Interview with photographer #5: Francesco Ungaro (Italy, Street & Nature photography)84LENS
When did you first become interested in photography? What sparked it and when did you decide that it was what you were going to do? Tell us your story 😉
I started shooting when I was 8 with a Kodak Instamatic and never stopped. I always loved the idea to catch and freeze those little transient expressions on the face of people. I always been loving to be behind the camera and become a beholder of reality. Then I started to focus on nature and macro photography, from human nature to Nature.
Were you formally educated in photography, or are you self taught?
I’m totally self taught. I bought some books on photography but never finished! My first school was flickr: I spent hours and hours looking at the best photographs “stealing” the art!
What is your ways of income from photography? Do you sell your photos on microstock sites? What else?
In the very beginning I never thought to earn money from my pics, but soon I received some donations from Pexels and Unsplash users. I was really surprised, proud and happy. What I really appreciate is the gratitude of people using my pics. It’s great to be part of their project such as graphics, music cover, posters, …
Recently I was contacted from Wirestock and started to share my pics on the platform and discovered that many of my pictures on FCU website were sold on stock websites by some “gentlemen”. It was a shock to me.
For me share on Pexels and Unsplash was a just gift not a matter of money. So I reported all the abuses. Now I’m less naif and split the sharing of my pics on different websites.
What else do you do besides photography? 😉
I’m a strategy and presentation consultant. I have been a strategist in communication agencies for 15 years. In 2015 I founded a company “Ghost Presenter” to support people to enhance presentation efficacy. Moreover I’m a university professor (brand and communication strategy).
What mistakes did you make when you started taking pictures?
All! Horrible framing. Burnt images. Darkest images. Noisy images. Photography is experimentation, you MUST do mistakes. And some mistakes give stunning results, you’d never even thought.
Which photo are you currently most proud of? Tell us a story about this photo please.
This picture was taken during a great roadtrip in Turkey. I was on a very slow ferry and I started to shot passengers to make pass time. First colours, then directly B&W. After some shots inside I went out. The weather was grey, heavy, little rainy and “suspended”, no wind even we moved. I saw the woman looking at the coast in her elegant dress and I started to frame, adjust, frame, adjust and after long long time finally shot. It was the first time I spent so many time to shot, normally I’m an instinctive photographer. I really wanted to freeze that mood, that feeling, that elegance. Hope you feel it!
Who have you learned the most from?
Flickr, Pexels, Unsplash photographers.
When did you start sharing your photos on Pexels and Unsplash? Many photographers prefer not to share their photos for free, but sell them on photo banks. What is your reason to do that? Does it helps you to attract new customers or you have some any other reasons?
I started sharing on Pexels and Usplash in 2017. Photography is a passion, not a job, so it was just a pleasure to share my shots. For my work I use many images to create impactful presentations; both Pexels and Unsplash are great source for crafting them. So it’s fair for me to share back my pics.
How did you find your photography style, and what can you recommend to other photographers trying to find their niche?
Taking shots and looking at what I like.
Your favourite accessory?
The xf 8-16mm is wow! Try it and you’ll tell me!
Favourite photography website?
Top tip for any aspiring in your niche photographers out there?
Really don’t know. Maybe I need top tips from them!
To what degree do you retouch your photos, Photoshop? Lightroom? Aperture? Anything that you like to do in your photos in particular, such as add certain curves?
I use Lightroom with some old camera filters presets. I really love the Polaroid 669.
There are no rules in post production, I like to experiment with different style.
Do you use some photographer’s facebook groups/forums/subreddits/medium to share your experience or discuss something?
Recommend some blogs or instagram profiles about photography you love to read.
This really a great source for review and a great photographer for inspiration: https://jonasraskphotography.com
What promotion methods do you use? How do you find customers for your photo shoots?
As told before it’s not my job, so I don’t need to find customers.
What apps do you use to organize your work? Maybe there are some interesting services that our readers would be interested to know about?
None, I’m a muddler ☺
Final words of wisdom you would like to share?
I started shooting when I was 8 with a Kodak Instamatic and will never stop.
The cameras have changed, but not my love for framing time and space
into solid moments to glimpse how truly vibrant and deep reality is.
Can you feel the wisdom? ☺
Thanks for the opportunity!!!
Thanks a lot Francesco! I wish you the most juicy shots!