In a five minute break from work, while I was mindlessly scrolling down my Facebook news feed, I saw an image that jolted me and made me stop and stare.
It’s a one eyed man, his mouth wide open revealing broken teeth and he’s staring up above him – in surprise or in fear? Is he looking at the seagull that’s just flown past or at something unseen and terrible in the heavens? Behind his right shoulder is a brightly coloured seaside funfair. To his left, dark clouds are gathering over the pier and out to sea.
It’s like a scene from a film or the first picture from a novel. Except it’s real and it’s the work of a photographer called Donato di Camillo.
Donato is self taught – upon his release from prison, he began taking photos of the people he saw around him in New York, people on the fringes of society, people who are otherwise unseen or ignored.
“I want [my subjects] to understand that the reason I’m photographing them is because I see something in them that I see in me, or that I think the rest of the world could relate to.”
He is a photographer with a real talent for capturing portraits that reveal their subjects at a particular moment in time – sometimes chaotic, sometimes touching, always unique.