March 24, 2016
Simone Becchetti: Black + White Photographer of the Year
2015 Stocksy Awards: Celebrating the Best in the Biz. The Stocksy Awards celebrate photographers across twenty-one categories who produce truly outstanding work that not only takes our breath away, but pushes the industry forward. Visit awards.stocksy.com to check out our 2015 winners and to watch the awards show video. Keep your eye on the blog for interviews with all our winners!
// What was your path to becoming a professional photographer?
I discovered photography during a trip to Brittany in 2007, when I threw a small digital camera into my backpack, a camera that I didn’t even know I had. Since then I have never stopped taking pictures. Starting out as a self-taught photographer, I later joined some local photo clubs and began working as an assistant for a few photographers. The real turning point came when I discovered the world of stock photography. For me stock photography represented a chance to escape from my office work life that I was struggling with at the time. Photography was a means to pursue the freedom I was craving. Recently I have began more formal photography studies and now I consider it a language and an expressive tool of communication.
// What is the story behind your winning image?
I was walking the streets of Barcelona, when I saw my friend Massimo crossing the street towards a triangle of light that was reflecting from the ground. At that time I was working on a photo project themed around urban symmetries, so I took my camera out and started shooting. I asked Massimo to walk past that spot many times because I liked the scene, but like always, the first frame was the best.
// What has been the greatest influence in your work?
For a long time I have been inspired by music and the social and cultural movements relating to it. Music is a straightforward and expressive communication tool able to stand the test of time, to be passed from one generation to the next and become a cultural memory. It’s a sort of folk art that people can take nourishment from. I have actually learned one of the greatest lessons of my life from music: the future is unwritten, both in right and in wrong.
// What is the creative community like in your hometown?
I was very lucky to have grown up in an environment full of craftsmen, from boat builders to carpenters, shoemakers and dressmakers. First in my family line was my grandfather, who always worked with wood. My father followed a similar path, as did my brother who now builds beautiful guitars. My mother was also very creative, and I have always held a great admiration for the creative people around me, to see how much love there is behind the work they do.
// What creative projects are you currently working on?
Besides my photographic pursuits, I am currently working on the creation of a magazine with some friends. Our team is made up of different personalities, professional and cultural backgrounds, but we all contain the same spirit for exploration. The project talks about contemporaneity, but I can’t really say much more than that right now except that I am very excited to see what will come about.
// How do you stay motivated to shoot and create?
The responsibility of paying my bills is of course something that keeps me motivated. However, I believe that when you choose a creative profession you have to love what you do, so that you can have a higher purpose besides just paying your bills. Photography allows me to learn more about the world every day and to challenge myself more and more. It also allows me to express myself and to keep my mind open. It is a continuous journey of change which drives my motivation.
// What are you currently excited about?
Walking. I recently discovered walking as an important source of inspiration for me. If I have to make decisions, I like to go on a long walk in the woods or by the lake. I love to lose myself while walking in the city, to discover random and new things. When I travel I try to always make an effort to walk to new places. This year, when I was in California, I walked deep into the desert, which was a mystical experience to say the least. Sometimes I walk for hours and hours. The road is my school. I agree with Thomas Hoepker, who said that the most important tool for a photographer is a good pair of walking shoes.
// What does winning Black and White Photographer of the Year mean to you?
Since I started working with Stocksy, I began to put all of my effort into this project. I love black and white photographs, and some of my favourite images are black and white. Winning this awards means being recognized for something that represents myself, my point of view and my vision.
// Anyone special you’d like to thank who has contributed to your success?
Definitely my family and my close friends with whom I’m lucky to be with every day. And of course my dog, who is a constant inspiration (since I got him, I sleep less and stay active more).
See Simone’s full collection >