Featured Photographer – Andre-Paolo Portolesi

1. Tell us a bit about the image?
It all came together as a last-minute project with the beautiful, talented model, Petra Ashby (Instagram: @petra_ashby). A heavy ice storm, followed by a fresh snowfall made for the perfect opportunity to explore the backroads of Toronto, Canada, for an environmental portrait shoot. It was one of those sessions where the pieces fell perfectly in place. I could not be more thrilled with the final results and feedback we have both received on this collaborative project.

2. What inspired you to take the shot?
Truthfully, I was conserving sell this lens (Fujinon 16mm f/ 1.4). I am primarily a portrait photographer and was not finding much use at this focal length. Instead of selling it, I chose to challenge myself to use it outside of its general-purpose, for landscape photography. I soon found myself falling in love with the lens all over again. Needless to say, it comes with me on every portrait session as the unique images the lens can produce has become my ultimate inspiration to get creative images outside of the box.

3. What gear did you use for the shot including lighting?
This image was shot with the Fujifilm X-T3 and the Fujinon 16mm f/ 1.4 ultra-wide prime lens. All my photography has been shot with natural light to date. However, I soon plan on exploring the depths of my artistic visions with external light sources as I am passionate about taking my creations to the next level.

4. Tell us about the editing process?
Lightroom and Photoshop are staples in my editing process when it comes to achieving the look I desire. Based on the location, outfit, pose and facial expression, I felt a desaturated, moody, vintage grading would best tell the story I was looking to share. After fine-tuning my desired tones and lighting adjustments in Lightroom, I then move to Photoshop to discard any distractions the image may have, followed by skin retouching, and a final layer of calibration for a polished moody look.

5. How does this piece reflect you as an artist?
As someone who is very passionate about the outdoors, adventures and travelling. I feel that this photograph is a great representation of exactly that. With every photograph I take, it is my goal to share a piece of my personal story and evoke enough emotion in the viewer that allows them to connect with the image on a deeper level.

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