Discover the remarkable journey of Andrea Belluso, whose early fascination with darkroom magic blossomed into a diverse and innovative photography career. Explore standout projects, industry collaborations, and the creative vision behind stunning images. From fashion and beauty to high-end automotive campaigns with brands like Cadillac and Bentley, join us on a visual jurney where each photograph showcases Andrea’s mastery of light and creativity.

How did you end up behind the camera?
It started when I was around 14 years old, when a friend of mine took me into a darkroom. I thought that seeing the pictures come to life as they were being developed was pure magic.

Your portfolio showcases a diverse range of work. How would you describe your photography style, and how has it evolved over the years?
At first, and for many years, I thought of myself as a fashion and beauty photographer. Then one day, I received a call from my manager telling me that Cadillac wanted me to shoot a big campaign for them. I was totally surprised! I had never shot cars before, so I asked my manager why they wanted me when there are so many great car photographers out there. The answer was, "Because all the car photographers we work with do perfect pictures of how a car should be photographed. They all do similar things, just with different touches, their own style. Andrea, on the other hand, not having any experience and being a lighting expert ('The Light Shaper' according to Profoto), would have a different vision of how to photograph cars with excellent lighting to fit every car model."

Regarding my style, I did what most photographers do today: I had my own style and light. This made me feel comfortable since it was what brought me my initial success. However, after a few years, I grew bored of taking pictures; it felt like I was producing the same picture over and over again, just with different models, locations, and clients. So I quit photography for five years. At one point, I realized that I was bored because my style and especially my light were blocking my creativity and fun. So I started really exploring and learning every single type of light and light shaping tools, starting with the ones I didn’t feel comfortable with.

For instance, I realized that certain things were keeping me stuck. I figured that photographing a face with hard light was wrong, especially on an older person's face. So I began a long journey of experiments and discoveries that eventually earned me the name "The Light Shaper," given to me by Profoto. I then got rid of my style and light and always questioned what would create greater pictures for every single shoot, following the energy and not going for what seemed obvious. This approach not only allowed me to use different lights and styles but mainly to create better pictures for my clients.

After producing my first automotive campaign for Cadillac, I also started receiving calls from clients in the food industry, like Nestlé and Electrolux, for the same reason that Cadillac and other brands like Porsche, Ferrari, and McLaren did. Following that, other automotive brands began to contact me, such as Bentley, Porsche, McLaren, and Ferrari.

Are there any particular projects or experiences in your career that stand out as especially memorable or impactful? Can you share some insights into those moments?
One of the highlights of my career was when the marketing director of Bentley asked me if I had spoken to someone at Bentley HQ about what had been tried (and failed) for many years—to bring out in the pictures what Bentley wanted to communicate: the metal of the cars is bent with air and not with force. I had not spoken to anyone at HQ. I simply “spoke” with the car, asking it how it would like to be seen in the world, and once again followed the energy instead of going for the obvious way to shoot a car. The insight from that shoot was that my unusual approach was actually creating greater value for my clients. Other memorable moments include working with supermodels like Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell.

What is your favorite piece of equipment or photography gear, and how does it enhance your work?

Regarding my lights, I always choose Profoto for the stability, reliability, and precision of their products. My absolute favorite piece of equipment is my Phase One camera. Even though it’s expensive, it really honors my clients and my work with its extremely high quality, which enables me to work with the big brands.

Are there any photographers or artists who have influenced or inspired your work? What aspects of their photography do you find particularly inspiring?
First of all, I am a big fan of my dear friend Albert Watson. I was fortunate enough to watch him work for three months while creating a documentary film about him. He creates his pictures so fast and spontaneously, for all sorts of clients in many different genres. Irving Penn is also one of my favorites for his excellent sense of taste.

As we can see on your website, you specialise in several genres of photography. How did you come to practice so many different photographic styles?

As mentioned before, when Cadillac approached me, I realized I didn’t have to stick to one genre. With my way of working, I could photograph any genre that was fun for me, especially those I enjoy in my personal life, like fashion, food, cars, and vehicles in general. Also, looking at different types of faces initially led me to shoot both portraits and beauty.

Your coaching journey is highlighted on your website. Can you share more about your coaching philosophy and what drives your approach to mentoring others in the field of photography? Could you elaborate on your experiences as a mentor and discuss the impact it has had on both yourself and your mentees?
My mentoring and coaching are also based on Access Consciousness, which is like a huge box filled with pragmatic tools for any area of our lives, something that completely revolutionized my life and my work. When it comes to coaching other photographers, I don’t believe in competition. I believe that we are all totally different and unique, so I simply empower them to become more of themselves in their work. I am not afraid to share my deep knowledge of lighting and my way of working. My driving force with this is to contribute to the photographic community.

What does being a member of Production Paradise bring you?

Being a member of Production Paradise gives me the opportunity to be exposed to more clients across the globe, hopefully resulting in more people discovering and choosing my unique and more lucrative way of producing campaigns.

Do you have any upcoming projects you would like to share or discuss?
Currently, I am working on another one of my TV series called "The Luxury of Living." I am also working with new photo representatives and looking for even more in different countries since I fired my five agents. They were selling local talent at lower prices using my name to attract clients, something that I found very dishonoring to me and my business. I only choose to work with reps and agents who really understand the value of my flexibility, creativity, and uniqueness as a real asset to the end clients. I have 30 projects going on at the same time, all of them very exciting, and the list would be too long to mention in this article.

We thank Andrea for his time and insight! You can see more of his work on his Production Paradise member page and website.