Guido Di Salle: “I am a trained hairdresser and I decided to become a fashion photographer. I really appreciate simplicity and hate to overcomplicate things in life as well as my photos. I am a believer in Karma and try to generally live by that type of mindset.”
Which place do you call home?
Are you self taught or schooled?
I am 100% self taught.
How did you get into photography?
Truthfully it was a fluke. I had been styling hair for years for different photoshoot’s and was getting a little bored of the same old kind of photography I was seeing out there. One day I was bored and bought a camera more or less to play around with. The first photoshoot I did was so bad I couldnt even look at the pictures… But then I started to get it.
How long have you been a photographer?
Just over a year.
As you look through the viewfinder, what is the most critical moment in capturing your image?
When I take a picture it is more then just setting up lights, framing a shot and pressing my shutter. I really try to create imagery where I have connected with the model on a certain level. I shoot exclusively women and I really try to capture the essence of their beauty. Sometimes when I am looking through the viewfinder I wait to press my shutter until I see the model has let down her guard a little. So it is almost like she was ready for the shot, but I have waited longer then she anticipated and then that moment of vulnerability or candidness ( I dont know the appropriate term) is there and that is when I like to take the picture. For me it is about taking a picture that when you look at, there is a little something more then just a beautiful woman. There needs to be that realness in my images. That is why I could never picture myself doing ethereal photography.
How would you describe your style?
It is hard to explain, but I think if I had to it would be walking the fine line between art and fashion. Somewhere in the middle trying to delicately balance nudity, clothes, and style.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion like photography is art. I may appreciate it but I dont always necessarily love it. I think fashion can be one of the easier ways that we expose some of the very same truths we do in photography. We wear certain colors that make us feel a certain way, or we wear a certain fit to make ourselves more desirable. I think it is for that reason that fashion and photography are so connected. They are two different mediums that share the very same characteristics.
What’s the craziest/funniest thing that ever happened in one of your shoots?
I have literally seen it all… I was once shooting at an amusement park and 2 grown men were making fun of me and laughing at me while I was shooting a model, and they were huddled together on some kiddie ride. True story I swear.
What photographers from the past or present have influenced you the most?
I have always had a love affair for Mario Testino’s work. I grew up with older sisters and we literally had hundreds of magazines lying around and I would naturally go through them and admire these beautiful images that were almost always exclusively done by Testino back then. In the late 80’s and 90’s I dont think you could read a magazine without his images. So he is definitely an inspiration. Currently there are many who I appreciate and admire. One of them is Atisha Paulson, an extremely talented photographer from New York. His work has that really candid and real feel. He recently did a set with a model named Eloisa for C-heads that just blew my mind. The simplicity, the beauty, the candid imagery.. Really something else. He is definitely talented.
What do you think makes a truly memorable photo?
A photo which you look at and instantly feel something. Wether you love it or hate it, if you feel something when you have looked at it, then it is memorable.
We know each of us has someone or something that inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
I feel a deep desire to show and expose beauty to the world. This is in direct contradiction to my outlook which tends sometimes to be bleak as I see some of the harsher realities in the world. Photography has become an escape from some of these realities and also some of things I have experienced. I feel much better about the world exposing things as I see it and creating art to invoke discussion or emotion.
What has been your favorite photo location or session?
I have shot at an old estate in one of Toronto’s more traditonal areas and loved the location. It is a sprawling bungalow built in the 50-60’s and still has that period feel. One of my faves!
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I shoot with a Sony!
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I would choose a Zeiss prime 50mm lens. In my humble opinion there is nothing better for image quality on the market. Not even more expensive glass can compete.
Do you prefer flash or daylight?
Love shooting in daylight but feel that everyone loves my flash photography a little more. I think the flash lends itself to the imagery I create where I am really trying to expose as much truth as I can in a single shot.
What is your favorite photography accessory, other than your camera?
Espresso! Doesnt help with the hand shakes but who cares? Its not always about a sharp image.. Would rather have espresso and adrenaline rushing through my veins while I shoot.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
Very important. I really like the look of natural and real looking images without being overdone, but I like being able to adjust my color and intensities with Photoshop. Lets face it, sometimes I shoot a whole set before I notice that the tag of the shirt was sticking out. I am human!
How important is a website and social media for your business?
Instagram has been immensely important for exposure but I want to emphasize that unlike some, I dont take pictures just to post to instagram. Almost 100% of my work is either being published or for clients and I use instagram as a visual aid to show people what I am currently doing. I definitely dont organize a shoot with models and agencies to post a picture to instagram. I mean whats the point? I did not get into this to win an instagram popularity contest. It is very helpful to show the world who I am and what I do, but beyond that, couldn’t care less for social media. Although Facebook is nice to see photos of my nieces and nephew who I miss very much.
Do you listen to music while doing your shooting?
Yes! What ever puts the model in the zone.
If so, what are you playing right now?
Chvurches, Theophilus London, Borns, Superhumanoids
What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue photography?
Keep at it. It is going to suck for a bit, and you are going to doubt yourself and your ability, but put your social life aside for as long as it takes to achieve your goals. The more they tell you that your work is no good, use it as fuel to improve. Prove the critics wrong. The genius advice I can give you is dont give up.
What lies ahead for you?
Work harder than I did last year. Getting my work published in some different magazines would be high on the list. Continue to create compelling images, and really just getting my images out there for all to see. I also will more then likely be aligning myself with some brands that share my vision and aesthetic and currently working on some interesting projects, so stay tuned!
Photographer Guido Di Salle website