I’m excited to share this month’s featured photographer interview with Italian landscape and travel photographer Marco Grassi. You might have seen his work before as his content is known to go viral across Social Media – by looking at his photography it’s not hard to understand why!
First of all, thank you for taking the time to do this. Can you start by telling us a little about who you are and how you got started with photography?
Long before I bought myself a camera, I was a nature lover, trekking enthusiast, and travel addict. In fact, it’s during a one-year trip to New Zealand that I’ve discovered my passion for photography. The breathtaking natural wonders and pristine landscapes have always been the main interest in my travels and this is why I’ve decided to focus on landscape photography and started capturing those amazing sceneries around me.
My camera has quickly become my vehicle to travel the world, explore unbelievable locations and tie together all of my passions.
What is it about travel and landscape photography that makes you feel at ease?
As I was saying, I love being out there, surrounded by nature and beautiful views. I often have to stay for hours (or days!) in the location to catch the moment but it’s never a painful waiting because I get to stay in places I like and experience them in the best possible conditions.
You are an experienced traveler and have done a round-the-world trip, do you also photograph cultures and cities or is it mainly landscape?
During the round-the-world trip in 2015/2016, I’ve occasionally been taking pictures of architecture, cities, and portraits too (especially in Asia). It’s not something I do often, as I mostly focus on landscapes (especially mountains) but it’s something I experiment with from time to time.
Your portfolio from Patagonia is fantastic and perhaps how many first got to know your work – can you tell us a little about your experience traveling and photographing in that region?
Patagonia has been on the top of my bucket list since I started photography and finally, last March, I managed to go there and stayed for three months. I camped most of the time and hiked a lot in the area. The trip was epic and way beyond any expectations. Once I was there it didn’t even matter how many times I’ve seen pictures of the place because it literally left me speechless. I really look forward to being there again next April and guide the Autumn Patagonia Workshop for Max Rive.
How has living near the Dolomites shaped your photography?
Actually, it hasn’t shaped my photography that much. I’ve always preferred to travel abroad instead of staying in Italy. I’ve been traveling often to the Dolomites since last summer because, as I always say, “great photography” comes from “standing in great locations” and the Dolomites are a great location near home. They’ve surely helped me practicing and experiencing the locations with different weather circumstances and seasons.
You’ve managed to make a name for yourself relatively quickly in this industry, have you done anything special to promote and market your photography (besides capturing beautiful images)?
The only way I market my photography is through Social Media and public relations when I meet people during my trips. The winning combination is great content plus lots of time and effort. It’s a long way but as you improve your photography and start spending more time to promote it, the easier it becomes to make a name for yourself.
Following up on the previous question – how important is Social Media for you?
Very important. It’s the quickest and cheapest way to put your work out there, especially at the beginning when it may be hard to promote your business elsewhere or have your work displayed in galleries. Everyone can register on Social Media, it’s totally free. It requires time and efforts before you see consistent results but it’s a great starting way to make an impression online and gain authority.
What’s next for Marco Grassi?
I’m currently very focused on the workshops I’ll be guiding in 2018 and I have a few destinations in mind I’d like to go/return to during the year. Norway is one of them, there’s a plan for next summer to drive from Italy to Norway with a van and travel around there for at least a couple of months. I have to find a van first… work in progress!
What are your top 3 tips for someone who’s just getting started with photography?
First thing; shoot something you like to shoot. It’s the best way to stay motivated and inspired. Don’t rush it, take your time and learn everything step-by-step. Is there a particular photographer you like? Buy his/her tutorials or book/join their workshop. Last but not least, don’t give up. Remember it’s hard for everyone and it takes time.
If money was no concern and you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?
A private boat tour in Antarctica would be my first choice, but since money is no concern I would fly to Greenland as soon as I’m done there!