Interview with Chip Forelli
#1 Please introduce yourself
Hi, I’m Chip Forelli
#2 How did you get interested in photography?
While in college a friend of mine took photography. I visited him at the darkroom and was entranced. The marriage of art and science works for me (that’s why have a degree in architecture), and photography combined them in just the right way. I decided to take photography as an elective and that class ended up being the only one I arrived at early and left late – that told me something.
#3 Do you have an artistic/photographic background?
No artists in my near family history. I drew locomotives and dinosaurs as a kid, studied architecture in college and married an incredible fine artist who works in oils and pastels.
#4 Which artist/photographer inspired your art?
Faye Godwin, Ansel Adams, Michael Kenna, John Blakemore.
#5 How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph? Are you planning every step or is it always spontaneous?
When I photograph for myself it’s 10% planning and the rest serendipity. When I photograph for clients, it’s 90% planning and the rest serendipity.
#6 What fascinates you in places that you shoot?
There are no particular places. What fascinates me is how subjects surprise me – it can happen anywhere. I do like night work and windy days.
#7 Could you please tell us something about your technique and creating process?
My darkroom is now Photoshop which I love. I shoot film with a Hasselblad 500 C and 4 lenses, 40mm, 60mm, 100mm and 180mm. I print on Hahnemuhle PhotoRag 308 and Hahnemuhle PhotoRag Baryta, and for brighter whites, Epson Exhibition Fine Art and Epson Hot Press Bright.
#8 Could you tell our readers how to reach such excellent results in photography?
Find out how photographers whose work and prints you admire do it – take workshops from them, read about their technique/mindset. No need to test all sorts of variables – they’ve done the field testing for you. Keep it simple, shoot what pushes your emotional button and practice.
#9 What do you do in your life besides photography?
I play upright and electric bass in 2 bands, enjoy wood carving and make pancakes with my kids.
#10 What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?
My plans is to continue doing what I do now – shooting for myself when I can (that’s not often enough), doing assignment photography, teaching, doing photographic restoration and printing, playing music and enjoying my family. Although I’ve traveled to many places, I want to photograph Ireland.
Chip Forelli Official Website: