Italian photographer Isabella Pozzali tried out our Petzval 80.5 Art Lens for the first time with truly amazing results! Let's get to know her better through this interview.
Hi Isabella! Could you give a little introduction to the readers of our Online Magazine?
Hi there! I'm Isabella, IsaB for my friends. I'm from Milan, Italy, but I moved to Rimini about a year ago. Mainly I am a portrait photographer, but I also like to range in other genres. I prefer ambient portraits because they allow me to give vent to my creativity and imagination. I like to create the props for my photoshoots myself, although lately, due to a lack of time and materials, I have relied a lot on what I could find around.
Tell us about your photographic background: when did you start your journey into photography?
My journey started more or less in 2012, as a game, when my beloved grandfather gave me my first camera, a Canon 50d. I called her Jolie and we became inseparable. I started taking pictures of everything around me, from flowers, to landscapes, to stray kittens, until one day I decided to involve two friends and create something with them. Then, at university, I met my now inseparable friend Patty and we discovered we had this passion in common. We created a Facebook page (which I won't mention because those shots are embarrassing for both of us) and started organizing our photoshoots. In 2015 my Instagram page was born and it marked the beginning of my photographic journey, which I am still following today.
All these photos were taken with the Petzval 80.5 Art Lens: what features did you like the most?
I loved the fact that I could play with the depth of field and create almost magical effects with the bokeh adjustment. I pushed this lens to the limit and was able to create shots that I'm very proud of.
What are the cons?
It's not really a con, but the fact that it is a manual focus lens caused me a lot of difficulties at first. I'm a bit of a comfort person and I'm used to shooting in automatic, because often at events and weddings if you don't have your camera ready you risk missing out on some really great moments. I realize, however, that it's just a matter of getting used to it, and once you get used to it, it can be very fun.
Many of your photos have a wonderfully dreamy and sometimes almost magical atmosphere: do you think this lens, with its Bokeh effects, could complement your photographic style?
Not only would it fit in but it might even become one of my favorites. I usually use a 50mm prime lens which is my inseparable companion in my photoshoots, but this lens definitely competes with it. I'd love to try out the "little sister", the Petzval 55mm f 1.7, because I think it could become part of my inseparable ones along with this Petzval 80.5. I think it would give an even more dreamy effect to my portraits.
What camera did you use for these shots?
I have been using a Canon EOS 6D Mark II for 4 years now. I decided to change the model because I started shooting at events and weddings and I needed a more professional camera that would give me a better result.
Looking at these photos, and all the portraits on your Instagram profile in general, it is very obvious how comfortable your subjects are in front of the camera. What's your secret?
I'm an extremely outgoing and sunny person and I love my job, so when I shoot I think I convey a lot of this positivity and desire to create. During my shoots I always try to put the other person at ease by talking a lot before I start shooting, putting on music to relax them, asking them if there is anything, in particular, they would like to do during the shoot. There is always a good atmosphere and mood. For me, the most important thing is that the people in front of me understand how much I care about the project we have created together and my desire to make them feel good by listening to their needs and ideas.
Many of your shots have rivers, seas, forests as locations. Why this choice and what connection do you have with nature?
The locations I choose allow me to express myself 100% and above all, I am a lover of natural light, so these places give me the opportunity to make the most of it. I like to set my sets mainly in the woods or in open fields, also because these are the places where I grew up. I feel at home, I feel very connected to the outside world and to nature, and feeling this way I can convey these feelings in my works, making them completely my own.
What kind of photographic equipment do you always bring with you during your travels?
As I mentioned before, my beloved 50mm! And I'm discovering more and more how useful it is to always carry a prism with you. It gives that extra magic touch to every photo.
What is the most important element when composing an image?
For some time I have been thinking a lot about technical rules during a composition. So I would ask myself a lot of questions before taking the picture. But when I got home I was never 100% satisfied with the results. So I started to go with the feeling of the moment and the results improved a lot. I always try to make sure that I don't 'cut out' important parts of a photo, but for the rest, I rely a lot on the emotions I feel about the place where I'm shooting and especially the person in front of me.
Do you have any interesting projects or collaborations in the pipeline?
I'm getting collaborative proposals from brands that are very much in line with my style of photography. I have some accessories and clothes that I plan to shoot in the next few weeks, but I don't want to give too much away so I create a bit of a surprise effect ahaha. I've been a bit absent over the summer due to work but I expect to be back in action by mid-September so stay tuned!
Follow Isabella on her Instagram profile to check all her works.