A Sit Down with Coloratti Rocco Ancora
by Alan Winslow – June 6th, 2018
For our most recent Coloratti sit down, we got to chat with wedding photographer Rocco Ancora.
Over the course of his 23 years as a professional wedding photographer based in Melbourne, Australia, Rocco has racked up countless awards and accolades. To name a few, he won the WPPI’s prestigious “Wedding Grand Award” in 2013, The Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s Wedding Photographer of the year four times in six years, and is an ambassador for Nikon Australia.
When he’s not producing award-winning photographs, he can be found teaching workshops and seminars around the world.
We’re thankful that we were able to catch up with him and chat about his career and accomplishments.
Q: So first things first. Can you give a brief bio?
A: All right well I’ve been involved in the photographic industry for about 23 professionally. I began photography in the analog days not only as a photographer, but I worked professionally in the darkroom. My passion for printing has always been there.
Currently, I shoot weddings and portraits. I make money when I sell prints.
Q: So what got you into wedding photography?
A: The funny thing is with weddings, when I first began my career, I never really thought about becoming a wedding photographer. I mean when you look at the romantic notion of being a photographer and you think I am going to shoot fashion or I’m going to be a photojournalist or whatever, the romance sort of fades away and you go, “wow this is what I want to be.”
Given the opportunity to assist a wedding photographer, and I thought to myself wow in weddings I can be a photojournalist; a fashion photographer; I can be a product photographer; a landscape photographer. This gave me the ability to combine a lot of photography into the one genre. What I love about weddings is that it’s a non-repeatable day. You have the added pressure of being able to create on the fly because you can’t come back tomorrow and do it again. That gives you an incredible buzz you know, and I love that to be able to get a location that you’ve never seen before and create.
Q: Where do you draw your inspiration? You have such a specific color palette and posing style.
A: If we look at the overall inspiration of what I love a lot of my inspiration doesn’t come from photography. I get a lot of it from art and looking at art and love going to art galleries and see what they used to do with light, but even the overall finish of color palettes in paintings has been a huge inspiration. I love working with color, and I love using colors to evoke emotion. You know a lot of people forget that color is only of the most significant contributors to evoking a feeling in someone.
The way we look at color – cool colors versus warm colors – color palettes that are pleasing to the eye – are essential.
Q: On the theme of color what does color mean to you?
A: Achieving real and perfect color is extremely important, and this is where a color managed workflow from capture right through to final print is essential. I look at color first as being able to reproduce the real color. Then I look at color creatively to be able to manipulate colors in post-production to achieve specific looks to evoke emotion.
If you want to achieve a good black and white image, you’ve got to start with a good color image. People think I’ll capture it; it doesn’t matter what I do to the color because I’ll turn it into black and white. That is the biggest load of garbage I’ve ever heard because color, every color hue should translate to a shade of grey. Once we have that, and once we have good color and image, you’re going to get an amazing black and white. The black and white side of things does become effortless once the color is there and once you’ve dealt with color probably – and you’ve paid due respect to what you need to do with color in a managed workflow.
Q: To achieve those stunning color images and rich black and whites you rely heavily on color management. Can you explain your approach?
A: I like to write my paper profiles because the ones you download from websites are very generic and they are not always going to give you optimum results.
If you have custom paper profiles, you’re going to get the best out of your paper printer combination every time. My passion for color management comes from making sure that what we see on our screen and in fact even what we see with our eyes is translated through the final artistic vision of a print on a wall.
We want to thank Rocco for his time and diving deep into our questions. If you’d like to hear more on Rocco’s print workflow we’ve embedded a free webinar that he did in conjunction with X-Rite and Canson Infinity below.
Finally, to check out all the X-Rite solutions for proper color management visit our website xritephoto.com.