Follow The Light: An Interview With Roberta Tocco
Roberta Tocco was born with the gift of storytelling. Her beautiful work is all about capturing emotions and chasing the perfect light. Growing up on the island gave her the freedom to catch the sound of waves and colors of endless sunsets. In this interview, Roberta talks about her unique photographic style and reveals what can only be learned through practice when it comes to photography.
Hi Roberta! What inspires you to go outside and take some cool photographs?
It’s the hurge to tell something. When I photograph, I become a storyteller and there is nothing better for me. I feel I stand in my place when I give voice to my inner world and I capture it in a moment. Inspiration can come from everything, clothes, places, faces, movie, all the thing that can tell me a story.
“You need to feed your eyes and mind if you want to create. I don’t have a specific technique, I’m not very good technically, I just follow the light, that’s all.”
You were born and raised in a beautiful port city Catania in Italy. What do you enjoy shooting the most in your hometown? Which locations you find most inspirational for your work of art?
I was born in an island and I think I feel like an island too. This land is full of contrasts, here you can find the great beauty as the great degradation, this balance is something that has grown in my eyes and my esthetic sense. I love finding beauty in hidden places, my favorite locations are old houses because they have inside story and help me create a specific mood.
Could tell us more about your beginnings when you were just starting out as a young photographer? When did you discover the need to express yourself and catch these special moments?
At the age of 20 I started taking photos just for fun and curiosity and it was the most natural thing in my life. I think I was born with this “gift” and I don’t care if I do good or bad photographs, photography is a huge part of me and I’m proud of that.
I understand you went to Academy of Fine Arts where you learned all about photography. In your opinion, what can only be learned through practice? What are some of your favourite techniques to use?
I believe that photography is something that you can learn on your own, you just need to know how to use a camera and light. But after a while you understand that the technique is not enough, you want more and to understand things that you are doing. I think studying art is very important because it opens your mind. You need to feed your eyes and mind if you want to create. I don’t have a specific techinique, I’m not very good technically, I just follow the light, that’s all.
As an artist, how did you establish your unique photographic style, something to be recognized by? What motivates you to take photos and make something creative?
I tried different kind of photography, different sets and moods, but at the end I always find myself in minimal things, natural light and very simple concept. What I want is to express my feelings and bring out the hidden beauty from what I see.
Speaking of creative things, how much time and effort do you put in your creative process? What is necessary in order to make a perfect shooting scene?
It depends, sometimes I need specific things to create a story like scouting location, dresses, models and think about every aspect of the shooting. Sometimes I let myself be guided by instinct and tell a story, without forcing anything.
You take magical portraits of women. Were you always inspired by the female figure and the beauty behind it? How did this influence your work and creative thinking?
Yes, I love the delicacy of women, but I do not exclude to photograph men in my life. I found inspiration in beauty, don’t care if it’s a boy or girl, young or old.
What project are you currently working on? Can we expect some new work or another exhibition possibly?
I would love to represent the relationship with the places where I grew up. Something very simple but that can celebrate my Sicilian roots, hope to do well!