The story of my story

My name is Christian Vaccaro, I’m 19-year-old, and I live near Milan.
I attended art school, where I cultivated my passion for art, drawing and photography. Here I had the opportunity to buy my first serious camera, the Nikon 3300, with which I still shoot on certain occasions.
I am passionate about photography and art in general since I was a child. Every time I had the opportunity to go to a new place like a school trip or to Milan with my parents, I took my small camera, and I captured everything. I always loved to photograph the trams of Milan, and I still find them fascinating today.
In addition to art, I am a great football and A.C. Milan fan. I often go (I went) to the stadium, and I know the environment of the Curva Sud.
It’s a passion that we pass from generation to generation, and almost my whole family has the Milan in the heart.
I play the guitar, and I’m still learning on my own. I love rock and ’70s and ’80s songs, and I collect vinyl.
I love tattoos, and for some years, I have learned to tattoo, improving with every session.
I also paint for passion. I dedicate myself mainly to realistic portraits of African people. I’m very attached to Africa, to its culture, to the people, but also to the extraordinary landscapes that I dream of visiting. I am a great traveller and dreamer, and my greatest desire is to travel the world and visit as many places as possible. Especially in Africa and South America. I have a list of places and things to do that is endless.
I am not a professional photographer, but I hope that it will become so in some way. For now, I work in the catering industry, which is also my passion.
Since Matteo Ceschi, a great Milanese photographer, lent me his Fuji XF10, I fell in love with it. Initially, I borrowed it because I was supposed to go to Mexico for a volunteer project of a few months, then cancelled for Covid. It would have been convenient to travel comfortably, being a compact camera, I would not have the problem of taking up space of the backpack for the lens.
It is also very practical to approach and photograph subjects in the street without drawing their attention, thus capturing their spontaneity. The great thing about going from a zoom reflex to a fixed optical compact camera is that I have to get close and immerse myself in the crowd to photograph someone, which I might not even do when I have a zoom, almost standing aside as a spectator and shooting from a distance approaching only with the objective. So it allows me, for example, in demonstrations, to integrate with the demonstrators, be one of them, protesting or demonstrating for the same cause, without looking like just a photographer looking for ideas to enrich his portfolio.
The first approach with the XF10 was fantastic, and I immediately considered it an exceptional camera. I learned to handle it and get used to shooting without looking in the scope in an afternoon, just after Matteo gave it to me. Due to its ease of focusing, it rarely fails to capture a moment.
I’m comfortable shooting in JPEG, just because RAW takes up too much memory. And considering that every time I go out to photograph, I’m close to reaching the maximum limit of GB of memory, so if I shoot in RAW, I should take two or three SD every time.
I met Matteo at the San Siro stadium one night. He’s also a huge fan of AC Milan.
He had a seat next to mine that day. It was the quarter-final match of the Coppa Italia, Milan vs Torino finished 4-2.
During the game, I saw him photographing the fans in the stands. Then, in the end, when we scored the decisive goal, he photographed my friends and me. So we met, we exchanged phone numbers, he sent me pictures of the night, and we kept in touch until now.
Thanks to him, I cultivated a passion for black and white photography. Often he gives me advice that I appreciate a lot, and we discuss each other on our shots.
No doubt I follow and love Matteo’s work because he is undeniably a great black and white street photography artist. I really like how he plays with light and shadow and especially with contrast. Honestly, I don’t have any famous photographers I’m inspired by, maybe because I want to have my own style and shoot as I see it and as I like it. Probably if I was inspired by a famous photographer, I’d end up copying it wrong.
I love black and white for the kind of photographs I take. It helps focus on the emotions and expressions of the subjects I immortalize. If I shot in colour, you’d probably miss this because there would be too many cues to lose focus on what I want to show.
Black and white is, in my opinion, simply more communicative.
When I get home after shooting, I usually instantly open the computer for post-production. I simply fix some curves in Photoshop, and sometimes I try to recover some photos taken with the wrong exposure.

Italian nineteen-year-old street photographer - aims to become a photojournalist. Passionate about art and photography since childhood, he’s applying right now what he’s learned so far. Great football follower, participates in all events of his team. Usually travels to Milan to find ideas for his photos, often participates in the demonstrations that interest him. “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in black and white, you photograph their souls” (Ted Grant)

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