In Depth Interview: my Story, from Italy to California
Creating feel good images and travelling the world, we sit down with Los Angeles based, Lifestyle and Portrait Photographer Rocco Ceselin to tell us how it is all done…
Who is Rocco Ceselin?
I’m an Italian photographer, I was born in a small village in the north east of the country, near the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. In 2002 I decided to make California my new home.
When did you know you wanted photography to be your career?
I remember playing with my parents small Kodak Retinette and later on with a manual Yashica. I loved using the vivid Fuji Velvia slides and I was astonished with the vibrant colors I got when I picked up the slides from the lab. I was really photographing everything. This passion and drive for the images made me dream about being one day a photographer who can travel the world and tell stories.
How did you get started?
After I moved from Italy to San Francisco, I started working as a web designer in the wine country (Napa and Sonoma). It had all the outdoors I loved and it made me feel at home. Most of my clients didn’t have a great selection of images and the web sites lacked storytelling. I felt like I could fulfill that niche and started learning more, taking classes and attending workshops with great photographers.
How long have you been shooting?
Professionally I’d say fourteen years
What inspires you?
Everything that has a story to tell: people, landscapes, road trips, situations I find myself in. I love to capture images that make me think, and things I am curious about.
Portraiture seems like something you really love to shoot, why?
Real relationships are vital for our life. In this world of social media, internet, smartphones, we have lost the capability to interact with people and listen to their stories.
Many people have short attention span. I think portraiture photography sort of allows you to take it slow and get to know your subject.
What do you love about shooting lifestyle?
It really brings me to a sensation of freedom, vitality, being with people and close to nature. It feels like my crew and I can enjoy a beautiful day outdoors and be happy.
What do you love about travel?
Traveling is a philosophy of life and a learning experience.
Meeting new people, discovering new places makes me really happy. I always leave the place I just visited with a little nostalgia and the desire to come back one day.
How did you get in to shooting wine?
The region I come from, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, is well known to be an important white wine area. When I had my small web design company in Italy, most of our clients were wineries.
When I was eighteen years old, one of my first jobs, was working in a big wine coop where I learned so much. I was pretty much doing everything:
cleaning, painting, bottling etc. I grew up a lot and met hard working people with solid values and spirit of sacrifice.
What do you think about the transition from still to motion?
Even if I think the two media are very different, I love to be
able to tell a story in both ways. Adding motion and audio on video, adds different dimensions to storytelling.
What is the biggest lessons you have learned in the last years?
I learned that being passionate for what you do and share your
ideas with your team, client and crew is very important to achieve successful results.
What are your essential tools and why?
I have been shooting Canon for many years and that’s a brand I
have been loyal to for many reasons. The customer service is excellent and the gear never lets me down.
I also work with Canon speed lights controlled by remote and more recently using Profoto B1x.
Where do you see photography moving in 10 years?
I feel like social media has taken over the photo demand and this
will be more prevalent and something we have to be ok with it. Professional photographers will always shoot with professional gear and drone photography and video will be something we will need to be very comfortable with.
What’s next for Rocco Ceselin?
I have a couple of trips ahead of me in 2018 and I would like to
move forward with two personal projects I have been working on for a while. I’m working with my team now to produce a very cool video
Rocco Portrait: Barbara Macklow