Photography is a special and unique hobby that can be very difficult to make into a career. Being a photographer can be hard, but it is very special and there are a variety of different skills that you need to become one. Chris Rocco is a noteworthy and aspiring photographer who is highly noted for his photography skills and his amazing photos. He is also a kind and generous individual with a charming personality. Rocco really embraces and loves the city of Boston and he notes that it helped mold him into the person he is today. Through his photos and work, it easily shows that he has a unique talent and drive to be a successful photographer. He inspires other photographers and even inspired me to continue with my passion of writing and taught me ideas I thought I would not think about.
Chris Rocco is a junior who attends Suffolk University and is currently pursuing a major in marketing, but who also has a deep passion for photography. Chris was born and raised in New Jersey, but currently lives in Boston for a majority of his time. In addition, Rocco is both a diligent and caring person who spends countless time sharpening his skills and craft. I had a chat with my friend Chris and asked him various questions about his life and about photography.
What made you get into photography?
"Basically the story is I always wanted to get a camera but I pushed it off throughout high school. When I went to college I messed around with my roommate's camera second semester in January of 2015. He taught me the basics of how to use a camera and the skills that it takes. After a couple of days I bought my first camera and started out shooting night photography in Boston, going to school there and working part time and only being free during the night to take photos. I would go and shoot in the streets of Boston, I got so into it, like something clicked. My vision started to mold photographing the streets of Boston. I started shooting more urban and wanted to capture the city of Boston. I like cities, I like the vast amounts of people." Chris stumbled upon photography, but realizes he was made for this life. He goes on to talk about Boston, Rocco states specifically, "Everything is constantly changing, I can go out one day and the next day at the same place it's different. Growing up I didn't like the city, but being in Boston changed my opinion. I started shooting more urban and going on rooftops and exploring."
Isn't it scary to go on rooftops and buildings? Although it gets you great views?
Rocco states, "Definitely, going on rooftops is a great opportunity to take photos because a lot of them are places people do not get to see I enjoy capturing that. The first couple of times I was nervous, although I am way more comfortable now. It is a kind of adrenaline rush, but it is nice to capture the city from different angles." Chris is always doing whatever he can to get great shots and is truly loyal to his hobby.
I see you have a nice designed logo on your Instagram, describe that process.
Chris Rocco's logo is an eyeball with a camera's aperture blades in the center on his Instagram. It is a very creative and nice looking logo that fits perfectly with photography. He states, "I had the concept/design in mind, a graphic designer made it into what it looks like now. I wanted my logo to be an eye, I like the logo and it took a couple of drafts." The logo I really thought was done well and really showed a nice image of photography that helps Chris stick out among other photographers. Unquestionably, he is truly invested in photography.
Do you usually shoot alone?
"I mean I shoot with friends, but I also shoot alone. I enjoy shooting with other people, but I think that I shoot better alone with street photography. If I am looking for some cool views I like being with a friend."
How often do you take photos?
Chris is loyal to his craft and dedicates almost every day to sharpening his own craft. He says, "I try to shoot every day, as much as I can even if it is just for half an hour." Rocco says, "I live right in the city of Boston, I can walk right outside and take photos, I am lucky. Sometimes I am more inspired than other times. I try to push through it". Finding inspiration can be hard at times and it is always important to relax sometimes and know when to catch a breather.
Would you say you like shooting in Boston more than New Jersey?
Rocco states his humble beginnings, "Boston got me into photography, I have a love and hate relationship with the city. I love Boston because I don't think I would have gotten into photography without going to school there and capturing the city around me." Chris shoots in New York City and New Jersey as well. Rocco shares other areas where he shoots at, "I enjoy shooting in New York City more; I want to move to New York after college and photograph that city, it inspires me and that is where I need to go." From my viewpoint, I also have the same aspect as I would love to work in NYC and possibly live there. New York City presents a lot of opportunities and advantages. Chris further states, "I still enjoy shooting in Boston, I am glad I have the opportunity to shoot there for four years and I will take advantage of that completely."
Would you say Boston molded you into who you are today?
Chris states the significance of the beautiful city, "Boston has played the biggest role in my photography so far because that is where it all began and inspired me to take photos and become a photographer. I will always credit the city."
Where do you see yourself in five to ten years from now?
Chris states his future, "I am going to graduate school in May of 2018 with a degree in marketing. I am a firm believer in the 10,000 hour rule. In order to be good at something you need to put in at least 10,000 hours in it, which equates to about 10 years. In due time I will be very good at photography and I see myself making a career as a fine artist. Photography is my medium of choice, but I want to go beyond photography eventually. I want to add something more to my photos, but am unsure at this point. I am trying to establish myself as a fine artist, that is my overall goal." Chris is very inspiring and I thought the 10,000 hour rule was interesting to hear, since I never heard of it. I will want to do the same in my writing career and keep spending hours writing. The way Chris is dedicated to his craft, I am the same. Chris is always looking to improve in some way, which is very good. It was a intellectual point and it proves how with many dedicated hours and years you can make something out of yourself.
Would you say social media helps for your photography? Modern technology?
"The main social media platform I use is Instagram, it is a platform of uploading photos, it is a great opportunity for photographers. I think it took off in 2013/2014, many photographers where uploading their edited photos to the platform. My friend showed it to me in the year 2015 and I thought it was cool like a "visual journal," I think it is important to showcase your work and I have gained inspiration from it and there are tons of great photographers and artists on it. I think it is a great platform to find inspiration. I also met some cool people on Instagram and gained some best friends on the platform." I thought the same way as Chris and agreed completely.
What are some of the difficulties with photography?
Chris states, "There are a lot of good photos that go behind a great photo. What I mean by that is I don't just go out into the city and automatically have a great photo. You have to work for it. I have tens of thousands of photos, but I won't upload all of them; I have a specific vision and it takes a while to get a good image that I am pleased with. Something I have realized is that if I go out and shoot for any amount of time; hours or days, I will get a good photo I am happy with." People tend to not realize how hard photographers work and how many photos go behind getting a extraordinary one.
Difficulties with time and managing it?
"At times it can be, but I like to keep busy. Both school and photography keep me busy, if I had more time on my hands, I do not think it would be much better." I tend to at times have bad time management and I again agreed with Chris that more time is not always good. Keeping busy is the better option.
Favorite moment or image?
"I do not have a favorite image, but a few. When I take a good photo, I just know, it can be like swishing a three point shot, like clicking the shutter."
Advice to other aspiring or upcoming photographers or artists?
"One piece of advice is to get good is to just go out and shoot. You can watch videos and documentaries to learn, but at the end of the day to be able to grow and prosper is to just go out and do it. This goes for if you want to do anything you want in your in life whether it be painting or anything else. The skills with photography are understanding visual composition and post processing and editing is a vital skill." if you want to be great at anything in life, you have to go out and do it.
What is your overall message? To other creators or photographers?
"I do not have a motto or slogan. I think that I am lucky to find something that I am super passionate about and that I want to do for a long period of time. My message is to not be afraid to try new things and that you never know what something will lead into. When I first got my camera, I was not thinking I would be a fine artist. It was not this master thought out plan. As I took more photos my vision evolved, and I found myself as a photographer and artist. My message is to be openminded and try new things, you can find a passion that can change your life. If you find something you love, you will not be good at it at first. It is important to not get discouraged. You need to put in the time and effort to get where you want to be. I am always striving to get better photos, I will go on my laptop and evaluate them and think of ways to improve them. I am never content or satisfied and it will always be that way. I am always striving for that 'perfect image'." This message really hit me at heart as I thought about myself and working at my dream of being a robust author and journalist.
What is your style of photography?
"It is hard to put my style into words. I think my style is me, my photos represent me and show my personality; everything about me. That is what I want individuals to see. School has helped me understand business and that can be applied to anything."
Where do you get this passion for photography?
Talent can run in the family and Chris is no different as he told me his own heartfelt message, "A lot of it is that my grandfather used to be a photographer. But I never knew him, he died when I was very young, I never got to know him personally. So my photography is getting to know my grandfather without ever knowing him. It pushes me to be a better photographer, just because my grandfather did it, it is sentimental to me. I just know it is what I want to do right now and there is nothing more that I want to do. The only way I will be happy is by taking photos and editing them. He further states, "What I photograph is just me, Chris Rocco, that is what I try to embody in my images."" I feel the same way because my father has not been involved in my life for the most part so I also seek inspiration from myself and in being a better person then he ever would or could be. Writing is an outlet for me personally that calms me and gives me solace just like photography does for Chris. We both are similar in many ways than meets the eye as artists and that is what I have discovered.
Check out Chris Rocco's Instagram: @chrisrocco
Also check out his website where he has great prints of areas in Boston and NYC for sale: