Suffolk University sophomore Chris Rocco has one simple piece of advice for budding photographers, articulated in the bio of his fast-growing Instagram account (@chrisrocco). “If you want it,” he writes, “go out and get it.” Since getting on the app, Rocco, 20, has adhered to that, focusing on some of Boston’s most awe-inspiring angles throughout what has evolved into an exquisitely detailed,
visually opulent feed.
Q. How did you get into photography?
A. I was living in the dorms last year, and my roommate had a camera. I thought it would be cool if I got one, and we could go out and shoot together. So I got my first camera in January 2015 and started shooting night photography, because that’s all my schedule would allow. I was a full-time student, and I was also working four or five days a week valeting cars, so I’d get off work at 11:30 p.m. and go out around Boston doing long exposures. Every time I went out, I fell in love with it more.
Q. What appeal does Instagram hold, specifically?
A. It’s a great tool for evaluating my work and my progress. You want to upload your best shots to Instagram, and so it made me think about my photos again, after shooting and processing them, I’ve also met some great people through the app. I could find like-minded people, and people started liking my work and commenting, which was just unreal. It inspires me and motivates me to go out more.
Q. Are there any downsides?
A. It’s easy to get lost in the hype of Instagram and how you can get all this attention from it. This is true for me, and I’ve seen it for others too. It’s easy to get lost in all the likes, follows, and trends, and lose your focus on your vision, on what you’re doing, and why you started in the first place.
Q. Is there a philosophy to your current photography?
A. I just go out and shoot, whenever I have the time, though I try to shoot when the light is good. I really hate clear nights and clear skies — I think that’s so bland. My philosophy and my approach, right now, is attempting to capture the urban side of Boston. I want to capture the essence of the city but not necessarily what everyone thinks of when they think of Boston. Oftentimes, I go for a gritty, almost controversial angle, looking for things that people don’t exactly want you to see.Interview was condensed and edited. Isaac Feldberg can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @i_feldberg.