Nestled in central Italy, in the city of Perugia, Alessio Albi has built a stunning portfolio of mysterious and dramatic portraits of women, allowing viewers to interpret the combination of their gaze and the naturalistic settings. Though not initially setting out to make a career out of his photography, Alessio happened to stumble into it with his love for the art. Now, he balances his thriving photography business with his profession as a nutritionist. Using beautiful natural environments and powerful compositions, he is able to create simple yet poignant photos with an attention to detail that will leave you inspired. Each of Alessio's photographs shows a real skill for color and light, not to mention finding beauty in natural places and unique faces.
If you've been following us here at My Modern Met, you may have seen his ethereal work before. We were grateful to be able to catch up with Alessio for an in-depth Behind the Lens look into his portfolio!
You work primarily as a nutritionist with photography being a big part of your life. Can you please tell us a bit about your journey into photography?
I started photography in 2010, coming from a big passion in drawing and painting. I spent the first two years trying many things, from street photography to portrait, but in 2012 I began focusing on portrait photography.
I still am a nutritionist, but recently photography has become my job too.
What helps you stay inspired to create?
I love music, cinema, nature, biology and astronomy. I think that each one of these have a big role in my photographic language.
How do you keep your artistic voice unique to you?
I don't think I've invented anything in what I do. Maybe the unique photos I did are the ones that were completely inspired by my mood in some difficult periods of my life.
How has your style evolved through the years?
It's evolved a lot. Looking back to my first portrait photos I feel quite embarrassed, but I'm also proud of them as I know that I have improved so much. Lately I'm starting to explore the big world of artificial lighting, to be completely free to decide if I really prefer natural light to artificial.
How much planning goes into a shoot?
In my shoots, not so much. I usually go out with a model and start shooting in a location that inspires me. Of course that changes when the shoot is for a commissioned work or other professionals, like stylists, are involved.
You capture your subjects so beautifully, how do you choose your models?
I started choosing models from my friends, then searching natural beauties around my city, and then on the internet. Lately I'm working with many pro models, but my favorite subjects remain just normal girls with interesting faces. I always prefer girls that don't need make up, with a particular attention to faces with a lot of details like freckles.
Do you have a favorite location?
Foggy landscapes, hidden rivers, thermal springs, volcanic fields, but also moody and atmospheric rooms and particular houses.
Is there an overall message you would like your photos convey?
For a long time, they expressed the (bad) mood related to my life in some very difficult years. Now most of the time I just try to express beauty, playing with light and colors.
What challenges have you faced while creating?
I always have a lot of problems working on a portraits, mostly because I work usually by myself, so at the same time I have to think of everything from hair, light, reflections, expression, composition and other props. I sometimes end a shoot completely exhausted.
What's a must have in your gear bag?
My camera, my 85mm and 35mm lenses and a reflector.
How much post processing goes into a completed photo?
I almost only work on light and colors on my post-processing, of course taking care of small details like skin. It can be a very long process to get the result that satisfies me, from 15 minutes to 2-3 hours for a single photo.
What are your plans for the future? Do you have any upcoming projects?
I have a lot of work in upcoming months, from commissions to workshops. I'm looking forward to meeting old and new friends with the big meetups in 2016 (maybe one in my favorite place, Lanzarote in the Canary islands).
I'd love to have my first personal exhibition and to publish a small book with my favorite series.
Do you have any advice for aspiring photographers?
Examine a lot of photos and movies, take even more photos. Bad photos are very useful. Don't let them take you down as they will be your strongest resource in the future because you'll learn to recognize them. Publish on the web only your best.
Meet new people and start new experiences, even not related directly to photography. Experiences bring you inspiration more that anything else.
Are you a photographer? Would you like to be interviewed for our Behind The Lens series? Leave your website in the comments below!