Photographer Camillo Cinelli while taking pictures in the street

Let me introduce myself: my name is Camillo Cinelli and I am 53 years old. I love my job as a photographer because it gives me satisfaction, not just economic results.

The beginnings of my career as a photographer

I became passionate about photography in the 1990s when, to pay for university (I studied architecture), I worked as an assistant to a wedding photographer in Rome.

Nothing exciting: I held the second flashlight in front of the Colosseum in the hot and sultry Roman days of late spring, sometimes hidden behind the veils of working class suburb brides.

Nikon FM2, Ilford and an apartment in Centocelle district

However, my passion for photography was more inspired when I got around on a Vespa 250, in the Trastevere streets, with a second-hand Nikon FM2 I bought in the Porta Portese flea market, and on which I used a B/W ILFORD film exposed at 3600 iso; the grain, at the time, was very fashionable.

I remember the emotion I felt developing and revealing my creations in the darkroom – locked up for hours in the bathroom of my bohemian apartment in the suburbs of Rome.

Photographer Camillo Cinelli in his studio in Rome in early 1990s

My job on the cruise ships: Goodbye Rome

Unfinished studies and poorly paid jobs led me to look for new solutions. I found an illuminating advertisement:

Wanted: photographer for cruise ships.

A quick talk in Genoa and I decided to quit Rome:

  • Friends
  • University
  • Brides and grooms of Rome

At the age of 36, I started a new life at sea, taking boring photos of passengers, but traveling around the world.

Do I advise you to be a photographer on cruise ships?

In the Caribbean, I bought my first digital SLR – the Nikon D100 – and, in my free moments and on excursions, I start creating a rich portfolio of travel photos.

On board, however, I specialized in:

  • Portraits
  • Video making

and I became a Photo Manager, which is still my current role: I organize the work of a team of photographers who, daily, take photos of guests at gala evenings and on excursions.

If any of you would like to try this experience, I highly recommend it, especially to those who are very young. You work side by side with people of many nationalities and you quickly learn what would otherwise take much more time to learn.

My cruise around the world and the discovery of the microstock

Photographer Camillo Cinelli in a port during the world tour he took on a cruise ship

My photo archive has recently been enriched thanks to an exciting trip around the world:

  • 4 months of navigation
  • 5 continents visited

That trip put me in touch – through photography – with ever-changing cultures: changes in time zones, climate and landscapes at 360 degrees.

This last trip changed me deeply. Upon my return to Italy, I felt the need for greater freedom and autonomy.

One of the photographers who was with me on that trip told me about a website where every photographer can sell their photos for free: Shutterstock (visit Shutterstock website). So, I started uploading some of my images, with skepticism.

Day after day, I saw that these pictures were viewed by the whole world; images that I used to share only with friends and family, or with my few social network contacts, thanks to microstock were seen by hundreds of people.

Of course, the earnings were still symbolic, but the stimulus given to me by the great visibility that my work was receiving gave me a strong incentive to continue and persevere in that new business.

The course to learn how to sell photos and videos online

So, I started looking for information on the web, and a guy called Daniele Carrer always appeared, as if viewing his work was a necessary step for those who wanted to enter the microstock business; it was impossible to avoid his website.

I signed up for his newsletter (you can do so in the box at the bottom of the page) and, after each working day, I started to follow his advice:

  • clear
  • pragmatic
  • sometimes even deliberately unpleasant

This last feeling was quickly overcome by the concreteness and professionalism of his preparation, from his wanting to get straight to the point without giving the student easy illusions. He shared all his knowledge with other photographers without any issues. In just 20 days, he convinced me he was the right guy for me.

I bought his course (learn more about the course), and for sometime now, every night, I have fallen asleep after a couple of his very interesting lessons, lulled by the waves of the northern seas where I used to work.

At the moment, I am unable to know what will happen to my production of stock images and stock footage; I can feel, thanks to Daniele Carrer, a new stimulus to reach a new goal.

I wonder if, through this new passion and constant commitment, I will be able to see, in total freedom, those places I visited for a while and then quickly abandoned, watching them through the porthole of my ship.

Camillo Cinelli

Email: pierocinelli@icloud.com

Instagram @camillo_travel_photographer

Facebook @camillotravelphotographer

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