Hi Alessandro, could you introduce yourself to the readers of our Online Magazine?
I am Alessandro Scepi and I am a Portrait Photographer based in the province of Savona, Italy. I do mainly portrait photography and in the last year I've also been doing wedding photography, combining digital and analogue. I have tried to distinguish myself with a contemporary type of photography as a means of expression, combining artistic and social elements. My artistic influence comes from a mix of my love for art and cinema. I have a clean style that embodies my artistic vision, few but effective elements, combining a conscious and natural use of lighting in the studio, with that pictorial atmosphere that stands out in my photographs.
Tell us about your photographic background. When did you start your journey into photography?
I started this journey at a young age in analogue, although I had a break from photography for many years, but it quietly came back and slowly became part of my life path. To improve and grow, I have attended many courses both offline and online with mentors who have given me what is now my vision of photography. Over the years I have taken part in international competitions with moderate success, publications in fashion magazines in the sector, but what binds me most to photography is the human relationship that it establishes and the relationship with the subjects I photograph, because what counts for me is not simply taking a shot or stealing a moment, but it is giving something and then receiving back.
This wonderful series was shot with the Petzval 80.5 Art Lens. What features did you like the most?
When I received this lens from Lomography, I was definitely expecting something interesting, and that's what I got.
The lens catapults you into a totally different way of seeing things than we are used to, and the perspective and mood it creates is something you absolutely have to experience. The main feature is definitely the pronounced effect typical of this lens at its widest bokeh aperture. The artistic effect it produces is wonderful and I loved it right from the start.
For this series you also used our Color Negative 400 film. How did you find it?
I have to say that the pastel colours it produces fit very well with the colour palette I love most and it renders a great neutral colour to the complexion which I really like.
With which camera did you take these photos?
The shots were taken with a Canon Eos 1N.
Do you ever shoot commissioned work exclusively on film? What are the challenges compared to a work shot entirely on digital?
I have also shot commissioned work on film with this camera and with a Medium Format Zenza Bronica Etrs. The biggest challenge in shooting analogue as opposed to digital is definitely a matter of time, but I wouldn't consider it a disadvantage, because it allows me to be more aware in each shot and be more deliberate. It always depends on the situation.
What kind of camera equipment do you always make sure to take with you when you travel?
In my travels I can never be without my digital equipment, and certainly a stock of analogue film, my Pentax Asahi k1000 fully manual and my external Sekonic L-308x exposure meter.
What is the most important element for you when composing an image?
The element that I definitely give the most importance to, being a portrait photographer, is definitely the person in front of me. I am not only trying to make them feel comfortable but I find it is important for me to create a connection and a bond of trust for a successful shoot.
What is your secret to putting your subjects at ease?
There is no rule or secret, but you definitely need to have a lot of empathy. Time definitely helps to improve and find ways to do that.
Is there any photographer you particularly admire?
One photographer in particular that I admire, because he is close to my vision, is definitely Peter Lindbergh. But there are many others I admire.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations planned?
I will be collaborating with artists overseas with whom I have established good relationships of mutual esteem, and definitely in the future organizing a portrait workshop in both digital and analogue. We'll see!
Follow Alessandro on his Instagram profile to see all his works!