Rocco Basile is a professional photographer based out of Santa Barbara, California. Rocco is also the owner and founder of Rocco Basile Photography, an art gallery and photography studio in which the renowned photographer works with up-and-coming photographers and other artists from all over the country. A graduate of Emerson College who holds an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, Rocco continues to travel the world as a photojournalist but is increasingly focused on serving as a mentor to aspiring photographers at his Southern California art gallery and photography studio.
- Hi! Please tell us about yourself and/or Rocco Basile Photography.
I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker, but after falling in love with the Pacific Coast many years ago, I put down more permanent roots in Santa Barbara, California. As a professional photographer, I initially founded Rocco Basile Photography to serve as my personal studio, but over time it has become an art gallery and education center as well. I’m best known for my work as a photojournalist, especially the photos shot during one of my first assignments documenting remote locales throughout the Far East.
- What inspired you to want to become a photographer?
Growing up in New York I was surrounded by culture and found myself enamored by all the different sights and sounds of the city, particularly the ones that tended to go unnoticed by passersby. I was fortunate that I was able to spend a great deal of time in the company of talented artists from all over the five boroughs, and I was inspired by their endless devotion to all forms of artistic expression.
- Why do you devote so much time and energy in support of aspiring photographers?
Without the support of my family or the artists who offered to help me learn about all kinds of artistic endeavors, I’m not sure I would have gone on to have all the wonderful experiences I’ve had during my career as a professional photographer. All artists need support in some form or another, and I don’t want to see any talented photographers miss out on such a beautiful and rewarding career due to a lack of external support or guidance.
- You have an upcoming gallery exhibition featuring photojournalists from all over the world. Please tell us more about that?
Photojournalism is so valuable because it not only sheds light on the plight of people all over the world, but also because it confronts the viewer with the basic humanity of those enduring unthinkable hardships during all manner of crises, especially those caused by war, famine, natural disasters, and the like. The exhibition we’ll be hosting at my studio/gallery will feature remarkable works of photography from parts of the world in which people are enduring unimaginable difficulties. It is our hope that by showcasing these works we’ll be able to inspire others to support the humanitarian relief efforts being undertaken in these regions.
- Do you find it difficult to strike the right balance between your professional responsibilities and your personal life?
No, not at all, but that is probably due to the fact that I rarely think of anything I do as separate from my personal life. I am as passionate as ever about photography and any other kind of artistic pursuit, so working as a photographer and running my gallery/studio hardly feels like work at all.