Thursday, February 10, 2011

[Un]Discovers: Franco Deleo

It's the second week of our collaboration with eia and today we have an amazing photographer recommended by Kyle Kofsky. His name is Franco Deleo and his works always give me the fairy tale like feeling. Today, I am honored to be able to ask him some questions.

Hi Franco, thanks for letting me to feature you on this blog. So, how did you become a photographer?
When I was 7 years old my mom hid a Polaroid camera under the tree for me. It never left my side. That was the beginning of my career.

Polaroid is always my favorite and I am still keeping one of the old Polaroid instant camera at my house. Who is your inspiration? Have you incorporated their style into your own works?
I use colour with passion! I I grew up watching Disney movies - Sleeping Beauty was my favourite. I think Disney movies are the reason why I'm not afraid of pushing colours in my work. I was inspired at a young age. Also love the whole Damsel in Distress theme is very appealing.

I have to agree with you that Disney always use lots of colors in their animations and my favorite is actually Beauty and the Beast. In your own words, how do you describe your photography style?
There is not only one term to really define my photography style. All I know is that I love brainstorming. The people/subject matters and the team I’m working with inspire me. That’s why I like my sets to be a “big theatrical experience” – everyone becomes a vital piece to the project. Not only that, I love to think of myself as a hopeless romantic. That probably explains why the images I produces are to be “romantic” .

I really like your theatric style and the photos totally suit my taste! Out of all the projects you have done so far, which one can best represent you? Why?
I would definitely say that my shoot with Emily Haines ( represents me the most. I felt a huge connection creating along side her and i believe the synergy between us translated on camera. I also love the soft/warm colours against the mysterious/dark nature of the photos. The shoot was also very much what i imagined in my head; it's such a satisfying feeling to see your mental images become a reality.

That's a great set but for me, I like the Meghan Heffren set the most. What are the projects you are currently working on right now?
For the last couple years i've been working on a documentary project around my grandparents presence in my life. I started the project after my father passed in 2008. The project deals with the significance of family structure and the complexity of death itself. In saying that, overall the project is about submitting to the spontaneity of life and the beauty that photography and the decisive moment can reveal.

This is one interesting project and I am looking forward to see the complete series in the future. If you could shoot an international celebrity in the future, who would you want to shoot? Why?
I would LOVE to work with Tilda Swinton one day. She is such an amazing women and actress. I have a “things to accomplish” board in my studio, and her photo is tacked on there. It would be phenomenal to collaborate with her!

Now, it is time for me to ask him some of his favorite things.

Fashion Brand:
I love Lanvin's menswear collections. His men always look so dark and mysterious. Alber Elbez’s designs are theatrical yet timeless and beautifully tailored.

My favourite model is Naomi Campbell hands down. I own a t-shirt that says I "Naomi hit me and i loved it!" I actually do!

It's really hard to pick one photographer because there are so many great ones that have influenced me in different ways. I will admit Richard Avedon - the father of fashion and the master portraiture has greatly inspired me. I can’t forget Solve Sundbo and Tim Walker - they encourage me not to give up.

Warm Tones. I don't really like cool colours.

Spring! Toronto is a different city during spring. Everyone is energized and loves life.

I love Mexico City! I have some of my best friends there that I visit often. It's exciting if you can submit to the chaos. There are many more cities to cross off my list - Berlin is next.

My favourite shape is a circle, i love bringing people together.

Camera Brand:
Polaroid cameras remind me of my childhood.

I have only 3 lenses and i use my 24-120mm 90% of the time. I also love my telephoto lens for portraits so i bust out my 200mm when needed. My next purchase will be a fixed focus lens. I just hope my dog doesn't chew it up like my light meter.

Speaking of pets, I have one, his name is Sonny and he's a 1.5 year old french bulldog/boston bulldog mix. He's the dog that makes you want to get your own. I love him - he's pretty much me in dog form.

Thanks Franco for being so kind to answer all my questions! I cannot wait to see his family portrait series and I wish him all the best in the future! If you want to see more of his works, please visit his official site. All photos are courtesy of Franco Deleo.

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