Capturing more than just a photograph
A great portrait shows a glimpse into a person’s character, and Antonio La Fauci loves taking on that challenge.
“When you get someone comfortable and relaxed you can get a really honest picture of them,” said the former Parksville resident from his photography studio in Victoria. “I enjoy being able to capture a side of people that they don't always allow people to see.”
La Fauci and his company The Best Men Photography recently took first place for a captivating shot entered in Your Victoria Wedding Magazine’s Cover Bride Contest.
He has also captured a variety of local outdoor scenes and many evocative images overseas, which are beginning to pop up in local businesses. He co-owns a photography studio in Victoria and keeps busy with commercial work for local businesses in that city.
In the past La Fauci assisted an internationally renowned photographer take photos of celebrities in California and he also worked with another influential photographer to capture pictures of Missy Elliott in New York. And those two ventures happened before he even launched into his own photography career.
La Fauci became interested in photography when he was about 12, after his mom bought him a camera at a garage sale. After he “blew a pile of film” on his many interests he started concentrating on snapping action shots of his BMX friends.
“It was cool to get a photo of them blasting something cool on their bikes and be able to show them how good they were,” he said.
He was hooked. After graduating from Ballenas Secondary in 2001, La Fauci thought he better go back to school and put his photography on hold. But he caved and bought himself a nice camera and after that he found it very difficult to concentrate on anything else. He dropped school and went to Los Angeles to visit a friend whose boyfriend happened to be a very famous photographer named Lionel Deluy.
“He offered to let me come down and shadow and work for him and I was like, yep,” La Fauci laughed. Working with Deluy, while shooting photographs of celebrities like Kirk Douglas and Ted Danson, La Fauci became intrigued with photographing people, he said, which remains his passion today. The experience, which had him flying back to LA a number of times over the course of a year, also introduced him to studio lighting.
Soon after La Fauci returned home he was hired by photographer Haruki Noguchi, known as Harookz, who is renowned for his mountain bike photography. La Fauci traveled to New York to assist Harookz in a shoot with Missy Elliott. That assignment was one of La Fauci’s favourites and he continues to work for Harookz, who is now a good friend, from time to time.
Three years ago La Fauci and his friend and fellow photographer Dean Azim opened CinderBloc Studio on Esquimalt Road in Victoria, where they work and offer rentals to photographers and videographers. They also rent the space for functions and workshops.
Last year he and fellow photographer and friend Nick Stipanovich started up The Best Men Wedding Photography, and it was announced earlier this month they had won the Cover Bride Contest.
In the photo the bride, Sarah Marshall, is swinging barefoot on a wooden rope-swing in her gown, dangling over a cluster of driftwood at a Victoria beach.
Locally, La Fauci’s images can be found at The French Press Cafe which recently opened in Qualicum Beach, next to the liquor store, featuring his Island ocean scenes and shots captured while recently traveling in Italy. Being half-Italian himself, the photos turned out to be nicely representative of his own ancestry.
“That’s totally not why I did it,” La Fauci joked, “but it’s a nice little correlation.”
His work at the cafe is for sale.
While traveling last winter La Fauci also visited India with his girlfriend, and when the two returned home they adopted a dog from a rescue operation in Abbotsford called AAIDD, which rescues stray dogs from India and relocates them to homes in B.C. Proceeds from a photo show next Spring containing his Indian images will go to AAIDD as well as to another non-profit organization in Mumbai.
La Fauci is currently working on another Qualicum Beach project, one of his biggest to date. He’ll be hanging two images in every room at the former Old Dutch Inn, featuring an original series of local places including Cathedral Grove and Little Qualicum Falls.
This winter, La Fauci has plans to compile a book of his favourite areas of Vancouver Island, which will be available from the newly renovated hotel.
Check out Antonio La Fauci’s work on his website www.antoniolafauci.com, find his wedding photography at www.thebestmen.com and information on his photography studio at www.cinderblocstudio.com. He is also on social media sites including Facebook.