Rocco Basile is one of the most recent talents to rise in the photography field. Born and raised in New York, his life has been permeated with the diverse sights of the city. Having lived in almost all of the boroughs, Rocco Basile is no stranger to the most iconic scenes the city has to offer. He has utilized his knowledge to produce some of the best skyline and candid photos in America. However, the subject of his camera lens lies most notably on the rare and beautiful instances that evoke a story. As such, Rocco Basile can be more accurately seen as a story teller first and a photographer second.
What is your hobby?
My main hobby is photography. Specifically, I am perhaps most well known for my photojournalism. Although, I do other types of photography as well such as landscape, fine art, wildlife, and portrait photography.
How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?
I think it is mostly thanks to my mom that I took up photography. Living in New York City, she always encouraged me to go out and immerse myself with my surroundings. I was especially drawn to walking into art galleries and museums. I began documenting my trips with my family’s camera because I wanted to share with my mom the daily adventures I had.
Tell us what you love about it.
What I love most about photography is the ability to capture the overlooked moments and see the influence it has on people. It really is a case of a picture being worth a thousand words. There is so much story and emotion packed into just the right shot.
Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?
Before I started my own studio, I used to quite frequently participate in film and photography festivals. I mostly attended the ones situated in New York and California. However, I have also received exposure abroad in festivals based in Asia.
Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.
I have definitely had to invest in equipment for photography. People often think all I need is a camera, but there is a slew of gear that comes with it. I have bought countless batteries, tripods, and extremely pricey lenses. Beyond actual camera equipment is the need for editing software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Where do you buy most of your supplies?
Honestly, I find it more convenient these days to order online from stores such as B&H Photo Video. Back in my early years, I would purchase my required gear from stores locally. It is probably acquiring a sense of familiarity with the store owner and employees that I miss the most now.
Are there any good books for beginners?
It is difficult to recall them as I have read so many photography books. I would probably recommend Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch for beginners. It contains some advanced material but nothing too daunting. If you want just the bare essentials starting from zero, I would say try Digital SLR Photography For Dummies.
How has this changed your life?
Photography has quite literally opened my eyes to the world for me, which has greatly changed my life. I have been fortunate enough to have my skills take me to places all over the world. My stay in Japan was a definite culture shock, but it is probably my favorite country I have been to.
What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?
I would advise beginners to not get caught up in the technical side of photography. It is way too overwhelming and it may even suck the satisfaction out of it. The one thing they should focus on is expressing themselves through photography. That is something I still carry on to this day. It is beneficial to apply this perspective as not only do they express who they are, they also learn more about their inner self.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
I do have a few other hobbies on the side that I enjoy. I do not consider myself a master at it, but I try to make time to continue landscape painting. The passion for it sort of carried over from my own landscape photographs. It started out as an attempt to see how the expression of myself can vary between two different mediums with the same subject matter. I also enjoy being outdoors to stay physically active such as biking and hiking. Though I believe it has become more of a lifestyle than a hobby.