Photographer David Ferraro: “I Try to Look for Mystery and Elegance in the Female Figure”
“Photography is capable to represent you as a person, it even represent your feelings and dreams so this is what today keeps me in love with it.”
David, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey as a photographer. What sparked your interest in photography and what do you love the most about it now? Of course, David Ferraro is a young fashion photographer who currently lives in NYC. It was at the young age of 16-17 when I first picked up a digital camera and from that moment until today I have been building my career in fashion photography with an editorial and commercial style where the construction of an image begins from a creative process that achieve a narative in my images. The passion for this beautiful art began when I realized that through photography I could place my ideas and perceptions in images. Photography is capable to represent you as a person, it even represent your feelings and dreams so this is what today keeps me in love with it.
How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it? How do you usually balance your style with a client’s vision? With my photography I try to look for mystery and elegance in the female figure; The most important thing for me is to take my models out of their comfort zone. Strong looks and poses that are out of the ordinary are the elements that characterize me as a photographer.
When I work for an specific costumer, either editorial or commercial, I look for leading the client towards an idea that is interesting for them, this is the best way to get the best results.
However there are some clients that want to follow their own visión, in the end, the client is always right and I am their tool for making what they have in mind real.
Would you agree on the fact that everyone can buy a digital camera and start shooting in a day? What are the ingredients for success with photography? The fact that today technology offers us a lot of digital tools at a very good price is making that the true meaning of being a photographer began to disappear, since many people want to shoot their own photos without a clear concept. But what many people do not realize is that to triumph in this field you need more than a good camera, it requires passion, knowledge, patience, dedication and effort. It should be understood that you need to sacrifice some things for achieving your dreams.
Being original, finding your own style, not being afraid especially of rejection, going out and finding inspiration in every corner and most important of all, keep the love for what you do. This are the key elements to succeed in the industry.
How did you move specifically towards fashion & commercial photography? What is it that drew you to it? When I discovered that through fashion photography I could play with a creative process, I totally fell in love with it: how a whole team (make-up artists, stylist, hair artists, models, art directors and retouchers) works from a central point of view to get a new concept is simply astonishing.
What is your mental checklist before a shoot and what is going through your mind when you are on set behind the camera? Days before the session I keep in mind ideas of how to guide the model in the poses I want and how to integrate that with the scenary. The moment when I am behind the camera and the model has already received the instructions I let everything flow naturally looking for a comfort point between the model and photographer. When I work well with the model and we have good communication is when I achieve the best shots.
What kind of gear would we find in your bag? A Nikon D750, a 24-70 mm 2.8 lens, I can never forget a reflector, two 32G SD cards and a emergency battery, it is always best to be prepared.
Describe a day at your typical shoot, what happens? For you what is the most critical moment or the trick to capturing a great shot? I think that you get better results happen when the whole team is having fun and are committed to what is being done, therefore I am always looking for the best atmosphere on the set. To have the perfect shot there is not any accurate trick, just to move, change angles, be challenging with your proposals and don’t be afraid of anything.
Is there anywhere in the world you are fascinated about and you would like to become a location for a shoot? New York and Milan have always been my greatest goals in my life, I have had the opportunity to work in New York, now I will give everything to work in Milan.
Tell us why is having makeup artist, stylist or other professional creatives essential to a photographer? Makeup artists and stylists play a very indispensable role in the totality of the production, since working with a group of artists who are specialized in their area will ensure a better result in terms of concept and quality images.
Do you have any tips for non-models on how to look good in front of the camera? I would tell them to be themselves, a spontaneous laugh would never be bad, the worst mistake I have seen in non-model models is to try to pose as supermodels; leave the extravagant poses for those who dedicate their life studying this art. Just be natural, the more natural you are, the results will be better.
If you had unlimited resources, who or what would you shoot? Are there any photography genres you would like to experiment with more? I would definitely make big productions with a lot of art direction, I would play with real animals in the studio and without doubt I would shoot Coco Rocha, Lindsay Wixson and Gigi Hadid, all in the same shot. I would love to shoot with many brands including MULBERRY ATUMN – WINTER 2011/2012
What from your point of view makes a great fashion photograph? How do you choose which images you ultimately provide to your clients? This is actually the hardest challenge for myself. I always trust in the first image that captivates me, the image where I can see every detail, the simplicity and naturalism of what I want to reflect, that is the one I end up choosing,
In your opinion what are the biggest challenges for an independent photographer? Nowadays photography market is very big and especially competitive in the fashion industry; being able to get noticed between thousands of people with your unique style and to make your name known to the best designers.
The fashion industry is known for its mad competitiveness. For those who want to break into the industry as independent photographers, what advice would you give to them? Be original and creative, try to make your work very personal and make sure you like it, do not be afraid to experiment and do not let yourself be misguided by styles, shoot as you want and do what makes you happy.
In addition to being sharp and well-lit, you bring a very high production value to your work. What is your retouching/production philosophy? In your opinion, what do you think it delivers in the final image in general? The retouching that i do depends on the results that I want to achieve. I believe that the less you edit the original image the better the end result is. Photoshop is only an extension to fix details, I am a photographer not a photoshop artist. I like stay as close to the raw image as I can.
Do you feel Photoshop has created a skewed perception of the ideal body image? That is a very good question. To be honest I think that many people see the edited photographs and want to reach those standards which are not realistic and they do not know the amount of work involved to make an image look “perfect”. Fortunately the big heads of fashion are changing the standards of beauty, making models with skin problems or deformations walk on their runways and presenting more of a realistic approach to the world.
What are your thoughts around social media? What role does it play in your photography business?I love social media and I recommend that everyone makes an Instagram account.
We are in the 21st century where everything is around social media especially Intagram; In this platform you will find various things from a cat laughing to designers and artists with whom you can work with. I owe my first job with a professional model to Instagram and thanks to this I have met many influential people in the process.
Thank you Instagram.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you? Instagram : @ferrarogphoto, Personal Facebook: David Ferraro Web: Ferrarodavid.com. Dont forget to follow me and like my photos (laughing hard).
In your opinion, how has photography influenced (or changed) you as a person? What did you learn and what do you love most about being a photographer? Wow !!! If I start talking about this I would never end. Photography has made me a more sensitive and reasonable person, has taught me values, showed me friends, gave me unique experiences, gave me reasons to dream and the best part of becoming a photographer is that it stopped being a profession and started being my lifestyle.
A common misconception about photographers is that we…? There are many misconceptions about photography and one of the most common is to hear “how many megapixels do you have? “Canon or Nikon? “ With your lens I could do that”
To be a photographer is to be good for your talent, not for your gears.
One thing that bugs you about humans is that…? Omg, those people that are irresponsible and are always late. Come on they have to wake up, aggg!! It Just bugs me so much.
Please tell one surprising (interesting) fact about yourself. Well despite of my young age I feel that my life has been full of amazing moments, I finished college with only 19 years, I was proud to be the only one of my promotion who graduated with honors, whit my Project “ALICE EL LABERINTO DE LOS RELFEJOS” a project based on the sensitivity part of being a photographer and a model in the same image, I am truly greatful for this series since it was a challenge to be the photographer, the styler and the model at the Same time. It was an experience I will never forget.
At the moment I am workings with one of the most important agencies in New York, I have had exhibitions in one of the most important fashion galleries of Colombia and my next plan is to move to Europe in order to pursue my dream, however I feel that I have done enough, I want to be recognized for my photos and work with big heads of fashion. For now I have enjoyed everything that life had allowed me to live.