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Macro video for a Jewelry commercial - test 1

Ice with bubbles, clear ice, frosty ice or watery ice?
This is a great example of why patience (and perseverance) is a very important quality for a creative artist.

My Client wants to show his new crocodile skin bracelets in a fresh new light.
Great, I thought, I really want to take this opportunity to film macro sequences of crocodile skin. You would not believe how amazing it looks once you light it beautifully and look through a great macro lens. Every time I shoot a reptile like this I have to take my eye away from the camera and stare in awe at the difference.

This time I am in the testing stage of a series of closeups based around the theme of the basic elements: earth, air, fire and water.

My first test was water, freezing the bracelets laid out flat with varying depths of water, timing how long they took to freeze and then how long to melt.
After the tests, I shot a time-lapse of the ice melting naturally, and then one using a heat source to speed up the process.
Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles! I like the effect (as the ice melts the bubbles move around the product) but I need to find a way to eliminate them to have a more varied choice in the edit.

Can't wait to get onto the fire shoot, I have great ideas for that one…

I love my crane - new buy from videographer in Florence

Strange title? Yes. I never thought I could describe a piece of film equipment that way, but it's true.

I have just upgraded from a cobra crane jib to the Kessler crane KC8 for our fitness advert shoot in Stazione Lepolda Firenze.

Wow it really is a great piece of kit. The difference from my old one is massive. For such a lightweight and portable crane the smooth flowing floating shots look awesome. Production value goes through the roof when creatively used crane shots are employed. With some careful practice you don’t need to hire a specialized operator and bust the budget.

Casting for Video & Photography cross – media

Casting for Video & Photography cross media: The nightmare of the "before and after effect!"

When we are in search of the star of our next project, I inevitably start to feel a dull pain behind one of my eyes. This pain is the fear of a model arriving looking nothing like their agency photo/video.

For the vast majority of our production I always demand a "face to face" audition for any model/actor, whether they have come from the top model agencies or street casting. Looking good in a photo taken last summer after 2 months in the gym and/or a short promise from the agency booker, is not enough for me anymore.

Last week I experienced that pain behind the eye in the most "heart in your mouth" way. For the production in question we had an extremely tight deadline and we absolutely had to cast an English/American look – not easy in Florence, Tuscany. "Mr X" who we cast from London looked great. Muscles popping everywhere, nicely tanned and totally without hair. Great for my short film about a body builder in training!

I arrived to see him in the flesh, looking great with his jacket on, but I started feeling the twinge as soon as he took it off, much smaller, not tanned, hair everywhere and not popping at every muscle seem like on his card. The show had to go on?
The "red guy on my shoulder" said "get him back in the taxi and on the plane back to London. Apologize humbly to all the crew who had a wasted morning and start all over again." The guy on the other shoulder said: "you need to pick up your head and make this work for the client, so that’s what I did.

So the message here is not to underestimate the upmost importance of the "before and after effect" and the impact it can have on your final product.

Lets just do it in post! Or… not?

This phrase is a popular one, which rolls off tongues on nearly every production I have ever worked on. When it’s a stills shoot that’s fine, fixing nearly everything in Photoshop is attainable with today’s budgets. However when video is introduced into the mix, ‘do it in post’ is not so easy.

To put things into perspective, lets say I have a model in a warehouse lit by big HMI constant lighting with big cables everywhere. We carefully set up the shots so we couldn't see all this equipment. Nearing the end of the shoot, a last minute decision is made which involves shooting from the opposite angle. It has to be done because it looks awesome says the art director on set.

Ok but we have to set all the lights again because we can see them in the shot but we don’t have anytime left, “let's do it in post” comes the response.

Yes we can and we can also double the entire budget and pay a very talented and expensive after effects artist to painstakingly remove the unwanted cables and lights frame by frame. For this particular shoot 50 frames per second for however many seconds we use in the final edit.

There is a very easy answer to this problem. Pre production.

Getting everything right in pre production down to the smallest detail, with detailed shot lists, story boards, wardrobe decisions, colour schemes, locations and very importantly casting. Also don’t forget that all of these things need to be shown to everyone involved.

(Blog image courtesy of Getty Images/Emma Innocenti) 

Idyllic Childhood

Sneak preview from our first of the cross media shoots in Elba Island.
Location is the amazing 'Tenuta La Chiusa' and the models are 5 local kids, aged 4 to 10. They were lovely and absolutely filled with incredibly energy... and of course sometimes a bit hard to handle!
But we let them run and play through the olive trees, the fields and on the shore... by the end they were sleeping for real in the gorgeous tent that Tanya put up for them!

Photoshoots in Elba Island

The last few weeks have been a very busy and exciting time.
Firstly, I finally moved into the new Florence studio & office and it's looking and feeling great! I then went with all the team for a week of cross media shoots on the beautiful Elba Island, just off the Tuscany coast.
We shot 5 cross-media collections for Image Source, and my favourite Art Director Tanya Lefevre who flew from London with her usual bag of amazing props and ... a new underwater casing for the D5 that we were testing, resembling a very cool sixty-handbag - basically, a plastic bag!
The weather was beautiful, with endless blue skies and an amazing strong sunlight. David Steven Lee was doing video as usual but this time with his new Panasonic GH2, and my Italian assistant Vanni proved to be absolutely untiring throughout the week!
We had lots of fun and some great adventures - shooting underwater was amazing - and I will be posting some photographs and videos as soon as they go through editing and retouching. To be expected: a couple of vintage cars to die for, a bunch of wild kids, a beautiful bride, 5 stars hotel treatment, SPA, romantic sunset, young and free teenagers ....

Sadiq Khan - cover story for Total Politics

The new Total Politics magazine is out now with my photograph on the cover and more inside alongside the interview.
We shot last month in London - my first time back 'home' - in Sadiq Khan's office in Tooting.
While Total Politics editor Ben Duckworth carried out the interview, we set up a photographic set in a basement room. We shot a eyes-only-in-focus portrait for the cover at f2.2 and then something more playful for the inside spread.
Antonello Sticca art directed the set with found objects with a slight country but solid feeling: a beautiful old wooden table, a chair, few stands and even an old fashion a teapot ... but you need to grab a copy of the magazine to see more.
Sadiq Khan was very relaxed and happy to be photographed, given us more than the usual 5 minutes, what a relief!

Lovely day for a wedding

Yesterday was a wonderful sunny day for my first shoot in Florence!
Luca & Deborah were in front of the camera and hair & make-up was by Silvia Gerzeli. I cannot thank enough for her kindness, invaluable help and of course talent!
First half of the day was around San Miniato Church and the second half in a park nearby my new office (that is almost ready!) for a more relaxed look.
I am enjoying shooting out of the studio and with (almost all) natural light... everything is a bit more relaxed and spontaneous, and I will be getting a tan soon!

The room, Cross-Media shoot

The Room from emma innocenti on Vimeo.

This is an example of cross media content, with photographs and videos shot at the same time.
In this edit, the colours of the video have been changed to create a dream like story, otherwise they are perfectly similar!
Art direction by Tanya Lafevre, Set design by Plum Art Dept, Hair & make up by Beatriz Lopez, Music by 'The Man Who Laughs'
The images and videos are available for commercial licensing at Image Source.

Photonovela, the book now available on Blurb

Photonovela is a personal project, exploring the boundaries between documentary photography, autobiography and memory itself.
It took me a full couple of years to complete it, lots of help from family and friends (that posed as models), a generous grant from the Arts Council of England and the invaluable advice of Ann Williams and Wiebke Lester (then my tutors while completing the MA in Art photography at The University of the Arts London).
I still think it's a great project, and although my photography may have changed since, my heart hasn't. 
So it is now available for all to see in a book on Blurb at this link:

Cover photo, Caroline Lucas for Total Politics mag

The January issue of "Total Politics" magazine is now out for sale, with my photograph of Caroline Lucas on the cover and more featuring inside with her interview. 
I shot the leader of the Green Party inside Portcullis House at Westminster. As usual with a very busy MP, we have a bit of time to set up backdrop and lighting in a little area and then only few moments to shoot their portraits. Caroline Lucas was extremely nice and after taking her portrait we wandered around Portcullis House to take some more natural images and show Total Politics readers a bit more of the settings - strangely in between indoor garden, modern office and classic decor.
The cover design is by Antonello Sticca, currently working on a cool redesign for the whole mag!

Femina mag cover

"Femina" is a weekly Swiss magazine and the image on the cover is part of a shoot we did in my studio in London few months ago.
The theme for the shoot was "Celebration" so the lovely model (Satu from BMA London) played a bit of cards and then had lots of fun with champagne and blowing streamers!
Many thanks to Claire Mazik for the wonderful hair and make up.

Mia Jafari new dress collection

Mia Jafari has added few unique dresses to her wonderful collection of scarves where Eastern embroidery meets cutting edge digital print through hyper-real aesthetic.
We shot in my East London studio, with Mia busy sewing and perfecting the dresses to the model and Sarah Morton taking backstage pictures for Sketchbook magazine.
I totally love Mia Jafari creativity, use of colour, details and humour. Our collaboration goes back a few years, when I shot some models dancing in front of her psychedelic laundry machines for the Festival of Urban Art Architectural Projection in the Constitution Square and the University Square of Bucharest

A trip down memory lane - DIVA magazine covershoot video

DIVA magazine cover shoot - behind the scene from emma innocenti on Vimeo.

Once upon a time...
...before I started writing this blog, there was a special celebration 150th issue for DIVA magazine...
We invited 150 women of all sizes, shapes and colour to take part in a naked photoshoot to grace the cover of the magazine. It was a way to celebrate real women and the real readers of the magazine who could finally see themselves represented and have the thrill of a real photoshoot.

The planning and organisation was quite manic, and we had no idea how many of the women would turn up at silly o'clock at the Heaven Club, in Central London for a 15th of August early breakfast photo shoot.

We didn't know if we could managed to get them all nice, naked and relaxed, looking at the camera and smiling without catching a single blink.
Also more importantly, without showing private parts or even a single nipple, as they are totally banned (by law) from front covers of magazines!

Well, we made it! Enjoy the video that has just been re-edited for my website and thanks to: Jane, Louise and Eden at Diva magazine; Antonello; Benedetta for the production, Giacomo and Nicky for assisting me, David for the video; the stewards on the day; Heaven & Kinetic for the logistic support and EVERYONE THAT DARED BARE IT ALL! It was fun!

Bagatelles & Co Lookbook

A sneak preview of Bagatelles & Co new collection of purses, bags and wallets that will shortly be on sale. 
Rym designs these wonderful little purses that are hand crafted by her small team with a hand picked selection of Liberty fabrics and other textile gems that she sources from French markets and little shops.
I love that they are so delicate and quirky at the same time.