Interview with the best photographer from Reunion , Alexis Gilli
1- Hello Alexis, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a photographer and an entrepreneur. I was raised on a small boat and traveled the world until I graduated from high school. I have run a very successful photography career since, and I am currently launching a huge start-up in E-com.
2- How did you get started in photography?
I was about 12, and a tour guide in Borneo lent me his camera, I felt in love with it and opened my business 2 years later.
3- What was your very first camera?
I believe it was an old Canon 400D.
4- Can you share with us what equipment is in your kit bag today?
I like using very high-end equipment, but I don’t want other photographers to believe that you need all of that in order to start.
I shoot Ricoh, I own 2 K-1s their flagship full-frame SLR, 2 K3IIs, a whole set of lenses, 8mm fish-eye, 14 2.8, 24 1.4, 35 1.4, 50 1.4, 85 1.4, 90 macro 2.8, 18-135 WR, 300 f/4, 35 f/2.8 macro, and my beloved 135 f/2.
5- Regarding the transition from film to digital – when did it happen for you?
I didn’t really go through that as I started photography right after this transition. That being said, I shot a bit of film, and find it as fun as shooting digital, which a special old school touch.
6- You started shooting since you were a teen. Which shoots did you enjoy the most?
That’s a great question ! I thing one of the shoots I enjoyed the most, which is far from being my best, was the one with a local model called Helena Salort , which is the first professional model I got to work with. By the time my photos weren’t that good and it was really kind from her to work with me. I was stressed all the time !
7- You seem to have the ability to make people you shoot relax and reveal a candid side to them through your photography. Do you have any tips to achieve this?
I could give a bunch of tips but their are 2 of them that I use the most :
– Only take your camera out after talking with the model for a while , and don’t hold it for too long,
– Always ask to model to move when you take the pictures , it might be a bit more challenging for you, but it’s much better for the model than standing still.
8- Is there anyone that you haven’t photographed yet that you’d like to?
Not really, I would love to work with models in America, but nobody in particular.
9- If you could do only one kind of photography assignment for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Well, my core activity is the portrait, advertising, and high-end weddings. But if I had to choose, advertising would come first.
10- The last word or final thoughts?
I would love to help any of the photographers that are starting out there, so if you want any pieces of advice, I tend to reply to pretty much all messages.