I am an Italian-South African Film Photographer based in Germany.
Immigrating to America shortly after being born,
I spent my childhood in & around various states such as California, Florida, North Carolina & Washington State.
Ten years later a decision to come home was made and we got to learn what home was like.
I currently work as a Deckhand in the Super Yacht industry, doing so since I was 19. I continuously travel, meet incredibly strange & beautiful people & visit the most shapely places in the world. I chose this line of work because I thought it had best suited my desire to be on the move & gain particular experiences I wanted that being stationary couldn't provide.
I started shooting film after my 1st Officer onboard during a crossing from Malta - The Maldives mentioned he shot 35mm film. I found it strange that I had never considered film photography before but realized it was the type of photography that best represented my intentions and from then I was hooked. After returning to Malta, we both jumped in a gondola & headed to Valletta to buy some film from Darkroom Malta before heading home to Cape Town where I picked up Penny , the Pentax K-1000 Barry down at Tothills sold me - thanks Barry
Shortly after settling into my town, I developed an interest in the street art & graffiti which was displayed around town & throughout the city. Politically fueled street art was what got me hooked on trying to document the works before they were rapidly taken down along with pieces being buffed from trains & abandoned areas or "good spots" being painted over. The pressure to document the work of these artists, who were boundless in their freedom to paint & express saw my interest in capturing fading material swell.
Sticking to myself throughout my teens, I continued to walk & skate around Cape Town as much as possible to record & later file the pieces I shot in my library of the city's public art pieces. Not knowing then, I was slowly feeding my growing habit to document, which would later see a library overflowing with images but also seeing new subjects like people & architecture appear which would sometimes be unavoidable given where art pieces were painted. Most places saw me climbing up rooftops & scaffolding, creeping in abandoned houses & hopping trains to document the art.
Already obsessively driven to document & capture, I bought a fixie & cycled around the city compulsively to get as much as I could on film. I even remember skipping out on meals to buy more film stock to speed my learning curve up. Tothills was instrumental in aiding my development as I could shoot a roll, drop it off at the shop, cycle back in an hour to check the negatives & then shoot again. I've always had this kind of compulsion to express myself perfectly & so I would seek ways to rapidly overcome the learning process as best as I could which mostly saw me going beyond my means.
I had found the right tool & just wanted to use it.
I found I quickly gravitated towards shooting street photography from roaming the cityscape shooting street art. I preferred to aim my lens at things which would vanish soon or which were already on the way out as if captured right I had control whether they would be seen or not. I liked being able to play with that.
Candid shots I managed to capture filled me with joy as I knew like most photographers who were at the right place at the right time got something no one else could have by simply just being there. I however really bloody tried to put myself in as many areas as possible where I thought something might spark up & having that bike helped.
Cape Town is rich in detail. The detail in the cityscape,
the detail crammed in between the buildings making for alleys littered with hustle & grit & how people walk around wearing their experiences on their faces. I noticed this after a few rolls & started shifting more attention to shooting what would be my first project, Fragrant Vagrants in the hope to capture a life lesser-acknowledged & instead largely disregarded. Having walked & skated my way around the city since arriving, I grew to know most of the Vagrants I ended up photographing which made for comfortable interaction. Most of them called me Small Boy then. It was great to see them remember me as I did them.
So, thanks to a 1st Officer in the middle of the Somalian Gulf of Aden & a Diamond Geezer at a film chemist corner shop in the heart of downtown Cape Town I managed to find the perfect instrument to express myself as well as capture that which so easily could not have been because I can now.
Because of this, we have Pachie