A child of the 70s and 80s, Rob DePaolo was first introduced to photography through his family’s Kodak Instamatic and Polaroid cameras. After immersing himself in the photography classes offered at his high school, he went on to study photography in college where he spent the better part of his first two years in the darkroom processing film and refining his printing technique. This resulted in a very strong attention to detail which he continues to employ in his shooting and post-processing, even in today’s digital era of photography.
After changing his college major to Philosophy (earning his B.A. in 1994 from UMASS Amherst and his M.A. in 1996 from Boston College), Rob’s photography took a back seat for a few years while he experimented with other artistic mediums including drawing, painting, and music. Then, just a few years ago, the accessibility and power of mobile photography helped to rekindle his interest in all forms of photography.
Rob quickly developed a passion for mobile photography (primarily with his iPhone) and now has a strong desire to help promote the power and versatility of this rapidly growing format. Not one to limit himself though, he can often be found with a DSLR in his hand while chasing the perfect light. Today, each format (mobile, DSLR, etc.) has its place in his work depending on the concept and vision that he is trying to express.
With a focus on fine art and conceptual portrait photography, much of Rob’s work is preconceived and draws upon his dark sense of humor and his love of surrealism and all things absurd. That being said, he also enjoys the spontaneity of unplanned work including street photography, landscape photography, and other styles.
Rob draws much of his inspiration from groundbreaking B&W film photographers of the past century such as Duane Michals, Arnold Newman, Robert Mapplethorpe, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Jerry Uelsmann, and many others. In addition to the dozens of modern photographers who also inspire him on a daily basis, one artist in particular stands out as an incredibly strong influence—Lasse Hoile. Rob is also influenced by artists working in other mediums including painters such as Dali and Magritte and graphic designers such as Storm Thorgerson.