Nikon ambassador and Rotolight’s newest Master of Light, Rocco Ancora, is an Italian born wedding and portrait photographer now based in Melbourne, Australia. Awarded 20 accolades from the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers alone across a career spanning 25 years, Rotolight are honoured to welcome Rocco as a Master of Light.
Rocco’s photography journey blossomed from a childhood love of both the methodical and the creative. “At high school I loved science and maths as well as more artistic subjects like graphic design,” Rocco remembers. This led him to later pursue a tertiary in architectural design where he bought a basic film camera to capture and study buildings. “What started off as a serious hobby grew into so much more. I was intrigued by how light could affect the shape, mood and feel of a structure,” Rocco says. “As I looked at the images I’d taken, I was fascinated by how I could convey emotion with just a picture.”
From architecture, Rocco began photographing people. Roped into shooting family events, he found that he enjoyed capturing special moments and connecting with people, leading him into the world of wedding photography. “For me, a good photograph is full of emotion; it’s all about the people I’m photographing – my clients,” Rocco continues. “I like people and I’m genuinely interested in finding out what makes them tick. I look for moments that make me feel good, and they’re usually the same moments that make my clients feel good too.”
Rocco has been using Rotolight’s LEDs for his studio shoots; augmenting his flattering natural light portraiture with soft artificial lighting to fill the shadows. His most recent shoots play with dramatic monochromatic tones to create romantic bridal portraits. The image above was shot using just a NEO 2 which was diffused by the bride’s veil.
“This image (above) is part of a series I’m currently working on,” Rocco explains. “The vintage – almost wet plate – look was created using a series of treated glass sheets in front of the lens and shooting with a shallow depth of field and a long focal length. I then used an AEOS with a soft box as my key light and a NEO 2 just behind the subject to light the background and give just a little bit of a kick.”
“Everything was done in camera except for the black and white and a small amount of skin retouching,” Rocco continues. “One of the huge advantages of working with continuous light as opposed to strobe is that you can shoot exactly what you see, which made positioning them much easier. This meant I could also easily avoid unwanted reflections on the glass as well.” Rocco has been using continuous lighting in his photography for a number of years, but made the switch to Rotolight’s LEDs after being wowed by both the robust body and the quality of the output.
“Not only are Rotolights portable and easy to control, they’re flattering too with excellent colour accuracy,” Rocco concludes. “But the thing I love the most is that, with continuous lighting, my subject is less aware that their photo is being taken and lets me connect with them in a way that I otherwise couldn’t to capture those special moments.”