PHOTOGRAPHER, ALBERTO ROMANO: EXPLORING DUAL IDENTITIES THROUGH TEST SHOOTS

Feel like freshening up your makeup portfolio, hair stylist portfolio, modeling portfolio or stylist portfolio as we head into a new season? Want to try out new skills you’ve learned over lockdown? Want to meet talented creatives who are as committed as you to produce amazing new work for your portfolios?

Freelancer Club member Alberto Romano recently posted a unique test shoot on our platform. We chat to him about the concept behind his shoot, the talent he’s looking to recruit for it, and the creative career he’s developed to date.

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Dual Identities

First things first - the concept. Alberto’s upcoming test shoot, titled ‘Double Trouble - Working Mums’, is based on a long running project that captures the identities of individuals who work two jobs while living in London. 

‘Double Trouble - Working Mums’, is an extension of that project. As Alberto explains, “it takes this idea of dual identity further and extends it with this project to research and describe the everyday struggle of a working mum with her double life and double troubles.”

To bring his creative concept to life, Alberto is looking for working mothers who’d like to model for a day with their children. He’s also looking for a makeup artist, a hairstylist and a wardrobe/props stylist. 

 

A Sicilian Start

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Starting his freelance career in Southern Italy, Alberto decided to move to London about a decade ago to pursue an array of professional opportunities in the creative industry.

“I started freelancing as a photographer back home in Sicily in 2010, then I moved to London almost 10 years ago where I kept working as a freelance photographer in portraits and the fashion industry.”

While he initially worked in events upon his arrival to London, Alberto focused on carving out a niche in portrait photography, as this art form allowed him to meet new people and to share their stories and personalities through his photographs. 

“When I first arrived I was mostly working in events, and over the past 6 years I have been focusing on portrait photography."

The part that I like the most about portrait photography is not only meeting different people with different stories, backgrounds, careers and interests but also the challenge of capturing their real character in my shots."

Alberto has worked with a wide range of high profile clients including Victoria Beckham, Selfridges, Swarovski and Nickelodeon.

 

Standout Shoots 

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When asked to choose a job that he really enjoyed to date, Alberto highlighted not one but two specific jobs.

The shared theme between these projects? They both saw Alberto working with female subjects who had big characters, unbridled ambition and buckets of energy. 

“One of the most fun jobs I’ve shot was at Selfridges for the Sink the Pink cabaret Xmas show because of the exploding energy the performers have been giving in front of the camera.”

“Another of my favourites is the project Mondella, in collaboration with Cabina Rizzo, a fashion brand from Palermo as it put some amazing women in front of my camera - female business owners who are pillars of the community wearing luxury fashion.”

It’s fantastic to encounter a creative photographer who is so passionate about capturing female energy and ambition in such a positive light. 

 

Collaborating From Day One

 A big advocate for collaboration between freelancers, Alberto’s quick to highlight the benefits of inter-freelancer collaboration. 

“Networking is everything in the freelancer world. Organising test shoots and collaborations involving other freelancers is one of the best ways to widen your connections, particularly at the beginning of your career.”

From testing out new skills, to creating new portfolio work, to getting job referrals, Alberto believes that there’s endless rewards for freelancers who decide to connect with like minded creatives. 

“Meeting people as driven as you means that in the future you’ll be able to help each other with referrals for paid jobs. When I have clients contacting me for portraits they often choose shots  from test shoots I have published on my website as a reference of what they are looking for. Collaborations are a great way to experiment with your skills and can also attract new clients.”

 

An Experienced Test Shooter

Alberto has been involved in numerous test shoots organised through the Freelancer Club platform. 

“One of the best test shoots I organised through TFC was a beauty shoot in collaboration with a MUA and three models who were all at their first test shoot. It was great to experiment with different styles.” 

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This portrait photographer is really enthusiastic about test shooting as he feels that test shoots help creatives gain important learnings and contacts.

“Testing can be helpful to widen your contact portfolio but also to practice your skills and get more familiar with the dynamics of your job.”

“One of the most challenging parts of being a portrait photographer is adapting yourself to any work situation and making sure that your subjects feel comfortable in front of the lens and are enjoying the shoot, whether they are professionals or only modelling for a day in their life. Practicing is the best way to improve your confidence behind the camera. This will definitely make you more experienced and prepared for the paid jobs.”

Whether you want to improve your makeup portfolio, your hair stylist portfolio, modeling portfolio or stylist portfolio, it’s definitely worth investing ample time and energy into test shoots. The return will stand to you in both the short and long term. 

 

Don't Overthink It

When it comes to test shooting, Alberto believes that it’s best to get involved without overthinking things, particularly if you’ve never test shooted before.

“Push yourself and do it!”, he says.

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Find a test shoot that interests you, take a deep breath and click apply. As Alberto explains below, the benefits of getting involved are endless.

“Testing doesn’t mean only showcasing your skills with other professionals, it’s a way to learn from your mistakes without the risk of losing a paying client if something goes wrong. It also gives you perspective on the other professions in your field and helps you understand how the industry works.”

Years of hard graft and collaboration with fellow creatives have shaped Alberto into the talented creative he is today. 

Furthermore, test shoots have enabled this portrait photographer to develop key hard and soft skills which have taught him how to make his subjects and collaborators feel at ease on set. 

Whether you're looking to create work for your portfolio, meet other creatives or you simply want to help Alberto bring his compelling concept to life, consider applying to be part of his test shoot

Check out Alberto’s full portfolio here.

 

Liked this article? Want to learn more about how test shoots can help you grow your makeup portfolio, hair stylist portfolio, modeling portfolio or stylist portfolio? Check out HOW TO PLAN & ORGANISE A TEST SHOOT and 4 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TEST SHOOT.

 

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