One of our goals here on HumorOutcasts.com is to acknowledge the achievements of our writers in whatever endeavor they attempt. Jack Aiello is a talented writer and photographer. His photographs appear on several sites, and recently he launched his own website. I am a big fan of Jack’s work and of Jack – a truly good person. So, for you photograph buffs, take a look at Jack Aiello’s site, and the Q & A I conducted with Jack that can give you background on the man, his work and his inspirations.
Tell us about Jack? Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Italy, specifically Ponza, a tiny island that’s just north of Capri. My parents came to New York when I was barely a year old and we lived in the Throgs Neck section of The Bronx. I still live here and I love it.
How did you get into photography?
My father bought one of those Polaroid instant cameras when I was about 8 years old, and I remember being fascinated by the “instant” photo it created. As I got older, the photo bug was dormant as I pursued other interests. It wasn’t until I took a Black and White course in college and later attended a Workshop in Maine, that I got really interested again. My family got me a Canon EOS Elan for my graduation and I started documenting my niece and nephew’s childhood. From then on, I was hooked.
Do you have favorite subjects you like to focus on?
I used to love photographing candids of people, street scenes, etc., and as such, my family became my main subject. However, with the exception of my niece and nephew who were very un-self conscious – as kids tend to be – the rest of my family would feel really uncomfortable, and they didn’t like the spontaneity of the moment that I was looking for; they preferred posed. For me, that was boring. From there I decided to branch out and focus on subject matter that wouldn’t give me back talk! So I started to fall in love with nature and landscapes, travel photos, locales. And I found it an endlessly fascinating subject matter, just as, or even more so than people.
Why did you want to start your own site, and is it a solo project?
Right now it is a solo project. My work is featured on various stock photo sites, but I wanted my own site to control my collection, organize it the way I want and make it readily available for anyone without involving a middle-man, so to speak. I’m very proud of the site and it’s constantly changing as my technique evolves and my subject matter expands. It’s really exciting.
What do you like most about photography?
After you put in all the blood, sweat and tears, after you’ve scouted a location, you waited patiently for the right light, metered everything, composed your shot, tweaked the controls of your camera and when you look at your final image… it’s crap. But then you turn around and just snap something that instinctively catches your eye, and you wind up with something positively stunning and unusual, and you say, “Damn”. I get a rush from that and a sense of satisfaction. It’s that unpredictability of the image, how you’re interpreting the world around you with the mechanical eye that constantly fascinates me. It’s like I’m on the pursuit for the perfect image.
And you would think with nature and landscape photography, you eliminate some of that unpredictability with preparedness. To an extent, that’s true, but it’s still no guarantee.
What do you like least about photography?
See above! Especially the being patient part.
You are also a very talented writer. Does your photography inspire your writing or vice versa or are they totally separate for you?
I see writing and Photography as opposites of the same coin. In both cases, you’re telling a story, just through different means. Even with stock photos, you may think it’s generic, so what story is it telling? Well, you’re still conveying an idea or concept. Writing and photography, at this point for me, are separate pursuits. I find that both disciplines complement each other immensely, but like any good stock photo, its meaning should be open to the client’s interpretation, so with the exception of some keywording, I won’t write about it or explain it. However, if I want to tell a funny story or write a product or movie review, then I’ll fire things out on the keyboard!
What Camera do you use? What’s your gear?
Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 24-105 IS F4L lens.
Follow Jack on Twitter: @jluca9