Almost at the end of another hectic week which has seen my planned Sydney trip cancelled, but never fear the videos that we planned to shoot will be going ahead in the next couple of weeks. We are currently doing some research on locations that we will visit in the next couple of weeks. We might even squeeze a couple of trips in. Anyway today’s interview is with the talented Marco Franchina. Check out his website once your done here.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in Pisa, Italy in 1961. My parents brought me to the states when I was 3 years old. Even as a kid I saw things from a different perspective. It wasn’t until my cousin gave me my first camera when I was 18 that I realized where my passion and obsession lay.
By the time I was 21, I was living in Milan and working for the top Italian magazines. I was one of the youngest photographers in the fashion industry at the time. It was an amazingly creative, productive (and not surprisingly) a very crazy time!
From Italy I worked in Australia, Spain and then moved to New York where I spent nine years shooting for dozens of magazines and catalogues.
One of the most gratifying points in my career came when I was commissioned by Andy Warhol to shoot for “Interview” prior to his death in 1987. I photographed Oliver Stone, River Phoenix, Winona Ryder, Gretchen Mol, Edward James Olmos and Sarah Jessica Parker.
I also worked with Jewel, Boz Scaggs, Soup Dragons, Sonic Youth, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sheena Easton, Natalie Merchant and others.
After New York City, I moved back to LA to pursue my interest for film and began working as a director on a number of music videos and commercials.
But everything ground to a halt when my parents became ill. I left the business and my career to care for my parents until their passing in 2007 and 2010. My career took a turn during that period of my life, I never stopped shooting, I stopped traveling and focused on fine art photography which allowed me to stay here in LA.
What inspired you to get started in photography?
My cousin gave me my first camera at 18. At that time I had a friend of mine who was a top fashion model, who had already worked for very big photographers. I photographed him and sent it to his agent. They loved the photos and began to photograph lots of their models, I had no idea what was about to unfold, all I knew is that I couldn’t put it down my camera. It is how I express my interpretation of how I see the world, and that has never changed.
What gear do you take to each shoot and what lens can you not live without?
The gear I use is the Nikon system. I’ve used Nikon for 30 years and have never changed.
The lens I can’t live without is a Nikon 14-24 mm F/2.8.
How do you market yourself and has social media been an important part?
Facebook, and also my website has been indispensable (www.marcofranchina.com).
What’s your favourite photo that you’ve taken and does it have any significance?
There are so many I’ve taken but the one that has the most meaning would be what I call
“My Past” Its a shot of the Santa Monica Pier. When I was a boy growing up my dad would take me there.
We would go on the Carousel ride and im not sure if the Ferris Wheel was around. But I just loved it.
So just about 6 months ago I went back one morning and photographed the whole Pier.
Select a photo you have taken, explain how it was taken and how did you edit it?
This photo of the homeless man was taken in Downtown Los Angeles, CA
It was taken with my IPhone using the Hipstamatic app.
I brought it in to Photoshop and sharpened it as well as keeping to a monochromatic look.
The edges are from the Hipstamatic App.
( I believe if you have a good eye you can use any camera you want to produce a beautiful Photograph. )
What processing tool do you use and do you believe in the camera doing all the work or in post ?
I edit in Photoshop.
I believe that a good photographer must have a good eye. Anyone can learn the technical aspects of photography, but if you don’t have an eye, you won’t have a photograph.
Whats your favorite photography accessory other than your camera?
Strangely enough, most of my fine art shots I get from different apps on my Iphone.
Where do you prefer to post your photos online and why there?
Facebook and my website. I get a lot of visitors on my website and a lot of interaction from Facebook. Social media connects to the world. I’ve sold some of my work to Japan and Italy.
Do you ever get photographers block and if so what do you do to get inspired again?
That’s a great question, I get blocked when I don’t travel. I get inspired in diverse settings, I need to put myself in different environments. It keeps me stimulated…
Is there anything you wish you had done when you first started in photography that would of made a difference?
I would have devoted less time in the fashion world and more time to photo journalism.
Any advice for new photographers wanting to go pro?
You have to love what you do. You have to have a passion and a no-looking-back attitude. If you’re good, you will succeed in what you love, because it’s an abundant world. Follow your instincts and your passions and don’t let anyone tell you no.
Visit Marco Franchina – website