Mariano Rodriguez:seek to break the typical rules that they teach you in photography schools
Updated: Aug 18, 2022
To begin, where are you based? How long has photography been a hobby and career of yours? What motivated you to get started?
I am based in Argentina, specifically in Buenos Aires, the Capital. I am a professional in economics, and I started photography 6 years ago as a hobby, looking for a creative activity to break the routine of numbers. At first, I only did landscape and travel photography, but then during the pandemic, I began to focus on portrait and fashion photography.
How did you move specifically towards fashion and beauty photography? What does fashion mean to you?
I got closer to fashion through photography, lighting, and retouching courses that I was doing during the pandemic. I really liked the creative process and teamwork to achieve the desired objectives. Fashion means Art for me, expressed in all visual senses, where there are no structured rules and everyone can impose their own depending on what they want to tell the viewer.
Do you prefer working on location or in the studio? What's your favorite light source, and why do you choose it?
I prefer to work in a studio, for the comfort, safety, and control of the situation, although I understand that it is also necessary to work outdoors, especially in an editorial fashion, where the possibilities of scenarios and creativity are endless. My most used light modifier for fashion photography is the Beauty Dish, I really like the contrast it generates.
Do you plan each photo out or are they created more spontaneously?
Together with the team formed for the production, the ideas and references on which we are going to move are set. The shots are not planned, they arise and create with the contribution of everyone.
What does it take to achieve a unity of the artistic and the commercial aspect of fashion photography?
To achieve an artistic and commercial unity in fashion photography, the essential thing is that what we want to sell, the final product, looks good, that is, if I am in a shoe campaign, all the importance of photography has to turn depending on whether that shoe looks its best and then the rest. It is essential that everything harmonizes in pursuit of the objective, colors, lights, model, styling, makeup, etc.
What do you hope people take away from viewing your images?
I hope that my photographs generate visual impact and manage to communicate the story that I want to tell to them. That when someone sees a photograph of me, recognizes a style, and say, this photo was made by Mariano. We are on the right path, there is still a long way to go.
What advice would you give to someone looking at a career in photography?
I would tell him to study, to look for references in the world of photography that inspire him, and from there, generate his own style. I would also tell him to seek to break the typical rules that they teach you in photography schools, not everything has to be from a book, photography is an art and art does not have rigid rules.
What is your best source of inspiration in your photography journey?
The best source of inspiration for my photography today is on social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, following the work of references, talented photographers from around the world, and fashion magazines, looking for inspiration. Sometimes that idea arises during the dream and other times by brainstorming with the team.
How do you feel about digital manipulation in present-day photography? What do you think it delivers in the final image?
Personally I do not have a closed or rigid opinion regarding digital manipulation. I think it's fine depending on what I want to convey with the photograph. Image retouching is a job, very hard indeed. Then it is the viewer who decides if he likes an image or not. In fashion there is a trend towards natural retouching, but all the images have a minimum retouching because what I am selling with them has to look perfect.
What are your future plans/goals for the next couple of years?
My main objective in the next two years is to continue learning and consolidating the foundations of my work in the world of fashion photography. Continuing on this path progressing step by step, finding and rediscovering my style, differentiating myself, are the things that make my head demand more and more.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
You can find my work in the following networks and links:
Wardrobe Stylist: Victoria Donadio @stylebyvich
Model: Isabella Sanchez @isabellasancheznistal
Wardrobe Stylist: Lujan Quinteros @lujanquintero2
Assistant: Silvina Uncos @see_more_producciones
Makeup Artist/Hair Stylist: Ernie Ba @erniebamakeup
Photographer/Retoucher: Mariano Rodriguez @mr_fotografia_ph
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