Paris fashion photographer Flavia Raddavero has been actively pursuing her passion since discovering it years ago as a college student in San Francisco. We came across her work at a local gallery recently and were struck by some her images, and curious to know more about the artist behind the camera. Last week we had the opportunity to sit down with Flavia and learn about what inspires her, how her passion for photography developed and how she’s been able to create a successful career through her art in a very challenging industry.
Passion: From Ballet to Photography. “I was born and raised in Argentina. Since I was a little girl, my passion was ballet. I began studying at four years old and continued through young adulthood, when I balanced it with my studies in interior design. For personal reasons, I left Argentina at 18 and wound up in San Francisco, where I registered to take colleges classes at a local university. I wasn’t able to transfer my credits from Argentina so I decided to try something new. I was sad to stop ballet but it wasn’t possible to continue this at the same time as my studies. So I began taking all kinds of classes at the university until one day – BOOM – I took my first photography class and fell in love (bright smile).”
What Inspires Her. “When I see certain people, I say to myself, ‘I must have this person in my photos. I don’t know how – but I need to photograph this person, and I usually find a way to do it’. There has to be some connection or feeling there, but it could be anyone.”
Don’t Follow Rules. Follow Your Instinct. “Many photographers believe they need to follow rules they’ve learned in school. They’ve been taught to follow rules and do the job in a certain way. For me, this doesn’t make sense. I use my instinct and trust it completely. This can be disturbing for some people, who work in a certain very organized way; however, I trust my process and I know that when we’re there – in the moment – I will understand exactly what I need to do. If I’d planned everything, it wouldn’t make any difference because I would ultimately just change things around to where my instinct leads me. I have the foundation, so I allow myself the freedom to be myself as an artist. It’s the only way for me to work.”
Key to Staying Inspired = Change. “I don’t really have favorite images or projects. I know this will sound arrogant, but it’s true: I’m proud of it all. I do personally like to change things around me and keep things different and interesting. For instance (pointing to one photo hanging on the studio wall), I love this photo but I’m biting my nails at the same time because I am ready to print another photo to hang in its place. Change is important to stay inspired.”
What brought you to Paris? “Love.” (smiling).
Her Experience in Paris Photography Scene. “In the beginning it was very difficult. I didn’t speak French when I arrived and the doors felt very closed to me. However, once I began meeting people and speaking the language, of course, it got easier? Photography is still a difficult and very male-dominated field. I think around 80% of the photographers here are men and there can naturally be a macho attitude sometimes. However, at the same time, there’s an interesting and unique market as a female photographer. Some people are more interested in having a female point of view to provide a different perspective and experience.”
A successful photoshoot feels like a party. “I love meeting models and interesting people of all types and an ideal shoot is simply a great experience. If you are in a positive state of mind a shoot can feel like a party. We all connect, relax and enjoy the moment. When this happens, the results tend to be fantastic, in addition to the experience.”
Do you have any favorite pieces or projects you are most proud of? “Oh, of my work? I love it all (laugh). No, I don’t have favorites. I know this will sound arrogant, but it’s also true. I’m proud of it all. I love what I do, and there is nothing that I can say is my favorite. I like to change things around and keep things different and interesting. For instance (pointing to one photo hanging on the studio wall), I love this photo, but I’m also biting my nails and ready to print another photo and hang that one instead.”
More Photos + Upcoming Events + Inquiries: “All of my information is at: www.flaviaraddavero.com, where I post photos and my blog. My Facebook professional page is: Flavia Raddavero Facebook. My website is really the best place to learn about upcoming exhibitions, see more photos or to make any inquiries.”
Special thanks to Flavia Raddavero for sharing your insights and experiences as a professional photographer in Paris. We look forward to checking out your work at an upcoming show this spring!
* Song To Get You In The Mood: “Am I Wrong” by Nico + Vinz.
And no, you’re not wrong for thinking outside the box and going for what you want. You are absolutely right. Trust yourself.