Insert your Heart and Brain {HERE}.

It took much more than looking at someone doing it.
It took me (only) a couple of years of unsatisfied feelings and confusion.

Feeling like you are missing the point, or more precisely, that you are doing some of the right things, but not enough of them to be completely happy.

I’m taking about photography. I am not saying I’m completely satisfied with my work, but I’m ok enough to know which way I have to keep trying. I know which direction I have to work the most. To get better I mean.

I thought this epiphany would have been smoother, at least I was really sure I had some ideas. I had NO idea. Not too long ago I decided to start over, and it was a good decision. It will probably have to happen again and again in the years to come.

The reason why it came to me is because I kept processing, until I realized part of the answer is in the way I interpret other photographer’s work.
When people ask me what was like to be working next to David, I always think about being precise. Never let anything to the case, be prepared. I’ve never seen such an efficient crew around a photographer. That same attention to detail can be (should be!) translated on smaller productions as well. David LaChapelle does one thing particularly better than many others in my opinion, he thinks better. It may take three days to build a set that corresponds to his vision, but that is exactly why the final images look great.

You know when people tell you “get the picture right already in the camera” ? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, at least once. Did you think about it? I mean, did you really think about it? It doesn’t really matter whether your shoot produced or very low budget, either way it will make the difference. Maybe not everyone will be able to see it. But who matters will, trust me. And most importantly you will know, you’ve done that shit right.

I haven’t gotten to that point, it’s a goal. I am not even 100% sure it needs to always be that way (there must be exceptions), but you need something to look up to. For me that “something” is the research, preparation, focus and precision the people I worked with put in their art.

I want to quietly thank everyone who helped me understand this. If we’ve worked together you, are definitely on that list. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to learn.

I thought it would have been nice to share some backstage about this. These are some of David portraits of Uma Thurman and Katy Perry on which we broke our backs on, building up, moving, lighting, refining, laughing, sweating, getting yelled at, to get it just right. Every little detail in these images is real and well thought, in their own way these images are honest.

Build the set, tear it down, clean up. And do it again. Hopefully for the rest of your life.

Shit to do before you die.

A year ago I was living with good friends George and Dustin in a very creepy house in West Hollywood. I remember it had some issues with the windows: some of them wouldn’t close properly but we didn’t find out until later on. Then one day I come home from work and the street is closed by firefighters trucks and cops. I go trough security and the closer I get the more anxious I become, as it really looks like my house is what they are “working on”. Once I get to the gate it is not really my house but my neighbor’s, which lives about 5 meters from me, in a small house located in our  backyard. He was more of a roommate than a neighbor. Once I go through the gate I notice his little apartment is completely gone, destroyed by flames.

Despite this, I really loved our house. Always full of surprises. Like the day George walks in telling us we need to quickly set up for a shoot because someone is coming to visit.

Turns out it was the guys from one of the best shows MTV has ever produced on their screens: The Buried Life. Four guys traveling around the States to complete a bucket list of 100 things to do before you die. It’s the kind of reality that makes you want to just fuck around for the rest of your life. This is what they attempted to do in the first season.

For more information check out their website HERE.



A message.

I took this shot in the most confused -yet happiest times of my life.

This is my best friend Miles, I photographed him last year in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

We went trough photography school together, he’s been my roommate, my music partner and my lets-get-shitfaced-drunk companion. When I flew out to visit him last spring, he was living there working as surf and lifestyle photographer, Miles got to a level where he could always come home with the job done, and done well. A couple months ago I got an email from him, in which he told me he was dropping photography, he sold his camera, lights, underwater housing, everything till the last CF card. He grew tired of it. With the money he made he helped his sister pay for education. Since then, I haven’t heard from him too much, and many of our friends we have in common keep asking me where he went. He purposively decided to go low profile for bit, I guess. The truth is I don’t know were he is, so this goes out as a message to him too. Let me know something about your life.

I respect this guy like no other, he helped me grow up and become the person I am now, I hope he’s doing fine.

Cheers Buddy.

Findings #3

I’m having doubts on wether I should keep posting in english or translate in italian as well. If you guys feel like it, leave a comment (or email me) and tell me what makes most sense to you. Expecially the italians, it would be much appreciated. Last week I had to go through some old photographs and found some of them below. It looks very distant to me, but about 7 years ago I was racing a little bit around the globe, doing pretty good. I thought it was fun/cute/nice to share.

And sorry for the big gap in postings, I’m almost done retouching for an adv campaign we shot two weeks ago in Milan. I’ve been spending my days at the computer. News Soon!

Findings.

I recently downloaded tons of images taken with my blackberry since I got it. 2 years ago.

A selection of friends, good times, beautiful places…at the lowest resolution, of course .

Retouching after the 2nd day of shooting for Consorzio CTM Altromercato is the largest organization of trade fair in Italy and the second worldwide. Good food and good products…and free chocolate.

Music, Images, Friends: good stuff.

Last night I experienced probably one of the best and most touching live performances of my life.

Willy took good care of us (George, Jenna and Veronica) by driving his stick-shifted ford focus to Ojaj. Destination: Matilija Auditorium.

Eric Bibb, one of my new favorites contemporary acoustic blues players.

As I walk inside the place, everything reminds me of a school play evening – I think we’ve all got that impression. We find some good seats on the left rows and as he walks in I can’t help but smile: shiny white leather shoes, an impeccable purple shirt topped by his hat and the biggest smile (which he never really got rid of for the entire show).

We managed to describe his voice as if it was “coming out of a hollow tree”. Filling I would say, just like his guitar playing. Eric is a solid man all around. Played originals, old standards and dropped some interesting quotes like:

guitar tuning is like airplane maintenance: always worth it

We all walked out of that place SATISFIED. – I think George took a picture of him so he’s got a piece of his soul as well. His new album Booker’s Guitar is playing in loop on my itunes now.

Thanks to everyone I had the pleasure to spend the night with yesterday.

As a “side note”: I am working on some new CGI automotive imagery, this Range Rover is my last rendering.

m.