Try 1x for free
1x is a curated photo gallery where every image have been handpicked for their high quality. With a membership, you can take part in the curation process and also try uploading your own best photos and see if they are good enough to make it all the way.
Right now you get one month for free when signing up for a PRO account. You can cancel anytime without being charged.
Try for free   No thanks
Joe Cancilla : Photographer of the week

by Head Editor Yvette Depaepe 
Published the 12th of July 2021

For Joe Cancilla, sound and image always have been a big part of his life due to his audio recorder career.
  Since he has retired he enjoys his free time to his passion for photography. Joe excels in capturing emotions.  He quotes :  'I really do not think I have an overall photographic vision. Its such a spontaneous act of the moment and that moment becomes my vision. I think it reflects in my photography.'

Through this interview, our journey of today will reveal us more about the artist behind his photographs.




Briefly tell us about yourself, your hobbies and other jobs, Joe!
Two years ago, I retired from an exciting career recording sound for a major TV broadcast network based here in Canada. With them, I travelled extensively to over 70 countries, most of those assignments were for current affairs programs and documentaries. That was my job for over 35 years.


'Once Upon A Time In Havana'



'Life frames'


How has your history and life experiences affected your photography?
Which are your most important experiences that has influenced your art?
Travelling and being witness to so many events, meeting many interesting people, learning about cultures, seeing the world with my eyes and hearing with my ears in a way that few people have had that chance had an impact on me in a positive way.
I was inspired by many things, people and places. I was many times surrounded by lots of beauty but I was also witness to the worst our Planet Earth has to offer such as war zones, refugee camps and famine. 

When I put a camera to my eye, I have to feel something before clicking on the shutter, what I see in the viewfinder has to move me somehow. Sometimes its the light, or the pose or the movement. But it has to captivate me, then the inspiration follows.
Its difficult to pinpoint how it has affected and influenced my photography.
A giant cocktail of life experiences, sights,sounds and smells, place in a blender and mix. I think its why I take pleasure in shooting all genres of photography. But there has to be strong mood, good light, great movement or pose, a story being told, a moment to observe.

But if I were to choose two words about how my life experiences have influenced my photography, they would be ' beauty within '. It is what I wanted to hold on to from all that.


'1 year later, just kiss me...'



'Become the Art'


Describe your overall photographic vision.
I really do not think I have an overall photographic vision. Its such a spontaneous act of the moment and that moment becomes my vision. I think it reflects in my photography. I shoot it all, whether its landscapes, city scapes, portraits, sports or street.
But I do have more of a passion for portraits and people.
I would say, that is where I feel the most inspired and what captivates my emotions is by trying to capture theirs. There is a special connection when shooting portraits with a model, its almost like a dance choreography, moving and harmonious.





'In Havana with Greta'


What is more important to you, the mood,/story behind your images or the technical perfection?
Technical perfection is certainly the last. Mood is way up there and so is story.
What is important is that I capture that magical moment, that split second where it all comes to together and I feel it. Sometimes, the light was not perfect, or I was slightly out of focus, or the pose was not exactly what I would of preferred, but it don't matter. If I show the image to the model and she says wow and I agree, well that's it, we both felt it. We got the shot and I will move on.


'That divine light'


Do you prepare carefully the locations where you are intending to photograph?
Yes and no. I do lots of spontaneous photo shoots with models, we meet somewhere and we just walk, talk and shoot when I see an inspiring location. Their are times that the location is not great but the light is amazing.

There are indeed a few photo-shoots that I have done in which a concept was created days or weeks in advance and we discussed make-up, wardrobe and styling. Also with a storyboard plan. But it rarely works out well for me, I have hard time sticking to pre-arranged plans and shots.
Often when shooting day arrives, we go with the flow and see how everybody feels.
Most of the time, its the light that will decide how I will shoot. I listen to the what light says and what the mood is. That is what will guide me.


'Give me light'


What gear do you use (camera, lenses, bag)?
Recently I reduced my gear. I kept my faves. I have the Sony A7R3 with the Sony Sonnar FE 55mm f/1.8 and the Sony FE 24-105 f4 G.
I also use my Olympus E-M1 Mark II and the Olympus ED 40-150 f/2.8 PRO
I'm a bag freak, I have too many and not enough equipment to fill them (LOL)


'Sunset drive'



'The Man in White'


What software do you use to process your images?
Only photoshop. I never ever worked on one of my images with Lightroom.
I never do any batch editing of anything. Its one photo at a time and I see it as another creative phase that can also be inspiring, its certainly just as fun and rewarding as the shoot itself.


'Reach for the Sky'



What is your most important advice to a beginner in Photography?
Try shooting various types of photography.
Sometimes you may be spending so much time on lets say landscapes but realize that maybe that's not really for you. Maybe you have a fabulous hidden talent for portraits or maybe street scenes.

Expand your horizons, see and feel what touches you, what inspires you and go with that flow to see where it takes you. Its a creative roller coaster at times for the mind and heart but you will one day find your comfort zone and what brings you fulfilment.
Sometimes that can happen quickly, but it could also be a never ending quest..and that's fine too. Its the thrill and joy of the photography journey of unknowns and not the precise destination that keeps me motivated and inspired. I always wonder what I will shoot next. Stay curious.




Who are your favourite photographers and more importantly, how has your appreciation of their work affected how you approach your own photography?
This is a most difficult question for me. I need to rewind a little and then a lot. In college and university my studies were in the cinema department and art history. Before photography, I was studying and learning about the great classic film-makers of the century, watching lots of films from the masters. Films from Italy, France, Sweden, the USA and others.
I spend hours observing the work of talented cinematographers and how they used light to tell stories, to express emotions, to create moods, to add drama. I was also interested in Renaissance art such as chiaroscuro, the masters of light and shadow on canvas. 

That is where it all began for me. Art and Cinema.

Then of course came so many inspiring photographers, but this list would be too long to write here because it covers so many genres of photography from so many countries! 

Now I'm here, on 1X, the inspiration continues, many wonderful very talented photographers right here right now that I'm appreciating. The journey continues...





'House Of The Rising Sun with Kate'





Dear Joe , Congrats with this interesting interview . I am a fan of your work. Also thanks a lot for you ,dear Yvette .
Glad to see this interview. Congratulations on your well deserved featuring Joe.
Congratulations! Many compliments for your excellent work!
Congratulazioni, Joe, my friend ! I'm really glad to see you as photographer of the week, you've richly deserved it. I have always had admiration for your great photographic work. I thank you, Joe, for your wonderful and inspirational images. And a big thank as well for you, dear Yvette, a beautiful article, as always.
Thanks for your neverlasting appreiation, Francesco !
My pleasure, Joe... :)
My pleasure, dear Yvette... :)
Congrats Joe, well deserved recognition. My best, Patrick
Glad to see you interview, Joe! Great shots!! Many thanks to you and Yvette!
Thank you, Francesco ;-)
I like a lot your photographic psychology (or vision !), Joe. Your work comes from the deepest of your heart. And you made me laugh being a 'bag freak'. Your best one is the bag within you carry your soul. Thank you so much for your fine collaboration. So good to know more about you. Cheers, Yvette
So pleased to see Joe as the photographer of the week, Love his outlook on life and his human and storytelling photos. IHe is one of the photographers that i can look at his gallery from time to time with great interest. Muy compliments to you Joe and to Yevvette for another excellent interview and photos.
Thank you, Arnon !!! Joe deserves it to be in the spotlights ;-)