Step into the vibrant and captivating world of fashion and beauty photography with us as we sit down for an intimate conversation with Fiorella Occhipinti. Hailing from the sun-soaked streets of Los Angeles, Fiorella has not only made a name for herself but has also earned numerous awards and accolades in the competitive field of commercial fashion and beauty photography.
In this exclusive interview, we take a journey alongside Fiorella, discovering what led her to photography, unraveling the inner workings of her creative process, peeking into her workflow management for commercial projects, and exploring the depths of her boundless creativity. Prepare to be inspired as we delve into the personal and artistic dimensions of Fiorella Occhipinti’s extraordinary career.
“Photography is the best way that I can express an idea that I have.” – Fiorella Occhipinti.
Your father was a wedding photographer in Argentina. How did his background in photography influence your career choice?
I was always exposed to photography from as young as I can recall. My dad taught me how to shoot 35mm film and I just kept going with it. By the time I got to high school, everybody knew I was either going to be a photographer or something related to film because I was always taking photos and shooting videos that I would script and edit. By the time college came, it was obvious that I was going to take a path in either film, photography, or both, which is exactly what happened.
What is your specific focus within the field of photography?
I shoot mostly commercial projects and specialize in fashion and beauty. Within fashion and beauty, it can range from cosmetics to skincare to hair.
What is it about photography that allows you to express yourself best?
Photography is the best way that I can express an idea that I have. For example, I’m terrible at drawing. I can’t paint. But I feel like with photography, sometimes I’ll have these ideas in my head, and photography is such a great medium for me to be able to express that.
I just love photography — creating from the concept to execution, and I even enjoy being involved in post, even if it’s not me doing the retouching myself or editing the photo or compositing, I’m still there supervising it. So I just love the aspect of creating from the beginning of the project and seeing it all the way through. Once I see the final image, it’s a really good feeling.
Can you walk us through your technical process, specifically your choice of equipment?
My process for photography always begins with an idea. To execute that, what I primarily use right now is a Canon R5 with a 24-70mm RF lens. And when I’m shooting, I always shoot RAW, and I always shoot in manual.
I also shoot in burst mode specifically with fashion or beauty because sometimes you’re trying to get those moments that if you’re just shooting a single frame at a time, you might miss. It’s not fun in post when you have to sift through 15 photos of the same thing. But I love the idea of being able to find that one special moment within all those shots. So that’s why I shoot burst mode. For that reason, it’s important to have a fast, reliable memory card from ProGrade.
What sets your conceptual work apart from your commercial projects?
I love shooting conceptual work or personal work because I have full creative freedom. Whereas on a commercial shoot, for a client, I’m hired to do something very specific. So, the conceptual work gives me a creative outlet to express my ideas.
Could you share more about one of your favorite conceptual pieces?
My favorite conceptual project that I did is called “Garden Vignettes“. I took photos in the style of Monet paintings and wanted to take them into a contemporary setting. My goal for that shoot was to try and do as much in-camera as possible from the styling to the makeup, hair, the props, and the setting. Very little editing had to be done — just a few brush strokes to make it feel a little bit more painterly, like Monet’s style. Seeing the final series come to life was so fulfilling.
Have you ever faced challenges with memory products in the past?
There’s so much prep work that goes into the projects that I do, one thing I really emphasize is having good memory products.
I’ve had bad experiences with other memory cards in the past. I’ve been on jobs where the cards were corrupted, or they couldn’t keep up with what we were shooting. And since then, I’ve made it a point that I just don’t mess with my memory products. Only the best will suffice.
Why did you opt for ProGrade memory products?
I’ve been using ProGrade products, because they’re reliable and they’re really good quality. And if there’s one thing I take seriously in my work it’s delivering high-quality products.
In the past when shooting in burst mode, I’ve had cards that just can’t keep up. And so you either lose frames, or the camera just freezes because the card can’t write that fast. So when I’m shooting in burst mode specifically, it’s important to have a memory card that can keep up with the really fast read and write speeds.
How do you manage a fast-paced workflow during back-to-back shoots?
When I have shoots back to back, it’s important to have a fast card reader, like the ProGrade reader which facilitates quick data offloading and won’t interrupt a smooth workflow.
What drives you to continue evolving in your field?
I love projects that challenge me — whether it’s a client job that looks challenging or I’m challenging myself with a personal project — I’m always asking myself “How do I elevate my work? How do I push myself to the next level?” Challenging yourself helps you to keep growing.
In essence, Fiorella Occhipinti’s journey exemplifies the blend of innate passion and nurtured talent, merging personal vision with technical mastery to create works of art. Following the footsteps of her father, to the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles, her story serves as an inspiring testament to the power of creativity in the realm of photography. Occhipinti’s commitment to continual growth, her dedication to delivering high-quality products, and her unwavering belief in the power of self-expression through photography are reflective of her profound impact in the field.
Above all, Occhipinti’s work and her words remind us of the power of creativity and the importance of reliable tools in translating vision into reality. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or an aspiring creative, there’s a great deal to learn from her experience and perspective. As the world of photography continues to evolve, artists like Occhipinti keep pushing boundaries, challenging conventions, and inspiring future generations to capture the world through their lenses.