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Life & Work with Santiago Traverso

Today we’d like to introduce you to Santiago Traverso.

Hi Santiago, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I was born in San Francisco – California but grew up in Lima – Peru. Nowadays, I live in Florida. In my family, art is something that wasn’t present, but it was always something that caught my attention. Since I was 10, I started looking for ways to express myself through painting, writing, etc. It wasn’t until I came across photography at age 15 that I felt a passion for the art. I loved the idea of delivering feelings through images, telling a story with a photo. I remember going to Instagram and looking for photographer accounts. I was amazed at how each picture was so well put together, but at the same time, it felt so natural. I said to myself: “I want to do that too.” I started with one of my friend’s camera, I used to go out for walks to take photos of the street. In the beginning, my photos weren’t the best, let’s say, it wasn’t until I finished high school that I think I started to have a more defined style. Photography so far has been an incredible journey. I have been able to learn so many things, met incredible people, and so much more. Photography is the way I express myself, is how I show myself to the world and is my passion.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Photography is a learning curve that never ends. When I just started, I wondered why my photos didn’t look like the ones of the photographers I look up to. My first answer was that they have better cameras and lenses and couldn’t be more wrong. Years of experience and constant practice are worth much more than the gear you use. YouTube was the best teacher I had. Still is sometimes, from time to time, I like to watch videos on the theory of photography or essays on very successful photographers. The biggest obstacle for me was grabbing a camera and going outside. It wasn’t easy to overcome that barrier. I am not someone who likes to attract attention or have conversations with strangers. I also thought that it was not worth a try, that my photos weren’t going to be good enough. They were excuses that I made to myself to avoid going out to take photos. Overcoming that fear of going out with a camera to the street was my biggest obstacle.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My style of photography, I will describe it as a colorful night. I like to use neon lights to illuminate my portraits. Neon gives it a unique and colorful touch, but there are times that I also prefer to create more cinematic photos, photos that look like they are stills from a movie. I love taking pictures in the worst possible weather. When it is heavily raining, when there is a dense fog, is when I go out to take photos. I feel that the rain and mist add the essence of mystery. My style is always in constant evolution. I don’t like to encapsulate myself in one thing. At the moment I take pictures at night with rain, but who knows? Maybe next year I’ll do photos of the sunset and flowers. That’s what I love about photography that there are no rules.

How do you think about happiness?
There is a quote by Alan Watts that goes: ‘forget the money!’ Because if you say that getting the money is the most important thing you will spend your life completely wasting your time! You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing to go on living – that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid! ” I was 12 when I first heard it, I’m 20 now. and it’s something that has stayed with me until now. It was like a revelation because it is something so simple and obvious but so hard to see. I feel happy when I’m doing photos is what I love to do. I feel so lucky to have found something that means so much to me at a young age. Of course, I would like to have a successful career in photography and be able to make money with it. But that’s not my reason why I take photos. When I get to capture a beautiful moment that I know will never repeat. That feeling is priceless.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Street photos taken in: Ocala Florida Portraits models ( in order of appearance ) : Lauren Livingston @laurenloveof_fitness, Emilia Palermo @emmmpal, Katlynn Rowland @kattt_katttt_

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