Alessandro Squarzi Fortela An Italian American guide.
Was there a moment of refocus or focus that happened that created the shift in your work or that you would identify as a turning point?
My goal with photography was to always show happy black people from a lifestyle/ commercial perspective. I knew early on this was a lane I haven’t seen myself represented therefore I became the photographer I wanted to see. Many of my peers focus on fashion, celebrity or journalism and I wanted to be different. The defining point that helped me shape my career as a lifestyle photographer was when I saw a Fruit Of The Loom ad in time square while working at BET. Something about this ad spoke to me. Once I discovered who the photographer was, I studied his work and took him on as a mentor.
What initially drove you to photography and what drives you to continue?
The movie Love Jones is what drove me to become a photographer. I wanted to be a renaissance man just like all the male characters in the movie. What drives me to continue shooting is the fact I am one of few black lifestyle photographers and I like being a unicorn.
What is the big picture for you with photography? A book, a foundation, a school, to teach or what?
I am living my big picture. My goal was to shoot for big commercial brands like Walmart, Target, Nike, ect and I am doing just that. I want to do this for as long as I can then let it naturally take me somewhere else in my career.