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I took this photo on right at the end of an e-commerce shoot for an Italian jewel maker. We were wrapping up when this images sparked in my mind. The whole atmosphere was inspired by Dutch golden age artists and Renaissance paintings, which is an artistic period I really connect to. I quickly talked the model though my idea and we got the shot I wanted right away.

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How did you direct your subject(s)?

I wanted to incorporate movement and angles so I asked to model to start swinging her body and arms while looking away from the light. I know sometimes these directions might make the subject feel weird so I really tried to reassure her that if it felt stupid, it was working and I made sure we were all laughing and not taking it too seriously while shooting.

What did you say?

Ok, now I need you to trust me. I want you to start swinging side to side without looking at the light. I know it might feel stupid so if you feel this way, it’s because you’re doing exactly what I’m asking and it working.

How did you compose your image?

I wanted the image to be very dynamic so I made sure the model’s body was crating a nice S-shape with the dress coming out from one corner of the image. I position the model’s torso in the center of the image because that’s where most of the action is happening and I wanted to draw the eye right to that point. I also played with negative space to give some room for the action to take place.

How and what did you focus on?

I focused on the lightest part of the image, her dress. I was working with a slower shutter speed and I knew the focus wouldn’t be crazy sharp, so I didn’t worry too much on having the eye perfectly in focus.


How did you use the light in your image?

I used a continuous light with a 50x70cm soft box placed at 45 degree-angles.

What was the gear & settings you used?

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Canon 5D Mark IV


Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4





Shutter Speed






White Balance


How did you edit your image & what did you use?

I used my own presets. It tends to warm up the image a bit, add a little grain and desaturate. I brought back some contrast after applying my preset.

Software Used

Adobe Lightroom Classic


Own personal Presets

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What challenges did you face?

None in particular, this photo came out of pure on-the-moment inspiration and fun.

How did you solve them?

Again, none in particular

Can you share any last thoughts or advice?

The fun story behind this photo is that it was taken in 3 seconds right before calling it a day. The whole team ended up loving this shot. I guess the moral of the story is that going off board with the brief and let your mind and ideas speak for yourself sometimes pays off.

Matteo Rossi Fotografia

Shooting since


Current Home




The intimacy, the sacred little rituals, the art of not giving a f*ck.

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