Angelo D’Agostino has a solid eye when it comes to studio photography and lighting. Spawning from an Italian electric engineer who worked on military airplanes and a Korean fine artist, inside a little town in Vermont with a picturesque Quarry, we can see how lines and lighting has influenced in his photographic work.
The man has talent, literally, that he is making a scene for himself by notably contributing to the covers of Harpers Bazaar, Vogue Mexico, and Numero Russia, as well as gaining an impressive 13.1k following on his Instagram account, which can be found intermixed between his photography work and his personal memories of growing up with a skateboard in hand, flooding the punk music scene that was captured in the age of disposable film cameras. Angelo is living the life of a New York creative these days, and far from pretentious. We had an opportunity to interview Angelo and gain insight into his inspirations and his thoughts on fashion photography and the evolution of the digital age.
Please describe your current role?
Fashion and portrait photographer. Constantly on the grind.
How was your youth in the punk scene influenced or moved you into fashion photography? Do you remember the time when you wanted to become a fashion photographer?
The punk/hardcore scene was very liberal for the most part where it nourished and accepted creativity and people from all sorts of walks of life. So I think from just growing up in that environment, pushed you to be creative or to be an individual to some degree. My mom was an artist, I was always playing in and out of bands, so when it was time for college to me art school made the most sense. My Senior year I fell in love with photography, but it wasn’t really till I moved to NYC and started assisting that I actually thought about shooting fashion. So I sort of fell into it, and sort of fell in love with it.
What inspired you to make a jump in fashion? How did that evolve you becoming a photographer?
I moved to NYC right after graduating college. I got a job at a photo studio the first year, where I met many top tier photographers and their assistants. After leaving the job at the studio I moved on to assisting. Which eventually led to testing my last year assisting, after assisting for 5 years made the transition to shooting. Was overall a really amazing learning experience and I still have a long way to go.
With today’s digital social influence, how do you feel photography play in the role of consumer outreach and communication for commerce?
Digital influence is everything now. The consumer influence and game has completely changed over the last 10 years. I remember being a kid and my mom getting tons and tons of catalogs in the mail, those days are over.
Where do you see things shifting for fashion photography in the digital age in the next few years?
Things overall are just getting more and more watered down, where it’s highly competitive, and every one thinks there a photographer. In a sense I feel like it can be a good thing in the big picture, where it’ll eventually really give a separation of actually being a real photographer, when it comes to proper projects that need to be accomplished. And the whole smoke and mirror jig will be over to the people going through the motions.
Tell us about a time you failed and how you learned from it.
I fail every day. I try to learn from every mistake. Way too many times to just talk about one.
How do you see the online landscape changing?
I think things are just getting more interactive in regards to the online landscape changing. More involvement from a viewer or consumer.
Do you have any predictions of what will be the next big thing in photography?
Who knows. Red changed the game a bit years back, a lot people got into the concept of pulling stills from motion I’m personally not into it, but whatever floats your boat. I think file size / and sensors are just going to keep getting better/higher quality, at more and more affordable prices.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing what you do? What tools or skills should people have?
Learn as much as you can. Try to assist and work for photographers that you admire their work, learn and translate all your knowledge to your own style and voice. Don’t be scared or intimated by earning your dues and stripes. Become a real master of your trade.