Guido Di Salle: Because imagery is so powerful and you can really tell a complex story with just a snapshot.
DJ Cobalt 60: What gave you the confidence or motivated you to pursue a career as a photographer? It’s surprisingly something you have only been doing professionally for a year now while also working full time as a hairdresser.
Guido Di Salle: I did hair for many photo shoots spanning 18 years, and decided it was time to challenge myself. I picked up a camera just to see what would happen, but instantly fell in love with the craft. It has been an interesting year so far, and frankly I can’t wait to see where I go with this in time. In respect to confidence I think it really comes with time and experience. I started off with very little confidence that I could come away from a shoot with quality images. Over time that gradually fades and the confidence level increases.
DJ Cobalt 60: What’s your set-up like? How much has it evolved since your first photo shoot?
Guido Di Salle: To be completely honest I shoot in so many different ways that it is hard to describe a set up. I shoot natural or ambient light, one light, or sometimes 2 or even 3 lights. I always go back to simplicity though. If you really think about what a picture fundamentally is supposed to be, which is the subject or model, and the person taking the photo. The one thing that is probably consistent throughout in my photography is that I generally like to get up close and personal with the model. These are close, tight shots that are impossible to take unless the model feels a certain comfort level with the photographer. Other than that, I have a tendency to lean more towards bright and exposed images.
DJ Cobalt 60: Who are some photographers who have shaped and influenced your own photography? Are you still as enamored by other photographers work as you use to be? What fuels you creativity these days?
Guido Di Salle: There are so many photographers I look to for inspiration. The first 2 would have to be Mario Testino and Terry Richardson because these guys literally changed the way we view “editorial photography”. There are also people like Carlo Mollino who was an engineer by trade and took thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of Polaroids of nude women. It was a project which spanned his entire life and many of the people around him never knew he even did it. He did it strictly to create. These are just a few that I can think of from the top of my head but I am absolutely enamored by other photographers work, and yes even more so now. My creativity is fueled by the fact that one day when I am gone my photos will live on, arguably forever.
DJ Cobalt 60: I love the color palette in your images two of my favorite editorial of yours are “Summer Crush” for Yume Magazine featuring Oksana Rose and the one did with Daria Sells for Latch Magazine. The color in those photos are so lush and opulent that one of the first things that comes to mind for me when I think about those editorials is Oksana’s bright red swimsuit and Daria’s see through dark purple tank top. I normally don’t remember a photos colors as vividly as I do yours. As a photographer and an artist how do you try to resonate with your viewer in a meaningful and lasting way?
Guido Di Salle: First off, thank you so much for the compliment. Colors are sometimes really hard to get right in photography and they can really make or break an image. The way I like to use color in my imagery in a way it will resonate with the viewer is by avoiding the kaleidoscope effect in a frame where there is just way too much going on, unless of course that is the intended purpose. It is my opinion that the eye wants to see colors it recognizes or may see on a regular basis, and if you take a picture with those colors the eye will be pleased and the image overall will be more pleasing to view. For me it once again comes down to keeping this simple. If you have a beautiful subject and decent light, then why do things need to be complicated?
DJ Cobalt 60: In a recent interview for B-Authentique Magazine you said that you choose to only photograph women right now because that is where you see the most beauty. What is it about the female form that you find so aesthetically pleasing?
Guido Di Salle: You know I grew up in a household of mostly women, have had a career where I almost work exclusively doing women’s hair, and frankly find women attractive. I would be a hypocrite if I said those factors had nothing to do with it, because they definitely do. We are also living in a period of time where women are making huge strides in terms of equality and I would love to see the day where a man’s nipple and a woman’s nipple will be viewed equally, as nipples. So in one respect I am part of a movement, and in the other respect there is nothing more beautiful than a woman.
DJ Cobalt 60: What qualities do you look for in the models you photograph?
Guido Di Salle: Eyes and lips are important, as is overall body shape. Sometimes I look at a girl and she just has the “X” factor, so it isn’t one thing in particular about her that makes me want to photograph her but a combination of qualities that just can’t be explained.
DJ Cobalt 60: How do you like to direct your models? Are you trying to help your models project an image of beauty that they might not be able to see in themselves or think they aren’t capable of or only trying to make them feel comfortable enough in front of your camera that they aren’t afraid to be themselves?
Guido Di Salle: That’s a great question, and the answer varies. The thing I always do with every model is discuss direction before we even get started. It gives me an idea of what they are comfortable with and we can go from there. I like to talk quite a bit while I shoot, I find it makes it more casual and relaxed. We could be shooting the sexiest, most intimate of shots all the while talking about how our stomachs are grumbling and we can’t wait to get a burger after the shoot. It’s really something. Other times I will let a model go free and only direct them if I feel like I need something specific. There is no hard fast rule. I will work with her until we get the shot.
DJ Cobalt 60: I’d like to ask you about the inspiration and process behind the editorial you did for Folkr Magazine with Kaitie Linder, those photos at least to me feel darker and more atmospheric than any of your other work, in particular there is a specific photo I want to put out of Kaitie in a jacket behind a white fence that is the very definition of ambiguous. I fucking love that picture! I know it’s that type of picture a model wouldn’t necessarily consider all that flattering but, that is one of the reasons I think it’s so great and commend you and Kaitie for taking such a bold decision.
Guido Di Salle: Thank You! The Folkr editorial was a great team, with Eimear O’Reilly styling and Romy Zackon makeup. The atmosphere of that shoot was a combination of factors I believe starting with Kaitie. We shot late afternoon into early evening and I really just think the lighting helped us out quite a bit. As the sun went down and we had a couple more looks to go I popped my flash on and do what I do best, flash photography! Because we were winding down, and basically the story was coming to an end, I wanted Kaitie to just have fun and let go. That is when we snapped those fun shots of her, which by the way are also some of my favorites!
DJ Cobalt 60: When are you most satisfied with your work? What would you consider the best photo you have ever taken to be?
Guido Di Salle: When the model and the agencies reach out to me to tell me how much they love my work is a great feeling. Getting published in new magazines and having new opportunities come my way also gives me a sense of satisfaction. My favorite picture I have ever taken is a picture I took with my 5 year old niece on the lakeshore of Toronto. Nothing I ever do will beat that Polaroid, and helping her take that picture.
EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER NEEDS tape, for whatever reason.
I HATE IT WHEN MY CAMERA won’t focus in difficult light.
I LOVE MODELS WHO are uninhibited.
A CHALLENGE I LOOK FORWARD TO is shooting some campaigns.
THE LAST TIME A PHOTO LEFT ME SPEECHLESS…I was in Sicily and snapped a picture of the horizon as I drove home from the beach.
DJ Cobalt 60: For people interested in learning more about you or your work where can they go?
DJ Cobalt 60: Is there any you would like to thank who has supported you throughout your career or been instrumental to your career?
Guido Di Salle: Absolutely. My family who supports all my ideas. My beautiful girlfriend who pushes me to excel at whatever I show desire in. My social media following who I obviously don’t know the majority of them but they continually support my endeavors. Would also like to thank you for taking the time to chat with me!