Welcome to the 360i #SideHustle blog series, where we showcase the awesome side projects, hobbies, start-up businesses, and other ventures created by the entrepreneurial employees here at 360i.
One of the best things about being part of an integrated ad agency is that creativity can come from anywhere – it’s not just limited to any one department or group. So it’s no surprise that our latest side hustle is an artistic talent on our Media team. When 360i Associate Media Director Annalisa Alosco isn’t developing insight-led, multi-channel media plans for clients, she’s capturing the “in-between” moments with one of her favorite tools: a camera. Most days you can find Annalisa exploring New York City on foot, snapping pictures and continuing to master her photography skills. In honor of World Photography Day, we sat down with Annalisa to chat about her #SideHustle and learn more about how her love for photography blossomed, where she finds inspiration, and how she uses her photography skills in her job here at 360i.
360i: How did your passion for photography begin?
Annalisa Alosco (AA): I’ve always loved going through family photo albums. I would pore over every single detail, from the wardrobe to a vintage Pepsi label, in search of what my family was like before I came along. My passion for documenting in general probably came from those family albums.
360i: Where do you get inspiration from?
AA: Honestly, I get more inspiration from books and news articles than visual formats like Instagram! One article speaks to my approach best. It’s called ‘Digging JFK’s Grave was an Honor‘ by a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Jimmy Breslin. Essentially, Breslin finds the man who dug JFK’s grave and profiles him. This one article changed the way newsrooms operated. News Editors began directing their reporters to ‘go to the gravedigger.’
This is exactly how I approach a photo walk. I’m (subconsciously) searching for that one moment in a crowd that no one is paying attention to, and should start.
360i: What type of subject do you like to photograph most?
AA: Lately, I’ve been forcing myself out of my comfort zone to take photos of people on the street, and it’s by far my most favorite thing to shoot.
Also, doors. The more worn and tagged the better! I first started capturing doors around town to foster my curiosity. It’s now preserved in my Instagram story highlights as ‘Door of the Day’ to remind me of how far I’ve come, both in my photography and travels. I especially love when friends send me doors from their travels abroad. Keep them coming!
360i: Did someone or something influence you to explore photography?
AA: I wasn’t taking photography seriously until I was in college at Syracuse University. For my senior thesis, I profiled the late peace activist, Jerry Berrigan. At the time, he was 89 years old, and while incredibly lucid, he had lost count of the number of times he was arrested for peace protesting. His older brothers were organizers of ‘The Catonsville Nine’, a group of protestors who, in 1967, burned draft files in protest of the Vietnam War. This story went on to become a film, produced by Gregory Peck, who also produced To Kill a Mockingbird!
It’s meeting people like Jerry who continue to motivate me to showcase the rich stories of seemingly ‘everyday’ people.
Source: Annalisa Alosco
360i: How much time would you say you work on your photography every week?
AA: You could say 24/7. I started to bring my Canon M6 with me everywhere, so I never miss a moment. If I’m not taking an ‘urban hike’ through Chinatown or getting my prints critiqued by my photo club, I’m brainstorming ideas for a new series.
360i: How does your role at 360i influence your photography, or vice versa?
AA: Photography is the primary reason why I take a holistic approach to media planning. I believe that the best media solutions are designed for the audience and are both insight-led and channel agnostic. These, in addition to specific parameters, are what I believe set a campaign up for success.
Similarly, in photography, there’s what we call ‘the trinity’: shutter speed, aperture and ISO (a number that determines the image sensor’s sensitivity to light). Adjusting one has implications for the others and will impact how much light enters your camera or how blurred or grainy your shot becomes. Knowing the function of each can elevate the quality of the-end-result.
360i: What motivates you to continue taking photos?
AA: I’m a member of a photography collective called Camera of the Month Club. Each month, everyone ‘throws down’ their own prints to get critiqued. Being part of this community not only holds me accountable but allows me to see how other photographers “reverse engineer” the medium, and motivates me to keep experimenting.
So, if you see me in the halls, ask me what shots are in my camera. Or better yet, ask me to take a photo of YOU!
360i: What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken, and why?
AA: During my first International solo trip to Italy earlier this year, I went ‘back to basics’ and picked up a film camera for the first time since like, 1994.
To push myself out of my comfort zone and photograph strangers, I gave myself one rule: only use film to capture people (not cool decaying doors!) with the goal of making eye contact. This photo was one of my favorites because it took me two days to feel comfortable enough to get close to this woman.
360i: Do you have any quick tips or pieces of advice for aspiring photographers?
AA: Just start! Take photos of the same thing in the same environment loads of times trying different camera settings — it’s a great way to learn your camera. Also, don’t post everything you shoot. (I’m guilty of this.) And most importantly, have fun while taking your photos!