Zenfolio is essential and wonderful

- Dennis Berti

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About Dennis

Bio

Dennis Berti was born in Livorno, Italy in 1978. Dennis discovered the magic of photography at the age of 18 and he immediately felt in love with. Using a compact camera and taking friends and family snapshots he discovered that portraits were the thing he most loved to shoot. Before going on to work as a photographer on a cruise ship, he attended a basic photography courses but most of his knowledge has been self taught, putting into practice techniques learned on books and photography magazines. After several years of travel around the world and visiting many countries he learned languages and earned photography skills while traveling and work. On 2005 he arrives to México to work on a big company as a wedding photographer, since then Dennis first began taking photography seriously as a way to live, he shoot more than 500 weddings and after 5 years he decided to moved from Playa del Carmen to Los Cabos to start his own company. Today Dennis is a renowned wedding photographer with a unique documentary approach shooting all along Mexico. He's member of Ispwp, Wpja, Wppi, Best of Wedding photography, Fearless Photographers. He won more than hundred awards at wedding competition. He also likes to teach and since 2013 is teaching photography at workshops and conferences in Italy, Spain, Portugal, Chile, Mexico, Usa, Perú and Argentina.

Interview

Where is your home base? (city/state)

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico... also known as “Cabo”

What is your photography genre/specialty? 

Documentary wedding photography, Street Photography

What is your most memorable image and why?

“The flying bride”. The image literally has been shared everywhere around the web. I won a few contests with this image and it became viral, a lot of websites around the world posted as one of the best photos on the 2014... And the story is more incredible. I was shooting as second photographer in a wedding of a good friend of mine.. The bridal party decide to those the bride in the air and I shot only one frame with my mirrorless camera (first time ever I was using it) :-)

Why did you become a photographer? What drives you to capture images and has this changed over time?

I started to take photos for the huge and deep need that I was feeling to tell my story around me, my family, my friends, the places I visited, the emotions I was living as teenager, in a few words, my entire life. And this has not changed after 20 years. That’s why I named myself a documentary wedding photographer, I like to tell real stories and this is what always drove me into photography.

Do you have any personal rituals to help you get ready for a shoot? What are they?

Actually no. I always shoot by instinct... But in the wedding day for example, I spend time inspiring me watching fine art photography, street photography, fashion, everything that is not wedding photography. This helps me a lot to get better wedding photographs :-) Also I tried to eat light before the wedding!

What are the top 5 things you can’t live without while on a shoot?

Not a thing, but my girlfriend Chio (she’s the 50% of our brand). And I’ll say Chio 5 times, because I truly don’t have any necessary thing with me. Sometimes I shoot with less equipment, sometimes with just one lens, sometimes I change bag... but seriously, I can-t live without Chio, that’s it.

How do you regain your inspiration if you hit a creative rut?

I guess with calm and patience. In the wedding day we are always stressed by the timeline, so much pressure, but it’s not our clients fault if we need to run to capture everything, they just want great photos no matter what. But I prefer to take one great photo instead than 5 average photos, do you know what I mean? That’s why when you see darkness, you have just to breath, think, think, think and analyze what you have around you. There is always a solution.

Who or what has been the biggest influence on your journey as a photographer?

In the first stage of my career was the biggest fashion photographers of the world: Helmut Newton and Herb Ritts. Then I discovered the big ones of Magnum Photos like Henry Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa, Elliott Erwitt, Eugene Smith... I’ll say that lately I’m inspired in Alex Webb, Koci Hernandez, Alain Laboile, Trent Parke, Nils Jorgensen between others emerging street photographers.

If you could share just one tip with aspiring photographers, what would it be?

Using the rule of the 10,000 hours. “The inspiration exists, but it has to find you working” (as Picasso said). You should always experiment, observe a lot, be moved by what really moves you.... But practice is the keyword. Every day shoot at least on image, or many images to get the one you love... but you must do it every day, no matter what, At the end, if you have passion for photography, it’s not just an exercise, it’s a life style.

What are the top three Zenfolio features essential to helping you run your business?

1. The way I can set up my own custom galleries for the delivery, it’s amazing how many options you have in Zenfolio.

2. The feature of sharing clients’ favorites. I always asked them for their favorite image after the delivery, or maybe because I need a selection for the album, I need to share the gallery with someone else (wedding planners, vendors etc)... It’s incredible, fast, professional and intuitive. Love it.

3. How can I incredibly easy is to access to any of my photos of previous events in the Zenfolio app. This is a great advantage for meetings, when the client ask for a reference or when they are curious to see something special: voila, just give me 30 seconds and I will find what you want. You can also set up the To-Go-List gallery to watch it Off line with no need to use your movable data.

If you could second shoot with any photographer (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

I’ll say Alex Webb without doubt. Fortunately he’s still alive, I still have chance :-P

How has the photography world changed since you turned pro?

It changed a looooooot, the approach, the purpose, the number of people involved, the technique. 20 years ago when I started there was maybe the 500% less PRO photographers than now, so the competition is huge and for stand out from the crowd you need to be original, to be real to tell stories with an unique point of view. But also the innovations and the technical improvements had changed in a better way, this has given to photography another level, a bonus: now we can use it to be creative but in a different way, create new stuffs that 20 years ago was impossible. For example to listen a vinyl is always and it will be forever an amazing experience, but watch a BlueRay DVD in a 4K Led TV is another experience. I believe the secret is being yourself using the technology to improve your work.

What one piece of software besides Zenfolio do you consider to be vital in your workflow?

PhotoMechanic.. It’s a must... I can’t cull the photos without it.

For me, Zenfolio is Essential and Wonderful.