Interview with Oliver Astrologo

In October last year we worked with the Google UK PR team to create #romewithgoogle – an event which brought 87 travel journalists to Rome to experience the city using Google as their guide. With our event partner Samsung, we equipped each traveler with a phone and a local sim to explore the city using Google Maps, Google Translate, and Google Photos. Before they embarked, they were given a lesson in photography by Italian photographer Oliver Astrologo on how to capture that perfect shot. We caught up with Oliver to talk about photography, social media, and Rome.

Cogs & Marvel: Camera of choice: the iPhone vs the Android?

Oliver: I use both iPhone and Android devices: both the iPhone6S and Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge have sensational cameras built-in.

Cogs & Marvel: Best photo editing app?

Oliver: VSCO is my first choice to adjust colours of photos. I have recently discovered PhotoDirector, an excellent app to remove objects from photos.

Cogs & Marvel: You’re based in Rome, what’s your favourite Roman photo op?

Oliver: The sunset view of the historic Villa Borghese must be one of my favourite place in Rome to photograph, though I do love to wander around and take snapshots of the abandoned buildings scattered around Ostia on the coastline.

Cogs & Marvel: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for photo sharing?

Oliver: Instagram is my first choice. I believe that, at the moment, it’s the best platform for artists to showcase their work to large audiences. Personally I do like Flickr too; I tend to use it to host my best photographs.

Cogs & Marvel: Favourite photograph you’ve ever taken?

Oliver: It must be this one! (Check out the photo of Darth Vader above)

Cogs & Marvel: Any tips or trick for using live video on Facebook, Snapchat, or Periscope?

Oliver: Make sure you get live when your audience is more likely to be awake and engage with your live video. Needless to say but strong 4G or WiFi connection is a must. Content needs to provide the wow factor: it should be instructional, controversial, or interactive. Keep it authentic: showcase behind-the-scenes footage or the everyday mundane moments.

Cogs & Marvel: To selfie or not to selfie – what’s your advice?

Oliver: The Samsung Galaxy S7 provides the Wide Selfie mode that I consider an excellent feature especially when you don’t have a selfie stick at hand. I would however suggest capturing some moments of peoples life without having the people pose – it will make the photos much more interesting and you will appreciate it more when you are flicking through your photo album in years time.

Cogs & Marvel: And finally…if you could give one piece of advice to someone using a smartphone for marketing photography, what would it be?

Oliver: Nowadays the camera tech built into smartphones provides such excellent results that sometimes a professional DSRL is not be needed. This doesn’t mean that the basic rules of photography can be forgotten though: exposure and correct photo alignment are a must and can be achieved with a smartphone.  My recommendation is to read through the basic guides that explain how to take photographs: give yourself time to learn and apply your lessons to give your photos that professional look. I wrote this guide that would be a good start for any beginner.

A massive thank you to Oliver Astrologo for giving us some insight. To see his work check out his website and Instagram.


At Cogs & Marvel, we believe that every time you get a group of people together, whether they be staff, customers, partners or consumers, you have an opportunity to strengthen their relationship with you. You have an opportunity to turn passive admirers into an army of advocates for your corporate brand. Cogs & Marvel is an event agency that creates brand experiences to delight in the moment and inspire lasting change.

Want to inspire change in your audience? Get in touch with the Cogs & Marvel team.

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