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Fashion photographers like Gian Paolo Barbieri, Fabrizio Ferri, Giovanni Gastel, Oliviero Toscani, Paolo Roversi and Manuela Pavesi have long established Italy’s stature when it comes to translating ideas and feelings into images.
Now, the next tier is coming into prominence in the realm of fashion photography, and these rising talents are using their Italian heritage to their best advantage.
“The fact that I’m Italian has been a plus abroad because people are fascinated by Italian culture, fashion and lifestyle,” said Giampaolo Sgura, one of the more prominent photographers among the new guard.
While they still have to fight aggressive competition of successful photographers from the U.K. and North America, Italians have a distinct advantage, according to Francesco Carrozzini, who relocated to New York years ago.
“Our eyes are used to beauty, and we like to give some warmth to our pictures,” he said. “We like to communicate with the soul.”
Here, the rising crop of Italian fashion photographers reveal how they got started and built their success.
Giampaolo Sgura, who divides his time between Milan and New York, is a fashion passionate, and travels the world to shoot models and celebrities for covers of high-profile fashion magazines, including international editions of Vogue, GQ, Hercules, Interview, Teen Vogue and Allure, among others.
“I am missing American Vogue, that’s totally my next goal,” admitted Sgura, 39, who cut his teeth at Condé Nast Italia shooting for small sections of Glamour and L’Uomo Vogue.
The photographer is also a favorite of international brands, including Giorgio Armani, Roberto Cavalli, Max Mara, Fay and Dolce & Gabbana, which over the years have asked him to shoot their advertising campaigns.
“With my pictures, I always try to catch beauty, a classic form of beauty — beautiful clothes, beautiful women, beautiful men,” said Sgura, who says his style is constantly evolving.
“In the Eighties, photographers had to stick to a specific style, but nowadays it is different,” he explained. “Digital cameras changed everything.”
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