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Meet Claudio Santini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Claudio Santini.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started while walking around the ancient streets of Rome, Italy, the city where I was born. As a young person, I was in love with the city’s beauty, spending endless nights studying its plenitude of architectural styles. The heritage of more than two thousand years of history had a strong influence on my determination to study architecture and photography after graduating from high school. I was fascinated by the visual component of both arts, and I knew in my heart that it was my call and my destiny. I was studying at the School of Architecture at the University of Rome when I made a decision that would affect my professional future life. I decided to enroll the Istituto Europeo di Design to study photography while taking courses at the School of Architecture.

At that time, I was in touch with a professor at the university who was also partner at Transit Design, one of the leading architectural firms in Rome in the 80s. He was a fan of my photography work, which was focused mainly on architecture, and asked me if I was willing to go with him to the US to photograph one of their projects in New Port Beach, California. I always wanted to visit the US and without any hesitation, I accepted his proposal: I would provide documentation of their project and in exchange Transit Design would help me to connect and sell my photos to the most influential interior design magazines in Milan and abroad. This was the first of many trips that I took to the US as a professional photographer. While I was starting my career as architectural photographer, I also began to show my work as an artist using photography and mixed media at art galleries and museums.

In 1987, my artwork The Passenger, inspired by Michelangelo Antonioni’s film, was part of an exhibit at the Museum Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid. It was also included in the two volumes book collection Architecture in Vision. In 1989, I landed in Los Angeles for the first time. I was traveling with the editor in chief of an Italian interior design magazine. Our intention was to photograph some of the most iconic American homes. Los Angeles was the last stop after New York, Miami, and Seattle. I photographed the houses of artists, actors, wealthy people, and documented residential architecture designed by promising architectural talents. The photographic material I produced increased my success when I got back to Italy because tens of magazines all over the world published my stories. This success granted me the possibility to do my work at an international level.

Few years after my first trip to the US, I decided to make the city of angels my home. I am creatively at ease here both professionally and as an artist because Los Angeles is a mosaic of different styles that is not affected by the weight of history. Here I found the lightness and the freedom to express myself as an artist. Today I continue to work as an architectural photographer with architects, interior designers, and leading design agencies. As an artist, I continue to show my artwork at galleries and museums both in Los Angeles and abroad.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The beginning of any profession is always tough because we need to learn how to create opportunities. And the biggest struggle for me has been to learn how to develop this skill regardless my talent as a photographer. I soon discovered that I had to promote myself by creating curiosity in potential clients. I learned how to develop meaningful relationships in the art and editorial world, where professional opportunities raise. I’ve always trusted my ambition to achieve my dreams. Driven by curiosity and passion, I discovered in photography a form of expression that could be suitable professionally and artistically.

It gave me the possibility to express myself as an artist and to develop my business as professional architectural photographer. Moving to LA was a turning point in my life. Here I’ve worked with the most important publishers and magazines: Hearst publications, Rizzoli, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Traditional Home, California Home and Design, just to name a few. At this point of my career, I have the desire to explore and learn the new ways in which photography will find its role in this evolving world, where artificial intelligence will be dictating the new parameters of work.

Alright – so let’s talk business.  What else should we know about you and your career so far?
My company Claudio Santini Photography is specialized in architectural photography. I photograph residential projects, commercial spaces, and educational institutions such as universities, museums, and concert halls. Throughout my career, I have worked with well-known architects, interior designers, advertising agencies and real estate development companies. My clients hire me to photograph their projects because they see in my images a unique sense of balance and beauty that emphasizes their vision.

From the very start of my business, I’ve been able to find job opportunities thanks to my networking skills. This makes me proud because it grants me the possibility of being in control of the entire production process: from searching for new clients to the final delivery of images. Because of this, my business is very competitive cost-wise, offering at the same time a product of top of the line quality.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck as always played a positive role in my life and in my business and I’m deeply grateful for that.

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Image Credit:

Claudio Santini Photography

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