Abraham Lincoln once told of an Old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion that “it was not best to swap horses when crossing streams,” indicating that doing so could be risky. Ignoring this sage advice, Italian Photographer, Marcello Moccia, born and raised in Naples, Italy, “one of the most beautiful cities in the world; full of history and art,” according to him, recently moved to San Diego, California to continue his 20+ years of photographing exotic models, weddings and portraits. Although the change was a risk for Moccia, he indicates that life in Italy “was difficult, not only for photographers, but in general.” For him, “America is the realization of a dream,” and he came here to realize that dream for the photographic opportunities and his new life. Now after being here for five and a half years, his business is enjoying the popularity it had in Italy.
“I started my career long time ago as a wedding photographer because I enjoyed being present for one of the most important days in people’s lives”, remarked Moccia, who also enjoys dual citizenship and travels back to Italy from time to time to visit mother and two brothers who still live there. “In Italy, my name was added on the list of one of the best Italian photographer,” said Moccia who photographed fashion models in Milan and other major Italian cities. Moccia actually started his photography career at the age of eleven, when he was his father’s assistant helping to set up shoots and carry equipment.
Although Moccia earns his living through his lengthy experience and professional background and lists photography as “my biggest passion,” He also enjoys cooking, and has added photographing food for commercial enterprises to augment his income and pleasure. “As an Italian, of course, I enjoy cooking and food, so naturally I have gotten into photographing food. His photographic skills have also led him to photograph charitable events, weddings and commercial ventures such as advertising the creativity of other artists and culinary events. He has recently completed photographs for a mixed-media painter and his own websites. ”One of my greatest joys is photographing children because they are the most spontaneous and don’t have to be told how to pose. They are naturals.”
The photographer also enjoys America’s vintage automobiles and is a collector of sorts who says he really “enjoys my hobby of collecting antique cars.” Thus far he has a 1953 White MG and a Model T Ford 27. “I got involved in collecting these cars through photographing them first, and then collecting them.
“I started photography with film cameras, developing my photos in a darkroom. Unfortunately, due to the popularity of the Polaroid and then digital cameras, my job became easy enough to do for people with less experience and knowledge,” recalls Moccia. “ I started with well- known cameras such as the Canon FM3, Leica R6, Hasselblad CL, and now I use the most advanced digital cameras I can afford” remarked the photographer adding that his new darkroom became his MAC computer. “I can be paying greater attention to the details, colors and using my fantasy to elaborate the photos, making each of them unique and special for each different occasion.”
Moccia utilizes the latest photographic equipment, but says he is not confined to the lab. He added that he is not averse to travelling to sites with his equipment and enjoys setting up and photographing people in their natural environment. “I love natural light,” remarked the photographer, adding that although a studio with lightening equipment can be necessary in certain situations. His website attests to his love for photographing children and subjects in their natural environment where he displays photos of beach scenes, models, wedding events, and children.
Looking back, Moccia says the risk of changing his working environment (in midstream) from Italy to America was worth taking the risk. “Everything becomes an opportunity for me and although the first event of photographing events and other subjects came by chance, by now I am known and the word traveling by mouth is bringing me more opportunities,” said Moccia, adding “It’s also having an Italian personality that helps.”