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Interview with professional photographer Rocco Basile

Rocco Basile is a longtime professional photographer and a prominent expert in fine art photography whose work has been frequently featured in galleries and international publications alike, thereby demonstrating a diverse professional skill set that includes landscape, wildlife, fine art, and portrait photography, not to mention the prolific work he has produced as a photojournalist. We have conducted an interview with him.

What do you enjoy most about being an expert in fine art photography?

What I enjoy most about fine art photography is the ability to learn and teach others about the profession. With photography, particularly fine art photography, you can always find ways to improve your craft. I enjoy the learning process and finding new ways to elicit emotions from my audience. A picture has different meanings to different people. The ability to elicit a response from a client is important to me.

I personally think the response I get from my creative work is what has allowed me to become so successful. In order for me to continue this success, I have to continue to learn and improve upon it. Just look at anyone who has had a long and successful career. Many of them simply didn’t rest on past accomplishments. Instead, they continued to grow and mature within their craft. I want to do the same. It’s this continual learning process that really intrigues me.

Even more important, is how I use that knowledge to further the profession. I personally don’t think anyone has a monopoly on knowledge, particularly when it comes to fine art photography. I like to learn from all types of artist. In return, I want to teach them techniques and lesson that I have learned as well. I think this exchange of knowledge makes not only the profession better but also its participants.

I understand that critics may say giving away my techniques will make competition much tougher. I understand that thought process. What really matters to me, however, is that I continue to learn and grow. In the process of my growth, I want to help others too.

Which are your favorite genres and subjects?

I think I am unique in that I have a very diverse professional skill set. My work includes landscape, wildlife, fine art, and portrait photography. That doesn’t include the work I have done as a photojournalist as well. As a result, I don’t have a particular favorite. Each element is unique and feeds into my knowledge of other elements. For example, the techniques I have learned when photographing wildlife have helped me become a better portrait photographer and vice versa. I call this the “Mosaic Approach” towards photography. The idea is that you take a piece of different styles and genres to create a unique style of photography. In order to this, you need to have a diverse background. As a result, I don’t have a particular favorite. I do however have a fondness for portraits. Particularly in Southern California, you have such a unique array of personalities and individuals. I particularly enjoy capturing the diversity on camera.

What is your advice to aspiring photographers? How is it important?

My advice is simple, work hard and be persistent. In my opinion there really is no secret sauce that only a certain individuals in society are aware of when it comes to success. Everyone is aware of the principles needed to be successful. It’s not a secret. What differentiates those that are successful and those that are not is the application of these principles. I find that when people hit a rough spot, they quit. In other instances, people blame others for their lack of success. In still other instances, people attribute “luck” as to how someone became successful. In reality, particularly as a photographer you just need to grind and work your butt off. The photography industry, in particular, is very saturated. Everyone is attempting to take a piece of the pie. What makes you different as a photographer? What makes you stand out? These are questions every aspiring photographer needs to answer if they are attempting to make a living off of their talents.

How did you get involved in filmmaking?

For me, it really started at Emerson College up in Boston, Massachusetts. I had spent several years as a freelance photojournalist before attending Emerson. I was pretty well versed in it even before I went to college. I wanted to challenge myself with something new, so I started dabbling in filmmaking. This goes back to the “Continual Learning” we talked about in your first question. As a photographer, you always want to push the boundaries and challenge yourself. You will be amazed at what you will find.

Whose art do you like the most? What influences you and your art?

My friend Mathew David Parker does amazing work. I particularly like his style of art and photography. Again, I usually find influence in different things at different times. I have spent a vast majority of my time in New York and Southern California. Those areas by default influence my art to a certain extent. I have also been fortunate enough to travel to foreign countries such as Okinawa and Tibet. These areas have also influenced my art to a certain extent. I tend to take pieces from different art styles to make my own unique approach to photography.

Interview with professional photographer Rocco Basile Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:46:00 AM Rating: 5
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