Dark Beauty magazine interviewed the art director of Eikona Studio, Guido Fuà. Thanks to the specific set of questions, we are able to know the photographer’s artistic vision. Moreover, he gives us some interpretations of his concept of life and about his dreams. Enjoy the reading!
What is your style?
Many photographers, such as myself, take a wide variety of photographs some of which are outside a single genre, either for fun or for necessity. In my search, I always try to improve myself and my photography. I have worked hard to figure out my focus, and then I’ve understood that what is important for me is a progressive renovation. One of my students once said that it’s always clear the closeness that I have with my subjects, even if I have lived many changes. Maybe it’s true… other people would know better how to judge my style.
What is your process? I use to take raw pictures. When I began taking pictures, it was analogic time. Nowadays, raw files are like films and Adobe Camera Raw is my darkroom for digital. My first step is selecting the elements that I like, and discarding those I dismiss. I like to do it by myself. Then, I work a strong selection that will be edited in photoshop. Do you edit your own work? I like learning and knowing all of the editing techniques. Sometimes the work is so frenetic, but even if I ask someone to edit my pictures, I need to know all the steps he does. It’s the right way to control everything even when I am in different places.
How do you make a living off your work, or do you? Is there someone who supports you? It’s been a long way, but now, I can consider myself one of the most relevant personality in my country’s editorial system. In this period, there are a lot of problems in different fields: economy, culture, politics, and so on. Nevertheless, I’m able to change myself in order to be always updated with periods. Nobody supports me.
What inspires you for a shoot? Why?
A lot of people believe that “inspiration” is something that anyone has ever thought of before. However, when we look at the creators of the most amazing arts, inventions, or theories, we find the opposite idea. Pablo Picasso said: “Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Steve Jobs repeated: “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”. At the beginning of my career, I’m not ashamed to say that I looked at works I liked and tried to copy them. This process developed my skill to control the style and subject. I study as many works of other people as I can: the movies, the images, the lights, the atmosphere, the paintings. Then I ask myself what I am drawn to and what fascinates me. By here, it’s easy to develop your own approach.
Do you plan the entire shoot concept, or have help? Sometimes I plan the entire concept, but I believe in teamwork. It’s the best way to have results. I often have conversations with fashion designers, stylists, makeup artists, and hairstylists because the shoot won’t depend only on my photographic and leading skills. How do you sell your work, your own site, a provider? Any advice to others? In my opinion, just the website isn’t enough. It’s like a needle in a haystack. The best way is to find an agent (not an agency) and a web expert over direct contacts.
Who would you like to shoot? Celebrities, models, designers? Why? I like to take pictures of everyone. Models act as mannequins, so I rather celebrities with model appearance. New entry celebrities are the best because they can play a mood, feelings, emotions, and add to the photographer’s skill. I like to be surprised by the personality of my subjects. Do you prefer to shoot men, women models? Women’s subjects in fashion shooting have mainly attracted me, but that’s because I’ve done a lot of corporate men’s portraits. I think it’s a spontaneous reaction to seek something different, but I don’t have prejudices about shooting men.
What caused you to become a photographer/fashion photographer/artist/Designer?
I feel like I was born with a camera in my hands as if it was a natural extension of my body. It’s not a late love, and it’s something which takes me since I was thirteen. My passion isn’t a sudden creative explosion, but it’s something that has been nourished by years of devotion. What do you listen to on a shoot? Editing? I listen to music every day, at home, in the car, at work, while editing. My music collection is so wide (I talk of thousands of real CDs and Long Play) that I can choose between lounge, funk, passing through all kinds of world music: hip hop, pop, rock, classic, alternative….. I don’t stick to one type. Does it help me during the creation process? I don’t know, and I just can’t do it without.
How do you manage requests for free or TFP shoots? If I’m quite free, and the request is done from an interesting and promising subject, I can accept to work on a TF project. I would say yes for two reasons: first, because I could always be surprised with an unexpected result, second because, when it’s clear they are not trying to take advantage of your skills for free, It’s interesting to work on things without the economical interest.
Do you shoot signed agent models only? I rather make agreements directly with models when I work on a personal project. Agencies tend to raise prices for their convenience; moreover, it seems that they are unaware of the big difference between a campaign of Jean-Paul Galtier, an assignment of Steven Klein, and a self-produced project. The market is gone crazy nowadays. When I deal with customers with an art director, he takes care of the organization and choices the models. That’s what I prefer because I can focus my energies just on the shooting.
What was your favorite shoot?
In fashion photography, my favorite shoot is a beauty with the Japanese actress and model Maya Murofushi. I like to shoot oriental models, and I consider close-up as the beginning of a new step in my career. Who is your favorite stylist? I don’t feel like naming one instead of another. My ideal stylist is the one who never says, “it’s hard to find this kind of outfit.” I like it when a stylist understands my ideas with just a few words. Who is your favorite designer? There are many of them: Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garçons, Victor & Rolf, Alexander Mc Queen, Martin Margiela, Rick Owens.
What is your idea of success? My idea of success is to be known and to have the possibility to work worldwide because I feel bound by national boundaries. Nowadays, with the only exception of photo vogue (thanks to Alessia Glaviano, who has created a famous platform on the whole planet), photography has better roles and awards abroad. Have you reached your ultimate level in your work? We will reach the ultimate level when we die, I think. My attitude is the tendency to upgrade, renew myself, and put myself on trial.
Why did you choose Dark Beauty as a publication to get published in? Because in my opinion, it represents the “Wow” effect! When I look at any of the issues, there is always something amazing (make-up, hair, outfits, lights). It’s a visual project, and I feel like being part of it. Do you prefer paper to be digital? I began my career as a photographer during the analogic time, so that I can say that I’ve spent half of my photographic existence with films, darkrooms, and prints. Today the professional dimension of photography can’t exist without digital assets. So, except for artistic projects or advanced amateurs, I think that photography and, in general, visual arts are linked to the digital dimension.
What complications do you face in today’s market of art? Money, business, competition?
It’s not only a matter of competition. Let’s say it: we live in a period of anarchy. The idea that all of us today can be photographers is one of the worst consequences of the digital shift. With an editorial crisis in the background, now we see an explosion of simultaneous infinite availability of pictures. The endless offer is counteracted by a contraction of demand. On the other side, in the middle of this mess, there are new talents that can easily outburst and old talents that have to work at their best to stay in the race. Potential customers often take advantage of this confusing situation, and all we know that there are people who tend to accept everything in exchange for a glittery place.
What would you like to see a change in the industry? I would like to see an improvement in the shift towards the new rules of the game. If the web is going to be the future alternative to paper magazines, I would like to see an established predisposition of remuneration instead of the actual free experimental and promoting status. What do you want to be remembered for? I want to be remembered as an honest, beautiful person. Of course, I would be happy if someone would talk about talent for my work. But photography is undergoing such a multiplication of visions. Pictures have a different status, faster to be replaced by a better new one. However, this is ontologically good for the art of photography. It would be different if I knew that one of my pictures saved a few lives.