Beck Rocchi's incredible ability to capture moments and tell stories through her photography had us enchanted from the moment we saw her work. Her vivacious love for this world and its people which is present throughout all of her artistry and in life had us enamoured. We would like to introduce you to this talented photographer and beautiful human whose spirit is full of and work is created with divine love
Photography. Can you tell us about how your love affair began and what it means to you
My story. Geez where to start...
I was always known as the girl with a camera in her bag. I have loved photography since my early teens and would take snaps of all my travels and friends and plaster them all over my walls at home. The blutack would peel off the paint and mum and dad hated it! Ha ha!
My dad was a fantastic photographer. He could have been professional however he was also a very smart man from a poor Italian family so his parents encouraged him to go off to pharmacy school instead. My three brothers and I spent our childhood having our picture taken and complaining about it - but we love sifting through the boxes of prints now...the film so red and hazy and effervescent of the 80's and 90's.
I studied interior design at RMIT. After a little time working in the corporate world I decided to run away on a three month road trip with a girlfriend up the east coast. Corporate life wasn't for me baby. We planned the perfect adventure. Quitting our jobs, dumping our boyfriends and withdrawing all of our savings. Happiness was to be ours!
Sunshine, sunsets, push bikes, open road and lots of laughs. At 23 I had no plans from here...so I decided to stay in Byron Bay. I had been there when I was 19 and fell in love with it's vibrant community and exquisite bounding beaches and national parks. I started taking photographs of everyone and everything... fashion, events, jewellery, bands and editorial. I was living in a town full of beautiful bohemian human beings with rockin gypsy style and hearts obsessed with nature and freedom...they were creative and wild and full of vigorous energy.
With the help of Facebook these images circulated into people's eyes without me doing much. Pretty much Facebook built my career. From then on I started getting paid gigs and also creating my own photo blocks which I would sell at the markets around Byron. It was very small scale and I knew that I could hit the big time if I thought more broader than just Byron. I have always been a super high achiever and a successful lady through ambitious drive and a will to conquer.
I started shooting weddings that summer. Must be four years ago now. And I found it! The exact type of photography which was suited to my personality and style of shooting. So I started getting more and more work doing that - still never advertising or promoting myself - all through word of mouth and social media. (This was before Instagram!)
Now I shoot 35 weddings a year around Australia and internationally. I still do other work in my low season however I love the rush of shooting weddings. It gives me a great lifestyle and I get 3 months off every winter when I go gallivanting to the sunshine on the other side of the world! Life is good!
Life is all about the places you go and people you meet. Where did your desire to capture people in their existence, uniqueness and difference begin
Mum recently showed me a postcard I had sent her from Byron when I was 19. I wrote saying how much I loved hearing about the rest of the world, interacting with people from different lands and far away places! It fascinated me. I wrote that I wanted to travel everywhere and wanted to see everything - experience as many different cultures as I could. I has serious FOMO of other people who had to been to places I had not. I wanted to see the way that other people lived - the food they ate, their family traditions and the way they dressed.
In the two years after that I travelled around the world twice - once by myself. I visited Cuba, USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Jamaica, Egypt, Morocco, Croatia, Turkey, Vietnam and the list goes on. It was when I was walking in the streets - amongst the locals that I loved capturing moments. Taking photos of them just being them in their home villages and cities. Telling stories of their behaviour, the architecture, their clothing and culture. It was real, it was accidental and it was spontaneous. I didn't make them do anything but literally framed the moment they had created themselves. Honest and exposed, untouched and full of verifiable existence.
How has your upbringing and background influenced you
I grew up in eastern suburbs of Melbourne and attended a private school. My heart was far more creative, wildly passionate and alternative than the things that surrounded me. I had a thirst for more. It wasn't enough - I could't understand how this could ever be enough...this life where everyone looked and acted the same. I love my family and my friends but my heart needed more.
This fused my desire to travel and experience the world and its gorgeous race! Now I have met so many human beings and experienced so many different cultures and personalities that it blows my mind! The reason I love travelling is because it allows me to capture these faces...to try and tell their stories through frozen moments and share it with the rest of the world!
Being a photographer you have shot in some amazing locations and travelled extensively throughout this wonderful world. Can you tell us about the places which left an imprint on your and where is calling you next
CUBA. California. Japan. Jamaica. My god I think they have been my favourite places.
Cuba is seriously phenomenal. The streets of Havana look like a universal studio's set from the 1950's! Old cars roll by and buildings are peeling back paint and falling down but hold their beauty none the less. People are proud. Their faces are full of struggle and strength. Their clothes are so retro and the music so soulful and sexy. Oh and the cigars, roaring trade.
Jamaica is the tropical land of paradise and crystal blue waters. They know how to relax Mon! The people and their love of reggae, reefer and rum is so unique and a very easy lifestyle to adapt to! The beliefs of the Rastafarian religion is fascinating and parts of the country are very sketchy - true to all the lyrics of Bob Marley and the family of reggae legends. I was super obsessed with reggae at the time, so going to places which he talks in his songs was mind blowing!
California was literally a country that encapsulated all my favourite things. Sunshine, coast, palm trees, mexican food, surf culture and old school motels/diners. I think after all the movies and music we listen to that has come from this part of the world, it almost makes you feel like you are home the minute you get there.
And finally Japan! My lord! Tokyo is HUGE! The sheer amount of human beings in one city I just cannot comprehend! We loved getting lost in all the streets and walking around for 8 hours straight. My beautiful man helped me carry different camera lenses for me which was such a big help! My photographic brain was so stimulated! There are so many cool cats on the street in the raddest style ever! A neon world which never sleeps and anything is possible. I want to go back soon and eat weird and wonderful things!
Here at Matters Speaking we love happily ever afters. Your wedding photography featured on your blog Paper Romance is like a series of documentaries capturing people's connection and love tales. Can you tell us what it is like to be a part of one of the most important days in people's lives
I'm a sucker for love...it's emotion; it's wild foreverness and it's hearty tenderness. I've always been a serious lover - and being in love is something that should be shouted from a full heart from the highest mountains on earth! So for me, wedding photography is something I enjoy very much. I usually experience a range of emotions on the day including laughing the loudest in the speeches and nearly tearing up when the groom see's his bride to be! OH!
I also find it very similar to travel photography as I shoot documentary style - capturing everything unfold in it's own time and letting it develop on it's own...raw and real! The images from a wedding will be passed down through generations to children and grandchildren. It is an absolute honour to have the opportunity to do this for people!
As a photographer you always have your heart and camera on your sleeve but what else do you like doing when you're not taking photos
I am so lucky to be self employed and the boss of my own business. I love having the freedom to manage my own life and not have to set an alarm except if I am flying out early. I work hard, but my holidays and relaxing time is very important to me! My man and I escape down the coast most weekends. We love the ocean! The sunshine! Mother nature is the cure for all bad vibes. We love markets and travelling and cooking and road trips! We also love the odd big night and then drink green smoothies all week to compensate! Life is about balance! Amen to that.
People who inspired you
With the reach of social media these days it is so damn overwhelming all the creative talent that falls into your lap. I find myself shying away from any other wedding photography work as it is not good for me! I love all my friends in the industry and everyone is so talented but I just like doing my own thing and not being influenced by what other people are doing. It steers me away from my own truth and the way I see the world. Lately I have been inspired by work shot on film, it's so real and the colours are just perfect. I love old pics in photo albums which capture blue skies and vivid green landscapes.
We love the quote 'Life is like a camera. Focus on what is important. Capture the good times. Develop the negatives, and if things don't work out, take another shot'. What are some words you live and swear by
Just be happy! Don't do anything you don't want! Get in the sunshine...eat well and love your life! LOVE YOUR LIFE! It's too short not too!