Romina Ressia is a fine art photographer. She was born in Argentina, in a small town near Buenos Aires. She’s been passionate about art ever since she was a young child. However, it was not until her late 20’s that she decided to dedicate her life to photography. Known for her painterly style, she has displayed her works in various art exhibitions in Milan, Buenos Aires, Edinburgh, Czech Republic, and New York. Currently, she is represented by numerous art galleries in more than 20 countries.
Romina Ressia: I have a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting, and before I became a Photographer, I used to work in the financial department of a huge international corporation. I felt like a stranger in that place and I had the need to express myself, to do something artistic. That was how I started to study photography. However, I have been an art-lover ever since I was a child. I used to enroll in drawing and painting courses; and when I was around 8, I asked my mum to enroll me in photography classes. But at that time, there was no photography courses for children.
It started as a hobby at the beginning, but I immediately knew that I want to do it for the rest of my life. I wanted to take it to the next level. Fortunately, my job in Finance allowed me to buy all the equipment I needed and to attend some courses in order to build a portfolio. And it was pretty fast. I left my old job and started working as photographer. In the beginning, I was more focused on fashion photography; but later, I gradually transitioned to Fine-Art. The challenge is always to try to do something original and different, something that makes you feel proud of it.
I would say 30% formal and 70% self-taught. I took some courses in Photography and Art Direction & Scenery; but, I think that my biggest advances were due to my own passion and inquietude.
I dedicate all my time to Photography, when I am not shooting, I go to galleries and museums, read about the History of Photography, or do research for my next works. Looking at other artists’ works or reading about History of Photography helped (a lot) to train the eyes and I think they are more important than any photography course. In my opinion classes are a good place to learn techniques; but, we have to make our own learning experience.
I am not so crazy about equipment. I shoot with my Nikon D300s and am thinking about buying a Hasselblad due to the quality of the images for big prints. However, I think that the camera is just a tool. A good photographer can make a piece of Art only with a plastic camera or even with his mobile, it is the really the eye that matters. For post- processing, I use Lightroom and Photoshop.
Yes, actually I shoot with very specific images in mind. I have every little detail thought through before the shooting, sometimes I also do sketches or collages in PS to visualize how the final result will look like. But, it does not mean that I don’t find new things during the shooting. In fact many times, the surprise factor gives us the best images.
I think PS gives photographers many possibilities, it works like the old laboratory and more. However I don’t like photo manipulation. I mean, I use PS to correct skin and to improve colors, light or details; but not to add things that were not on the set. I always do everything on the set, even in my project titled “Renaissance Brushstrokes” in which people tend to think that I painted over the print. In that project for example, I put large panes of glass (which I previously painted) between the model and the camera to get that result. Neither do I like to modify the backgrounds. I like to take the photos totally on the set.
Regarding the concepts, I get inspiration from real people, the world, and some contemporary issues. In that way, I think my work has a strong sociological content . . . I like to show people’s behaviours and reactions in the modern world. Then, I present those ideas with my personal style, which is very influenced by Art. I am an Art lover, in all of its forms, and I am mainly passionate about Classic [artworks].
Well, those projects were inspired by the fact that, despite the advances and technology humanity has today, there is a longing about past times, when things were more natural and handmade. Things used to be made with great materials to last for a long time; while today, everything seems to be disposable. Then I asked myself how would the renaissance people have done it today and I showed it by mixing those periods through the images.
I think about a concept or an idea I want to express; and then, apart from the photo and the post processing, I do the styling, design the set, and make the props and scenery when it is needed. I also work with a person who does the make-up and hair and with an assistant. And in some specific shoots, I also work with a producer. [The work of] Maria Punta Raffo (MUA) & Alessandra Archimio (Ph Assistant) are present in most of my photographs. We make a great team as we already know each other very well. And as I am very obsessive at work, I need to work with people who are familiar with my way of working.
Lastly, do you have any message you want to share with Beautiful Bizarre readers?
I would just suggest people give Art a bigger space in their lives. We would be nothing without Art.