Every month we will interview the boldest craftsmen who are living the Pig & Hen lifestyle. This month, we have interviewed…
MILAN GINO – PHOTOGRAPHER
When / How did your passion for photography start? At what moment did you know you were meant to become a professional photographer. Your first big job, for which company was it and how did you feel?
Well, I started playing with camera’s when I was a kid, around 10 years old, learned shooting old school stuff how to develop your own photo’s in a doca when I was 12 something.
I was super fascinated by the fact that you can create stuff that is even more beautiful when you just play with techniques and discover how it works. Trying to shoot with a slow shutter of with a lack of light – cool things when you know nothing about technique.
And then of course, I had to learn myself stuff to become better, and not to waste my time in the doca on failed files. When the time changed from analog to digital, i learned myself more about all the facts of photography.
Yet, my first paid job was years later, when I turned 18 – shooting family portraits in black and white, digital and analog for friends of the family.
Also, when my girl started blogging for fun (this was 10 years ago, no businessplan or something, no instagram or money related goals nothing,) I started shooting photos of her, she became my muse. After two years, we did several big campaigns together for example Escada, Esprit and Diesel. She as a model, me as the photographer. I combined it with my jobs as designer and creative at several agencies. Later on (I was twenty-something and in the meantime I was freelance and hated the fact that I was always busy behind my computer). I wrote the editor in chief of JFK to tell him that I booked a ticket to milano during fashion week, and to ask him if he perhaps need some nice street style shots. I showed some of my professional and freestyle work and he reacted really enthusiastic. 6 weeks later I had my first 3 spreads in the JFK.
You have a very specific and unique style. How would you describe your style and how did your style develop?
Yeah true, it’s just developing, it’s not that my style is something I put in every job or extract for every client, or this is what I want to make for the rest of my life. I think it it super important to try new stuff every now and then, so lately I’m really into cinematic – especially a bit dramatic, on rainy days, reflects of the water or windows – That’s not stuff I can do for every client. Since I work as photographer and videographer I like to combine technics, for example; in video’s I like to work with frames that could work as a photo. Or in photo the other way around; every photo should be a shot from a movie. And always with people. I love to work with people, to make them feel comfortable and to have a good time, and at the same time to create stuff where people get proud of, of theirselves.
It seems to be difficult to constantly create new images. Where do you get your inspiration or what thrives you the most?
Always talk with people about different point of views of visual aspects – for example, watch videos or series with different kind of people, evaluate the storylines or the visual aspects. Search for old movies, try new stuff. On the streets; walk through the city during golden hour or on rainy Tuesday mornings when it’s quiet, try to look different to stuff. Learn about lightning, and how to capture it. Take your camera all the time, and also super important, sometimes you have to let go for a while. Do other things. To get your joy back.
What is your favourite kind to photoshoot? Which photoshoot or project are your the most proud of or has a great story?
We travel the world to the most beautiful spots on earth with a great team in the best circumstances. Bob is my favourite model – a characteristic strong dark face with life lines and he’s a really humble man. That’s important. We create a character that has something mysterious. People can’t say; ‘hey, that’s a typical sailor’. He’s just there, he has seen a lot of the world, carrying a lot of stuff on his shoulders – a bit dreamy, but strong too. I really love it when you can create a character that people can’t really place. But perhaps, maybe later on, we can do something totally new with Bob, showing a different side of him, perhaps something from the past, or place another character next to him that’s explains more about who he really is. I don’t know yet, but let’s see this year what it’s going to be.
What’s you’re biggest career goal or dreams? Perhaps a brand that you really want to work for or a collaboration?
Difficult, perhaps something non commercial – in video or photo, making a beautiful documentary in a cinematic way – a grateful project. But the most important thing for me personally is to work with a brand or organisation on a longer term, when you grow together and really leave a mark. Also to be a part of the creative department of the company.
You’re often on the road to shoot campaigns for big brands but you also have a lovely family at home. How do you combine them?
Well, sometimes it’s really busy, i’m abroad for a week or something so we need to plan things. But usually it’s really chill – I’m not working from 9 to 5, five days a week. It’s different, especially when there’s a lot of editing to do. We really stick to our morning routine, breakfast in bed with the baby. All the jobs or meetings are planned from 10 in the morning, and sometimes I’m working until late – but also got a lot of spare time in between the projects of meetings for a walk and lunch with the fam, which is the base, and when the base is on fleek your work will be on fleek too.
Milan is wearing:
Icy Ike Navy
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