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Rossella Vanon Catch Up Interview.

It's been two years since we last chatted to fashion photographer Rossella. Here, we catch up with her.

| Professional Interviewed
Fashion photographer Rossella Vanon has been really busy in the two years since we last spoke to her. Make sure you take a look at our previous interview with her, too. 

Rossella Vanon Catch Up Interview.: Rossella Vanon 1
Image © Rossella Vanon

What have you been up to in the two years since we last chatted?
The last two years have been an amazing journey for me. I went from experimenting shooting for the very first magazines and clients to working with some of my favourite publications and shooting campaigns for amazing brands. I have shot editorials for Nylon and Schon, magazines, campaigns for Profoto lighting and jewellery designer Ottoman Hands, amongst others, and carried on teaching my Photography Workshops in London that grew bigger and bigger over the past two years.

Answering this question just opened my eyes about how much happened since I last took the time to stop and review my career and journey. This industry can be so fast paced that sometimes you have no time to turn back and see how far you've gone, because you are always focused on where to go next. We should make looking back every once in a while a healthy habit, I think it's a fair way of appreciating your effort and sacrifices and give yourself a better perspective over where to go next.

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Image © Rossella Vanon
Do you feel your work has evolved or taken a new turn?
I think my work has definitely evolved during the past two years, following the evolution of my taste in fashion and skills in photography and business I have thankfully acquired along the way. There is so much to learn in this industry that you can really never stand still for too long. And all this new information and new techniques you come across from year to year, often together with a personal change in taste, always results in a photographer's work refining its shape.

I think my overall style is still there as we left it, but it has become more aware, more defined and more adult. A little bit like the owner.

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Image © Rossella Vanon
Your more recent work appears to have a slightly surreal, almost Sci-Fi like feel. What draws you to this look?
I don't particularly sense my work taking this direction, simply because it's never something planned or a conscious decision. I follow my taste fully, especially when it comes to light and colour, which are the two strong visual elements in my photography.

I think I have always been slightly attracted to the surreal side of things, especially ethereal, so I believe that component will always have its part in my work.

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Image © Rossella Vanon
What camera/ equipment are you currently using and why do you like it?
I am using my Canon 5D MarkII at the moment and I still love it. I have had it since it came out and so far I haven't had the urge to update it yet. I always preferred buying new, better lenses over cameras, so that is normally where my budget goes when I feel an upgrade in gear is in order.

I now shoot with my MarkII using either the Canon 50mm f/1.4, the Canon 100mm Macro f/2.8 or the Canon 24-70mm LII f/2.8 depending on the project.

I feel that my lenses are now giving me the perfect coverage, ranging from a 24-35mm that's perfect for a wide shot or a fashion full length to the incredible aperture provided by the 50mm which is beautiful to use on location. Then finally we reach the perfectly detailed close up which I can achieve with my 100mm lens (still one of the sharpest lenses I have ever used).

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Image © Rossella Vanon
You're running workshops on a variety of subjects in London. Do you enjoy teaching others? Why do you feel it's important to share your tips and knowledge?
I really love teaching. I have been running my photography workshops for about 3 years now and I will continue for as long as my schedule allows me to.

I feel like teaching adds one more dimension to my work as a photographer. Shooting, working with editors and clients is an amazing experience, and it's the more 'fashionable' side of things. Then teaching completes the picture by allowing me to be in touch with such down to earth and dedicated photographers that with their passion constantly inspire me and renew my love towards this form of art.

When I was starting in the fashion photography industry I came across difficulties such as how to approach clients/agents/magazines, how to have my work published, how to price my shoots... and so on that were less technical than all the topics I could find in books or photography classes and therefore harder to find answers for. I learnt many things by jumping in and making mistakes as I went.

It feels good now to be able to pass on this knowledge I have acquired with time to photographers that have the same questions and doubts as I had years ago. And the satisfaction of seeing artists you have mentored do well, also thanks to your guidance and advice, is absolutely priceless.

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Image © Rossella Vanon
The fashion industry in notoriously competitive and difficult to make your mark in. What do you think has made your work stand out from the bunch?
I really honestly think that this industry, as crazy competitive as it is, has space for everyone who has a good enough knowledge and skills and is mostly willing to work hard to make her or his way through the crowd. The fact that we are all here making art is what saves us - we are all different from one another no matter what we do: our vision is different, our taste is different, our way of shooting, directing, editing... therefore everyone has a potential chance to rise and find a specific niche within the market. If we were all here trying to make it as plumbers in an industry as competitive as the fashion photography one maybe it would be different.

The trick is trying not to be anyone else but you. And if you do that, then your work will always be true to your vision and unique.

Rossella Vanon Catch Up Interview.: Rossella Vanon
Image © Rossella Vanon
If you had just three tips you could give to someone starting out in fashion photography, what would they be?

1) Give yourself time to 'play' with fashion photography before jumping in full time and trying to make it in the industry. The first experimentation phase of photography is not only incredibly fun, but also a phase of discovery, freedom, developing of your taste, building of contacts and making of your personal style.

2) Research and experiment, but be true to your style once it has taken a certain shape. Whatever style of photography you will grow into there will be clients who will turn you down because of it and clients who will love it and want to book you for it. Stay on your train and avoid changing style according to trends or clients' taste.

3) Don't let a rejection stop you on your journey through art. It's a long walk and not everyone will like what you do or even take time to look at it and understand it. Everybody gets turned down at some point in this industry and the ones who make it to the top are simply the ones who wanted it so bad they kept walking and walking. Art is subjective and that's part of its beauty. 

You can find out more about Rossella here:

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