My name is Rocco Ancora and I am a wedding and portrait photographer based in Melbourne Australia.
I began my career in the early nineties working both in the dark room and as a photographer for a wedding and portrait studio.
I consider myself to be quite fortunate to have learnt the skill of developing and printing colour and black-and-white negatives which gave me a deeper understanding of the photographic process and how it could be manipulated to achieve artistic results.
Using film gave me the necessary skills for my creative photographic process and the eventual transition into digital capture.
The majority of my work was shot on a medium format Hasselblad 503xc (I still shoot some personal projects with it today). Weddings were a mix of medium format colour negative and 35mm black and white.
Towards the end of the nineties, I transitioned to all 35mm work for my weddings using two Leica M6 cameras and a Nikon FM2, all manual focus.
The Nikon F90x was my first AF camera. Taking a picture was a contemplative process with so much thought placed on composition, exposure and lighting. These are all skills that are with me to this day that I still constantly work to refine.
Back in the early days, the only way you could appreciate a photograph was to print it. The wonderful thing about the print is that once it’s completed, it can’t be changed. It’s your intent on the way you want the image to read, it completes your vision as an artist.
My passion for printing still holds true today, if it’s not printed it’s not real.
As a professional photographer, creating a print for my clients is a very personal thing. It is not made for social media likes for public approval. It is for you and your client.
My reasons for my love of printed photographs are more deeply rooted than just the commercial application. There is something nostalgic and emotive about looking at a print, the same cannot be said for an image on a computer screen.
I never set out to become a wedding photographer, it just happened. I initially thought it was going to be a stepping stone to the industry and unexpectedly I fell in love with it.
What I enjoy most about wedding photography is that immerses you in a pool of emotions of people you have never met.
This becomes a massive source of inspiration as you draw from their tension, tears, love and pure happiness. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction capturing moments in a couple’s life that can never be repeated.
Photographs give us the ability to connect with the past but also remain an integral part of our present and future.
I was fortunate enough to be asked to join the NIKON AMBASSADOR program thirteen years ago. Being an ambassador is more than having the best cameras, lenses and technology at your disposal, its about providing technical feedback for the future development of new products.
Most importantly, it’s about being part of a special group of people that support and inspire me to new frontiers in my photographic journey. I am extremely grateful for the friendships that I have forged with the team at Nikon.
In 2018 I began the slow transition into mirrorless with the introduction of the Nikon Z7 shooting alongside the Nikon D850 and Nikon D5. Since the introduction of the Nikon Z9 I am fully immersed in the system and totally blown away by the performance of the new S-Line lenses.
The Z9 feels like my D5 with the build quality and classic Nikon ergonomics. The high level of customisation allows for a far more responsive shooting experience and the ability to quickly adapt to changing shooting conditions means you never miss a shot.
Every wedding day begins with an espresso coffee or two in my favourite yellow cup and a final equipment inspection as I place each item in my Think-Tank rollers.
During the day I like to keep things simple, no big lights, stands or anything that draws attention to me. I shoot with two bodies permanently on me via an RL strap and a small location messenger bag with bits and pieces I need for that part of the day.
One thing that permanently lives in this bag is my little good luck minion given to me by my daughter some years ago.
The choice of lens will vary as the day progresses but one body will always have the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S. Before the introduction of this lens I wasn’t a huge fan of the 24-70mm, but this lens has a distinct look that I just love and it rivals the performance of primes.
On my second body, I will have either the Nikon NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S or Nikon NIKKOR Z 105mm f/2.8 S Macro or Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S.
When the available lighting is low, especially with indoor locations and I want to keep the dynamics of the shot as natural as possible, I use the Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S and Nikon NIKKOR Z 50 mm f/1.8 S. These lenses are small and light and the f/1.8 aperture makes them perfect for these environments.
I predominantly work with available light, but for times I need extra pop I’ll use the Aputure Amaran AL-MW Mini LED or Aputure Amaran AL-F7. I also use the Profoto A1 flashes, mainly off-camera held by an assistant, triggered with the Profoto air remote.
I try to avoid straight flashes on camera whenever possible. At reception venues, I will have a small Manfrotto light stand with a second Profoto A1 placed in a corner of the room for additional illumination. This also allows for a more natural look to the lighting allowing me to blend the ambient available with flash.
Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
Nikon NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 S
Aputure Amaran AL-MW Mini LED
Aputure Amaran AL-F7
Profoto A1 x 2, Profoto air remote, Manfrotto 50001 B light stand
After Shoot – great for culling.
Eizo ColorEdge CG319X 31 Inch 4K LCD Monitor
16” Macbook Pro
Canson Infinity Papers
Epson P9560 Printer
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