Michael Grecco: The man behind the camera

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The Southeast Photography Museum at Daytona State College opened its Days of Punk exhibit on August 30e.

Captured by acclaimed photographer Michael Grecco, the exhibit offers a raw and exciting look at the relentless punk culture of the 80s.

A presentation of the Days of Punk exhibition. Photo by Christina Katsolis

Grecco received his first camera, a Mamiya/Sekor 35mm single-lens reflex, when he was 12 years old.

He was fascinated by the images he had seen in photography books, especially the Time-Life Photography series from his local library.

Late at night, Grecco stared at the contents of each photograph, feeling that this would be his life’s calling. “I think, you know, once I saw what photography could do in those Time-Life Photography books, that was kind of the pivotal moment for me.”

During his undergraduate studies in film and photography at Boston University, Grecco began his career as a freelance photojournalist for the Associated Press.

“With my internship at the Associated Press, I really just got into photography. I was young and there weren’t a lot of projects.

In his difficult times during his first experience, Grecco says his love for photography helped him maintain momentum. “At one point, it was the only thing I knew how to do. Like I thought, you know, what else would I do with myself?

Despite extensive training in photography, Grecco says his skills weren’t the only thing that helped him stay competitive in the field. “Successful photographers have to have a vision, and they have to have a unique personal style and offer something that someone else doesn’t.”

Punk Days Exhibition
Another perspective of the Days of Punk exhibition. Photo by Christina Katsolis

He elaborates on photographic individuality, saying, “So I think that’s where you have to start. With a concept and ideas. You might not even have to be artistically unique, but you can offer something that others don’t. Maybe it’s convenience. Maybe it’s the package. But usually it’s based on looks because people want to know what they’re buying.

Although his portfolio consists of a vast collection of different photographic genres, Grecco has remained captivated by portrait photography since the beginning of his career. “I’m definitely someone who loves portraiture. I am really drawn to the photographic portrait. The connection, the eye contact, that’s always what I loved, even when I was a kid in art school.

He continues by explaining his desire to integrate the portrait into his photographs. “I think you notice that I’m a relatively straight photojournalist during the day, but with the Days of Punk project, I made sure to create lots of portraits in these scenarios whenever I could, because it was my love. major.”

After completing his work for the Days of Punk exhibition, Grecco looks back on his fulfilling career as a photographer. “It’s been a pleasure to have a perspective on what I’ve done. Like with the Days of Punk project, I watched it at one point and thought, “Oh my god, what a crazy, amazing life I’ve had.” And it was satisfying. The experience has been the most rewarding part of being a photographer.

For photography students at Daytona State College, Grecco shares his advice: “If you really want to be in it, you have to be totally committed. At that point, it’s just persistence, persistence, persistence and figuring out which part of the business is going to be yours.

“It is quite possible that you are not only a photographer. You are a retoucher, you manage a studio, you rent equipment, you manage a gripping truck. You can start your business and realize that it is not a high income area. So you dial it in with volume. You have to realize that other people are shooting too and it’s not an easy market, but the sky’s the limit, so you have to be creative with that. Because really, as an artist, that’s what we do.

The Days of Punk exhibition will be presented from August 30e to December 17e at the Southeast Museum of Photography at Daytona State College.

To learn more about Michael Grecco and see his other photographic work, visit his website https://grecco.com.

Laura Sofia Pagdanganan
Personal editor

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