IPA Interviews with Winning Photographers

Interview with

Andrea Francolini

2015 People Photographer of the Year

Photographer Andrea “Drew” Francolini is a well known marine industry photographer.

Now based in Sydney Australia, Andrea was born in Milan Italy, in the early 70’s and was educated in the USA and Switzerland. His freelance career has seen him working on every continent around the world, aided by his fluent English, French and Italian.

What is your background?

Graphic designer and yachting photographer for the past 17 yrs.

What kind of photography do you most identify with?

Sport and documentary

Explain your style in 100 words

I shoot the way I see things. I do not like setting things up unless it is a portrait where the subject has to look in the camera. I prefer to stay in a corner and watch everything unfold in front of my eyes.

How did your style change over time?

It has not really. The only thing which has really changed over time is composition. Improving that is the most important thing. All the technical stuff you can learn on the internet or by practicing.

When did you discover your passion for photography?

I always liked looking at pictures and tried to take them myself because I could not draw. Then the hobby turned into passion and the passion turned into a job and that job is now also my hobby!!!

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Forgetting to take the charged batteries with me for a shoot and showing up. Luckily the client had to cancel at the last minute once we were all there so no one really found out about this!

What jobs have you done other than being a photographer?

I used to work as a graphic designer when I started working in the early 90s.

What is your dream project?

I would like to be able to shoot everything on B&W film with the main focus on portraits.

Name 5 photographers who have inspired you

Sebastiao Salgado, James Natchwey, Ara Guler, Daido Moriyama, Richard Avedon

What would you do without photography?

I would invent it :)

How do you know when a body of work is finished?

When I look at it and say: wow, did I do that?
But since that hasn’t happened yet I guess I have to continue
Things change all the time and evolve and so does the body of work

Is there one photograph of yours that you are very proud of? Why?

There is more than one and they are all very different to each other. I think I like them because I remember how hard it was to get that particular picture. Each picture means something different.

What is your most important gadget? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

I don’t shoot in a studio but if I had to sell everything I have related to photography and only keep one camera and one lens I would either keep my Canon 5D Mark III with 24-70mm or my Leica M6 + 35m

What was your first camera?

Canon EOS 1000

What camera do you use now and why?

All Canon Digital – the professional ones. These are mainly for work.
Mamiya 7 and Leica M6 are for my personal work on film

What role does the photographer have in society?

If a picture can help someone then it is great. if it can make someone dream, it is good.
If it wakes up particular emotions then it is even better. You have to love what you shoot.

You can contact Andrea and find his work here.

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