Rocco Santopietro

what inspires you to do art?

“What inspires me in Photography? There are many things that move me, my biggest
inspiration is street life and human nature. I love photographing people in their natural
environment and observing their behavior.
I prefer to concentrate on the ‘unseen world’ by simply capturing the shots that other
people may overlook, and many times everybody sees but nobody notices.
I think photography can defeat time, Images can keep not only the memory of a loved one alive but also hold a moment in history for future generations, be a witness to tragedy or joy.”

When did you start art?

 “Photography was such a savior in my life, I use it as a way of stay real, Is my anchor to reality, because of the actual work I am always surrounded by luxury and operate in a luxury environment, Photographing helps me to realize how lucky I am, I have traveled to over 80 countries and lived in more than 10, and in all those countries there is always the other face of the medal, that is hidden because is “Not good for business”, I came to realize that photography would help me to document all of this.
I was lucky to have a family that has traveled a lot my grand Father traveled a lot from 1930 to 1960 and was carrying always an Hasselblad with him, I always been extremely curious, when I was a kid I use to look at his pictures and always questioning, and invariably the reference to these pictures was a story, The most important thing I got from them has been his stories and his Camera. So when I was 13 I use to spend hours trying to work out to use it, and I learned that, In truth, you don’t have to have the newest, fanciest camera and accessories to take great photos. You also don’t have to have perfect mastery of technique. It is possible to take truly inspired photographs with a basic camera set on
automatic. You just have to find what inspires you, Cameras have remained pretty much the same since they were invented, it is a light-proof box that lets you control how the light enters and hits your photo taking medium through a small hole. No matter how expensive or inexpensive your camera is, this basic fact remains the same, your eyes and the story you see through it matters more than the technique.”

What did you want your art to do? Meaning did you want it to inspire? Reach on the biggest platform? Etc

“I want to use my photography to tell a story to others, sometimes to give a voice through images to the unheard, I shoot because I find peace in being especially active, and being a voice, advocate for a cause, You see Images reach one’s mind, makes us think, and can also, change behavior, stimulate the understanding, and create a sense of urgency that will move people to action.
I have this firm belief that photography is the universal language that speaks to the heart, that could be a vehicle of change, give an unfiltered perspective, as many say, “No caption needed”. Telling a story by freezing time.

Use my picture to tell a story that my rise awareness is far more interesting, as a matter of fact, I have a project to publish a photo book to help disadvantaged children especially in the Caribbean.”

What Are your biggest challenges being an artist?

“I am not a professional photographer but from an outsider’s point of view, I would say image fatigue is one of them. Here is the problem. A photographer posts an image that is in some way trending and everybody try and recreate its own version, the freshness of the image is lost and what is left is a cliched version and no idea who started the trend.

So I would say the motivation is maybe the main one 

For me as an amateur that does not have to balance his bank account, the rejection, face tough competition is certainly easy. 

A challenge as a photographer came a few years ago when I have been asked to collaborate with three magazines, I was tempted but have declined, It would have meant maybe to give up my idea of photography.

Posting online is one of my challenges, while social media seems like the ideal place to share my work, get it out there, etc. is in the meantime also the place for theft to happen and is difficult to claim it as your own. I have always given my images to who is asking and give credit as I think the original idea is to propagate a message, but in the meantime is to control that this message doesn’t get misused or twisted.

How would you describe your photography style?

I wish that there was a secret formula that existed that would allow me to instantly discover my photographic style, I think is a product of long-term exercise and patience. It cannot be rushed.

As cliché as it might sound, and as a way of Living I get out of my comfort zone constantly, I do shoot mostly people and places and architecture, because those are the things that have a story to tell, a bit as a photo reporter,  as a matter of fact, the most iconic photos or the one that makes the news are all pictures that are taken “casually”  In All the picture I post there is always a hashtag I use #life is a journey because I never allow myself to forget that discovering my own style is a journey,  I have learned how my favorite photographer (Capa, Doisneau, Avedon, Leibovitz) compose their photos and educate myself in the techniques, but I never stopped there. I Allow the perspectives of others to motivate my own creative ideas but never fall into the trap of believing that my pictures have no value if it does not look like what is “Trending”

I would Say to define it my style is a mix of Candid and cityscape photography as an amateur I am much more comfortable in the open rather than shooting in a Studio constrained to a Subject or a theme.

The Art