Photographer Spotlight: Adrian Delsi

Posted by: on Sep 30, 2014

Adrian Delsi is an Arizona native who spent most of his childhood surrounded by animals at the zoos. His professional career has taken him from designer to photographer. His work has been featured in Parents Magazine and American Baby Magazine as well as product photography featured for Boon, Inc.

Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi
Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi

My first camera was…

A film Canon Rebel 2000. 

I got started in animal photography…

My fondest childhood memories revolve around the many animals I was surrounded by while growing up on a several acre farm. It seemed like such a natural transition for me to focus my craft on my love for animals. While 60 percent of the work I currently do is for my employer (products and children), I find that focusing on a subject matter that mirrors my personal interests helps break up the routine.

I wanted to become a photographer because…

I wish I had the classic story of falling in love with photography from childhood. My interest began with an elective B/W photography course in college. Photography immediately captivated me, but already halfway through a graphic arts program, I delayed pursuing photography for the time being. With my current employer, I had to learn product photography out of necessity, and although a different type of photography, I fell in love all over again. This time, I refuse to let go. I still have much to learn and a ways to go before I get to where I want to be. I’m determined and know that anything is possible with hard work.

Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.
Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.

Some of my favorite recent projects are…

Some of favorites are turning out to be projects that I’m currently working on. I am crafting scenes from raw materials and photographing animals in these fun spaces. Although it’s not ready for display, I enjoy seeing it take form.

I would describe my style or shooting philosophy as…

I tend to prefer work that is minimalistic, contains clean lines, straightforward, and strive for this in mine. 

Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.
Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.

Some of my industry role models are…because…

There are a lot I admire for a variety of reasons, among them are: Ron Schmidt for the sense of humor found in all of his prints; Brad Wilson’s for his “Affinity Collection”; Sharon Montrose for the brand she’s built.

I knew there was no turning back when…

There was no turning back when the work I’ve produced started showing up on store shelves and online at major retailers (Amazon, Target, etc.). Shortly after, my work started appearing in national print publications.

If I could choose one dream gig, it would be…

Not so much a gig, but my own personal work—traveling to the Galapagos Islands to photograph the native flora and fauna.

Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.
Photographed by Adrian Delsi for Boon, Inc.

Before I got started in the industry, I wish somebody had told me…

1) Take time to create work for you. It’s easy to get consumed in the day-to-day work stuff. 2) Not everything has to be perfect (still struggling with this concept). 3) Ask for feedback/input.

One thing NO ONE could have ever prepared me for is…

How much of a thick skin you will need, but that goes without saying any time you put yourself out there—you open yourself up for criticism. Not everyone will be a fan of your work, and that’s ok. I’m doing what makes me happy.

Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi
Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi

My favorite piece of gear is…

My Canon 85mm and 100mm Macro.

Do you shoot tethered? If so, why? If no, why not?

Yes, any time I can. I use the CamRanger paired with an iPad for on-location product photography. Oftentimes, I am not the decision maker with these sessions and need to be able to show what is being captured without having to continually show the back of my camera (nothing worse than that). When my shoots involve animals, I normally don’t have the luxury to photograph tethered. Animals can be unpredictable and don’t hold positions for very long. 

Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi
Photo courtesy ©Adrian Delsi

What is your current set-up?

Canon 5D II & 7D, a small collection of lenses, four Einstein strobes, pair of Profoto B1s, and array of modifiers. 

Have you integrated your iPad into your workflow yet? If so, how?

Yes, I use an iPad while shooting tethered on location. 

About Adrian

An Arizona native, I spent much of my childhood surrounded by a variety of animals that would rival the size of most zoos. It’s no wonder I developed an insane appreciation for all creatures great and small. As an adult, I began working in graphic design, but I found myself spending my spare time behind the camera. Currently, my professional career has transitioned from designer to photographer, with a photography portfolio that includes product and commercial photography for various infant and toddler brands. This prior experience and instinctive creative knack, coupled with my passion for animals gives me the opportunity to do what I love: Capturing and preserving the beauty of all my favorite animals. In my down time you can usually find me watching Nat Geo Wild or the Discovery Channel, or daydreaming of traveling to the Galápagos Islands to photograph native flora and fauna.

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