This month’s featured photographer is Italian-born Alessia Francischiello, a freelance photographer with lots of wisdom to share about getting the right shot and finding the best photos even in the most unlikely places.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?
Hi to all Fujifilm lovers. I am Alessia Francischiello and come from Italy. I’ve been living in Australia for the last four years and it’s been full of opportunities in the photography field, especially thanks to Fujifilm, which I have been using for the last three years. I am, in fact, honoured to be featured by Fujifilm Australia, which is the greatest company I ever dealt with. I work in a camera store in Sydney and am a freelance photographer. My passion for photography started about seven years ago while living in Rome, mostly interested in street and architectural style. Studying photography for several years in Italy and Australia caused my interest to turn to portraiture, as I am a real people person. My photography now is mostly beauty and fashion, with a few publications done for magazines around the world, but I also enjoy landscape and street photography.
How did you develop an interest in photography using Fujifilm equipment?
I haven’t always been a Fujifilm shooter because when I started there weren’t all the amazing options we have now with this brand. Since I bought my first X-T1 my passion for photography grew more and more, thanks to the excellence of the products and the feeling of comfort using them. I felt so confident in shooting portraits thanks to the discretion of the equipment and its portability. I also enjoy the colours and the old style dials on top of the cameras which are great for people who just shoot manual like I do.
‘Black Soul’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR – F5.6 – 1/125 second – ISO 200
How would you describe your photography style and strategy?
My style is made by anything that communicates effectively and is enjoyable for the viewers. Mostly studio or outdoor fashion and beauty style.
I like to keep it natural as much as I can. I like new and original ideas. I take my time to create mood boards and work closely with makeup artists and models to make sure we always have innovative and creative content.
What inspires your photography?
People! I love being around people and making them feel comfortable (models or not), which is an easy task with Fujifilm equipment. How many of you felt like paparazzi when using a big DSLR? Well, I did! I like discretion and not being invasive showing off my equipment to everyone.
‘Simple is Perfect’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 R – F1.2 – 1/500 second – ISO 200
Where are your favourite places to take photos and do you prefer a certain type of light to photograph in?
Australia is full of places to take stunning shots. I love water and beaches, which are not hard to find here. I love natural light because you have to deal with it and it pushes you to think about it. I am also fascinated by studio lighting because it is editable and you can learn how to control it to make your own ideas come true.
What is your favourite memory from a photography session?
I have many memories and positive experiences. But I can say the best moment I remember is during my last beauty session, shot with studio lights indoor, where this model was so into the role of punk diva that we laughed genuinely for half an hour.
Can you tell us which is your favourite Fujifilm camera to use and why?
I currently use X-T2 and a bunch of XF lenses that all work smooth on it. Its fast performance allows me to shoot in any situation and any weather, because it’s weather-sealed, and I feel comfortable not worrying about it. I shoot in windy and sandy situations, rainy, low light and it never lets me down. The low light capability in this new version is astonishing and I wouldn’t change it. I love its ergonomic grip which makes it easy to balance with any kind of lens, like for example the XF50-140mmF2.8.
Which Fujinon lens or lenses do you prefer to use with your Fujifilm camera and why?
I love my XF56mm1.2 R! The best lens I have ever used and the speed and sharpness allows me to use it in studio or outdoor without limits. Even at F1.2 the sharpness doesn’t look compromised and this is one of the most important characteristics I like about it.
My second favourite lens is the XF18mmF2. It’s affordable, small and fast. It’s my first choice when I am on holiday, hiking or with friends in day or nighttime, because it’s discrete and the sharpness is high standard for the price you pay.
I have to say, Fujifilm is the only brand with such great quality lenses in any price range, and for any kind of shooters.
‘Natural Beauty’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2.2 – 1/125 second – ISO 200
What sort of workflow do you use in your photography? Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG?
I am not a big fan of post-processing but when you work with models and fashion products you don’t have much choice. I always try to keep my work as real as possible and help the viewer to recognise the real beauty. I use mostly Lightroom for quick editing and Photoshop for deeper improvements. Both perfectly compatible with Fujifilm files.
I always shoot Raw+JPEG. Raw is necessary for me, especially for work, because I want to have the best file I can to work on after. I am fascinated by the quality of JPEGs in this camera: Colours are shiny and real, quality is amazing despite the compression and having the WiFi option, I love to share the JPEGs straight out of the camera, especially when on holiday and have no time to do post-processing.
As you can see, these products can be used for really any kind of photography.
‘Innocence’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F2 – 1/5000 second – ISO 200
Do you have any technical tips you’d like to share? Perhaps suggestions on the best lighting, shutter speed, white balance, aperture, ISO, etc.? Other preferences?
Have fun and enjoy your moments with the camera! I never had more fun shooting in my life than now that I am using these products. I feel I can do anything I want with it in my hands. Some people told me this is not the best brand if I wanted to do studio photography. Well, my pictures speak for me.
A tip for X-T2 shooters: Get your Power Booster Grip and use it all the time. It’s perfect to balance long telephoto lenses or to get better performance from your camera anywhere, anytime. I always have it with me and it makes the difference.
Do you have advice for new photographers or the next potential X-Thusiast?
Don’t think a portrait is good just when the background is blurred or a landscape is stunning only when it’s all sharp. Be creative, help innovate the way people look at images. Create a story, not only a picture. What remains of them nowadays is just a big file on your computer unless you’re able to push yourself to the limits and try something different. And if you own a Fujifilm camera you’ll understand how good it feels when you’re equipment thinks like you do, responds to your needs and is your loyal friend in any situation.
Don’t buy a camera because it looks professional, buy it because when you use it — it makes you feel you’re doing the right thing, learn on it and make mistakes. The best photos are the ones you weren’t meant to take.
‘Simple is Perfect 2’ – Fujifilm X-T2 with XF56mmF1.2 – F7.1 – 1/125 second – ISO 200
Interested in becoming our next featured X-Thusiast photographer? Check out our full X-Thusiast Gallery and submission details.