Daniele Barraco brightens up Hasselblad Studio
The Hasselblad Studio, conveniently situated
in central London, was the ideal place for Italian photographer
Daniele Barraco and his beloved H4D-40 to meet up with the
legendary Sir Tom Jones.
"Honestly, I had imagined Sir Tom Jones as a person would be
rather bashful and reserved," says Italian photographer Daniele
Barraco of his meeting with the legendary Welsh singer at the
Hasselblad Studio in London. "However, I was surprised to meet
someone who had such great charm and humility. He even performed a
few dance steps to a reggae song that was playing in the
Barraco chose his regular kit for the shoot, a Hasselblad H4D-40
with 120mm, 80mm and 50mm lenses, and he worked with his favourite
Rembrandt lighting, a technique that guarantees the photographer
technically impeccable results despite working conditions that are
often complex. It's not unusual for Barraco to find himself
shooting against the clock backstage or in hotel suites prior to
concerts or important interviews and yet still being expected to
come away with images that have great emotional impact. The
pressure of working in this way has allowed him to perfect the
skill of getting the shots he wants quickly.
"When you're fast everyone is happier and when they see the result
that I've managed to obtain in such a short time they are often
speechless," he says. Barraco's ability to work at speed meant that
even though he only had around 20 minutes to take his picture of
Tom Jones he was able to get what he wanted and still have time for
a relaxed cup of tea and a cookie with the singer at the end of the
session before he had to go.
For Daniele, much of the success of this shoot was down to being
able to work in the Hasselblad Studio, which is centrally located
in the district of Hoxton in London. The venue has first class
technical back up and is fully equipped with lighting, backdrops,
changing facilities and rest areas. "I have worked in many
photographic studios around Europe and have never found a place so
well organized and managed by people who have been so helpful and
friendly and yet so highly professional," he says.
Barraco is no stranger to photographing famous names. Amongst the
stars who have been in front of his camera are Christopher Walken
(see video), James Blunt, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Brian Molko of
Placebo, Maceo Parker, Pierfrancesco Favino, Eugenio Finardi and
many others, and he also photographs 'ordinary people' that he
finds interesting. "I love photographing people," he says. "I love
their eyes, their skin and the wrinkles of a face, and my
photographs are produced in a very democratic way." No matter who
they might be, famous or not, all of Barraco's subjects are treated
equally, both to ensure consistency of style and also because
people are always the undisputed protagonists in the photographer's
"The photographic portrait for me is tied to the feelings and the
interaction between the subject and the photographer," he says.
"It's a silent language recognized by both that, if in tune, can
make the shoot really special. It's a kind of mutual respect for
one common goal".
From about a year Daniele has used Hasselblad cameras and in his
opinion there is nothing better in terms of quality, construction,
technology and pure aesthetics. His current camera is an H4D-40,
and he's been particularly impressed with the True Focus technology
that it boasts. "I would feel lost not having this camera around,"
he says. "It's the perfect tool and if I didn't have it with me it
would miss all the fun!"