michealzuccatoQ. How long have you lived on the island?

A. Well, it’s hard to believe, but I lived on the island my whole life. I’m a fourth generation local.  My great grandmother moved here from Philadelphia to start a business in the 40s and my grandfather took over in the 50’s. We had many businesses here on the island. One that you might be familiar with is (Bud’s Market here on 83rd and the corner of 3rd Ave).  I grew up working and living on that street.

Q. Why are you so connected to the ocean/Beach/sky’s?

A. That’s like asking why I am connected to breathing in and out, haha… I love the Beach and everything it is… The beauty, the sounds, the smell of the fresh salty air, the wind in your hair, and the sense of serenity it gives me. It’s my fortress of solitude.

Q. What inspires you to take the shot/photo?

A. It’s just a feeling I have. I just see it, feel it, have to capture it. Something inside me tells me to chase the light – find that perfect shot.  Sometimes it’s only a second. If it’s not right it’s not right. There are many where I just miss it and then there are some I get just right.

In a word beauty.

Q. How did you come to the point where you’re doing this professionally?

A. Good question; accidentally.  I don’t even see my self as a professional actually.  I shared a few shots with friends on social media sites and they got a lot of attention so I figure maybe I could make a small living doing what I like to do and make people smile in the process. It makes me happy to connect (through my photos) with people.  For example, one of the shots might remind them of a time or experience they had here or at the beach when they were young or on vacation.  Memories are priceless! If I can give someone a flashback or a memory of times past through a photo then that makes me very happy.

Q. What should we “get” about your images that make them “you”?

A. Hmm… I guess the photos I take just reflect who I am: a very calm, peaceful guy that appreciates life by the sea and ALL that it offers… whether it’s calm or rough.  I don’t think there is a better feeling on earth than the feeling the beach can give you.  Anywhere you go in the world you can find peace by the ocean.  I feel connected with the sea in a way that only a few can understand – maybe you have to have lived or grown up there to comprehend its full meaning.  But, it’s like heaven on earth and if I can reflect that through my photos –then my job is done.