LORENZO ALI. PHOTOGRAPHER
I'm a photographer with over sixteen years of professional photography experience. As a father of two teenage boys I thrive in chaos and last minute changes of plan! I’ve dabbled in a few careers beginning with Design Engineering and ending in Ad Agency Management. With DJ, Minicab driver, Insurance Salesmen and Bar owner somewhere in between.
I’m never quite sure how to categorize my work. It’s a constant evolution. My aim is to convey stories and visual ideas in a cinematic context allowing the viewer to contemplate and reflect on my mood. Most of my life I’ve been London based but having moved to the coast three years ago (Hastings previously) it’s given me a new perspective on my work. I’m lapping up the sea (excuse the pun) and the environment close to shore. I feel like I’m seeing everything for the first time as I explore the weather, nature and the beautiful expansive light.
I use my phone camera as if it were a Polaroid and then revisit places with a mix of cameras depending on my mood and the format I want to use. My preferred bodies are Nikon D5’s, a Leica M10 and a Leica Q.
My mother was the original inspiration for my interest in photography. She arrived in London from Milan as an Au pair. Amongst her belongings was a Dacora Digna camera. A very basic German 120 film camera that she used to document our growing family. I was constantly fascinated with the repurposed shoe boxes of kodak prints that grew over the years. They were stuffed with prints, mostly of our family and relatives in Switzerland, Italy and British Guyana.
At the age of twelve I purchased my first of many cameras for a school trip. As my interest grew, I enrolled for a City and Guilds Photography course at the School of Communication (Polytechnic of Central London), just a stone's throw from BBC Broadcasting House. I was now twenty and totally hooked! I loved developing film and experimenting with a cheap Eastern European enlarger I’d bought from Kingsley Photographic in Tottenham Court Road (sadly no longer there). My flat mate at the time wasn’t impressed with the bathroom door being constantly locked. I was absorbed for hours on end in my makeshift dark room bathed in amber light and surrounded by negatives, chemicals and dripping wet prints hanging to dry.
My professional career prior to photography was mostly in Advertising, spanning more than twenty years. An exciting, fast paced industry but not as glamorous as the TV show Mad Men. However, I was incredibly lucky to travel worldwide and experience global diversity and foreign cultures first hand.
After London I moved to Moscow for five years and then Johannesburg for a further three years before returning in 2003. Then I decided it was time for change and embarked on a career as a freelance Photographer.
Scary and romantic in equal proportions! Initially I started as an Antiquities Photographer. I soon learned that the move from keen amateur to ‘professional’ photographer would prove to be a huge learning curve and I’m still learning! Everything I’d learned was analogue and now I had to make the transition from film to digital and embrace the world of social media marketing and manage my own business finance and admin!
I’ve since embraced all forms of photography; Advertising, Product, Weddings, Portraits, Events, Landscape and even Underwater. I’ve been to some amazing places and worked with some awesome people.
Sadly in 2014 my world crumbled. I lost my first son Fabio at the age of twenty three in unforeseen circumstances. Understandably it made me question everything about life and for a while I couldn’t pick up a camera or feel motivated about anything. It took a little while to regain my mojo. With the love and support of some incredible people I began to feel more positive. This pause in my life gave me the opportunity to re-evaluate my work and the future direction I wanted to take. It also highlighted the importance of Mental Health and well-being. Something we often take for granted.
I hope if you’re reading this that you’ve already enjoyed some of my photography. As a relative newcomer to the West Sussex coast I’m always open to collaboration and meeting new people.
My exhibition is available to view here