, passion and love for composition, there is nothing to see with digital.
NO! I don’t think photography as a career is dead! But is time to discover again the art of that, not everyone can be a photographer only because they buy an expensive camera.
Can you describe us some inside aspects of your creative process?
Before I shoot a celebrity, I do research on them. I understand the right lights to use on their features, the right location and mood for the photoshoot. I envision them in my mind in which historic era they would fit in the most, like Renaissance or Belle Epoque and then imagine them in a painting of that era. The most important thing is that we convey in every single shot truth and beauty.
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