Paul De Dona 2
Following our first post about London photographer Paul De Dona back in late 2010, Stunning Men got the opportunity and privilege to interview him and got to know a little more about this amazing photographer.
Paul moved to London, UK where he now resides, from his native Australia.
His work focuses on men’s fitness modelling and his amazing photography can be seen in various media.
Paul has worked with diverse clients and with many leading brands and websites.
He has launched many a model's career and promoted new ranges of underwear.
You have no doubt seen some of his extensive body of work in magazines or on the web.
If you didn’t know Paul De Dona, then you will after reading his interview and checking out his work here and at his facebook fanpage and website! Many thanks to Paul for doing the interview with us and accepting to be featured at Stunning Men!
Here is the interview in full
Stunning Men - Welcome to Stunning Men Paul. We have featured your work before and it is a great pleasure to finally be able to ask you a few questions. Could you tell us about where you grew up and what your childhood was like?
PDD – I was born and raised in Sydney.
SM – Coming from amazing Australia, what made you come over and settle in London?
PDD – I visited London 12 years ago and loved it. It has a draw for me which Sydney doesn't have plus it makes you really appreciate how amazing Australia is.
SM – Do you miss the Australian life at all?
PDD – I miss the weather I suppose and my family. My lifestyle suits cosmopolitan London - for the moment anyway.
SM – Your work has been admired by many for some years now. How did you become a photographer? Is that something you always wanted to do?
PDD – I've always been interested in photography but it wasn't until I reached a stage in life where I needed to find a hobby that I actually considered taking it seriously. I was very much a point-and-shoot kind of guy, I knew what looked good but didn't know how to capture it beyond a fully automatic camera - and I was never completely satisfied with the results.
SM – What did you do before working as a photographer?
PDD – All sorts of things, mainly corporate work in the finance sector.
SM – You have worked with many stunning models over the years. How do you manage to find such stunning guys over and over again?
PDD – A bit of luck really, but that doesn't exclude the hours of hard work I've put into developing my brand. These days most models contact me which is amazing, i get 2 or 3 applications a day now which is really difficult to manage. I try to select a range of guys to work with rather than picking 10 guys that all look like Ryan Reynolds. If there are any new models that want to work with me then they just have to email a few underwear shots to me, I'll consider everyone.
SM – Fitness photography Vs fashion photography? What do you think is the main differences between the two?
PDD – Depends what kind of "fashion" your talking about. I shoot for a lot of underwear clients who at the moment are asking for fitness guys. Strictly speaking Fitness photography is about the model and Fashion is about the product but the lines are blurring these days and there are a lot of "fashion" shots which are overtaken by the model.
SM – Do you have any role models in photography?
PDD – Role models, no not really. I thoroughly enjoy the work of Rick Day, Thomas Synnamon, Simon Le, David Vance, Pedro Virgil and MANY more, but I don't particularly want to emulate or copy their styles or walk in their footsteps. I'd love to be the Mario Testino of "Men's Underwear Photography" but I know I'm not that good yet and there are many great photographers out there all competing for the same commissions.
SM – What do you specifically enjoy the most in photography?
PDD – Learning and meeting new people. I'm not one of those photographers who are happy to just take the same photo over and over again - although it's important to test models before shooting them and so you'll probably see a lot of "similar" photos on my fan page. My shoots are getting more and more elaborate and I like the challenge of creating something new.
SM – What is your favourite location for a shoot?
PDD – I don't have one. Once I've done something to a level which I'm satisfied then I won't re-shoot it. I shot a lot along the south bank a few years ago when I was going through a period of working with natural light. I'm thinking about revisiting it this summer but with flash but I haven't decided on my summer schedule yet or what I want to experiment with.
SM – Do you prefer the open air with natural light or the luxury of being able to have more ‘control’ in the studio?
PDD – CONTROL, CONTROL, CONTROL! (laughs) It goes with the OCD. There are some beautiful natural light shots though and a couple of my favourite photos are from that period a few years back.
SM – If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
PDD – Making movies (laughs). I don't actually consider myself a photographer, I'd be quite happy for someone else to operate the camera. I'd like to be a creative director or producer. Until I've got the money though I'll continue to hold the camera.
SM – What do you do to have fun and relax?
PDD – Movies. I LOVE movies.
SM – What are your interests and hobbies?
PDD – Photography and movies (laughs). My favourite films are the Fifth Element and the Chronicles of Riddick - bizarre I know. I don't know why, but I can quite happily watch them over and over and over, without forwarding through the boring bits. I also quite like the Underworld series and have them all in Blueray.
SM - What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
PDD – I don't do crazy (laughs). I did have an awesome New Years Eve in Cape Town once which resulted in me being mugged by this couple who I had picked up in a club the night before. Copious amounts of alcohol and other additives had been consumed and I'd checked into a suite in a posh hotel only to wake up naked with the hotel manager banging on my door. That's about as crazy as it gets though. :(
SM – What kind of music do you listen to?
PDD – Everything - except country. I'm a child of the 70's so disco gets my booty wiggling.
SM – Where do you see yourself and what would you like to be doing in let’s say 10 years time?
PDD – Back in Australia. I'd like to move back before I'm 45 but there are a lot of things to consider before doing that. I honestly don't have a plan for that far in advance. I'll either commit to photography for the long haul or pack it in completely and start a new adventure.
SM – The latter would be a great loss to fitness photography and us all! Finally Paul, what three words describe you best?
PDD – PAUL DEDONA PHOTOGRAPHY! (laughs) I'm no good at describing myself. Why don't you describe me? (Paul smiles)
SM – I guess everyone reading this interview will have their own idea and will fill in the blanks ... Thank you so much for taking part in this interview Paul and for being such good sports. All the best!