Chubby Diaries: Behind the Camera with Cass D’Alessandro

Cass D'Alessandro
Cass D'Alessandro

I have been blessed to be able to travel and create art all over the world. My favourite thing about travelling has always been being able to meet so many unique and interesting people. Our planet is filled with great and passionate people, and being able to listen to their stories and get to know who they are is something I always loved. Being a photographer has given me a huge upper hand when it comes to meeting strangers. A camera is a great tool to help you enter into the life of someone.

Walking around a foreign city with my camera help overcome language barriers with locals and give me access into their souls. Without a move of the lips, I can understand who they are.

When I shoot someone, I feel an instant connection to them. For this moment of time, no matter how brief, my camera and I are allowed to see through their eyes. My subjects opens up and I can understand who they truly are, their passions, their story and their lives.

My first time shooting surfers was on a little beach far away from everything on the  Sunshine Coast of Australia. As I snapped away on the beach, watching the surfers dance on the waves, I started to feel a connection to them. Capturing the surfers allowed me to see their passion and changed the way I saw them, they weren’t just cool, attractive Aussie surfers. They were living, breathing athletes, pursuing the sport they loved.

By viewing them through my camera lens, I gained a greater understanding of who these athletes were. This first experience of photographing surf birthed a passion for the art in me, and I knew that this would definitely not be the last time. Something similar happened to me when I was shooting skaters in Argentina. I was doing a 24 hour project at a skate park in Buenos Aires. It was a fairly large skate park that hosted some very talented skaters, bladers, and BMXers.

At one point during my project, I decided to sit on top of the half pipe and capture the action. When the athletes saw my camera, they started showing off their amazing skills and let me see their passion for their sports. As I captured these moments, some of the people I was shooting started asking to see my photos.

While going through the pictures, a half english, half spanish conversation sparked up. People started telling me about their lives, how they’ve been skating since they were five, or how everyday after work they meet at this park to skate.

As I kept shooting and they kept skating, the conversation flourished and soon, we were all laughing and sharing a beer. Not only did I get a glimpse into these people’s lives, but I formed a relationship with them simply based on my passion for photography and their passion for skating. It was the kind of moment that makes you realize how beautiful life is.

Being a travel photographer has lead me on the grandest of adventures, meeting some of the kindest people on this planet. Photography allows us to see each other for who we are, and can inspire relationships that may not have happened yet.

“Photography is more than ‘point and shoot’, like any art, it connects us together.”

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