Born in Brooklyn New York, Donato Di Camillo is one son of three siblings born from Italian Immigrant Parents.
As a child Donato suffered behavioral problems with anger, he would soon be expelled from school at the age of sixteen for violence, then finding himself in and out of behavioral institutions and jails.
Ironically Donato became intensely interested in photography while serving out a federal prison sentence in Petersburg, MCI, Virginia
“I was always interested in magazines like National Geographic and LIFE. When I was a child I used to dream about being on adventures,
exploring, always fascinated about other cultures in different parts of the world”
Since his release in 2012 Donato taught himself to use a camera while being on home confinement. At first he photographed, bugs, plants or anything else within the 120ft of his home, which he was restricted to.
Donato was featured in multiple publications and news broadcasts around the world, such as, BBC, Washington Post, CBC, Huffington Post, and was invited to speak at the prestigious HEARST magazines annual summit.
Di Camillo continues to focus on people and plans to put out his first book late 2017. He currently resides in Staten Island, N.Y.
CBC Audio Interview
Washington Post Audio Interview
DONATO DI CAMILLO'S PLAYFUL NEW YORK CITY STREET PORTRAITS
An up-and-coming street photographer speaks with us about what catches his eye
By Skyler Reid Posted June 3, 2016
Wonder Wheelweekend workshop at Coney Island
Wonder Wheelweekend workshop at Coney Island
With Donato Di Camillo
Dates: Saturday, June 3rd – Sunday, June 4th
Location: Tom’s diner on the Coney Island boardwalk 1229 Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11224
In a short time, I’m proud to say that I’ve become widely recognized for photographing the streets of New York.
My story is very unique and my path to photography is unorthodox but also very inspiring! In the last few years since picking up a camera, my photography has been featured in multiple magazines, newspapers, and photography blogs all over the world. I’ve been published and broadcast in Washington Post, National Geographic, Huffington post, Stern Magazine, CBC and BBC just to name a few.
“Photography saved my life”
Coney Island is magically different it holds mysteries and surprise. This is a great place to focus on our efforts because people are open, there are a variety of characters that make you laugh or break your heart, and a subtle relaxing sea breeze.
The purpose of the workshop is to help the participant learn how to approach and talk to strangers, but more importantly, build confidence and learn how to listen. This, of course, is not mandatory for the workshop, but I do encourage trying to become more intimate with subjects to create a better understanding of the diverse lifestyles around us.
By listening, you not only get a fuller story from someone but also you get a better idea of whom they are and you’ll create better photos that reflect this.
- How to overcome fear when shooting on the streets
- How to create photographs with impact (unforgettable)
- How to ask people to take street portraits
- The best technical settings to use in street photography
- How to navigate around obstacles when they present themselves
- How to anticipate “the decisive moment”
- How to apply photography's basic laws when creating compositions
Let's face it, the last thing any editor, or gallery curator wants to see is the same old type of photographs. There are a lot of photographers out there now that the cell phone era has arrived. One of the biggest mistakes I see over and over again is photographers trying to shape their craft too much like the old masters, or even of the greats of today. (I was guilty of this at one time)
A photograph needs not be multi-layered nor complex to have an impact. It should convey emotion, mood, or a visual narrative and at the same time linger in the subconscious
Below are photographers that speak differently, but all very effectively
- Eugene Smith
- Diane Arbus
- Leonard Freed
- Robert Frank
- Martin Parr
DAY 1: Saturday, June 3rd 2017 9:30am- 3:30pm
Class meets at Tom’s diner on the Coney Island boardwalk 1229 Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11224 where we will review some of your work. Please bring 10 jpegs on a USB thumb drive, as we will want to project the images. If you have prints, you may bring those instead. This really helps me see where you are at with photography. As well it’s a good time for us to talk about what your goals are in this workshop. I will show my work and we will also look at some work by other photographers who I think are inspiring and from which you might garner some visual ideas to try out.
We will talk about your ideas and brainstorm about how to focus them, what you will photograph what are the photos going to show, what the idea or your visual approach might be, what’s your interest. By the way, I don’t mind at all if you shoot with your iPhone if it’s the only camera on hand. But it is recommended you use your regular cameras.
DAY 2: Sunday June 4th 20178:30am- 2:30pm
We will meet a bit earlier to catch some beautiful morning sunlight and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. If you’re willing to arrive earlier than scheduled to get some extra work in please feel free to do so.
Each participant will be given certain challenges based on what their strengths and weaknesses are. For most of the workshop that day I will accompany you when photographing then give you time to work on your own.
The goal is to help build confidence and show you methods & tips on what to look for when creating photographs that leave a strong impression.
In addition, I will also give you technical advice on the best settings to use on your camera for each situation.
After the fun weekend, we will set up an individual Facetime or Skype sessions to review the work. Please make jpegs 72dpi at 1200 or 2000 longest side and present the best 10 of your choice. We will look at the work and discuss what works, what you learned if you struggled or had great success and how you plan to move forward.
Please log on to my website http://donatodicamillo.com/ for pricing and to reserve your spot!