Good Art Gives Us an Opportunity to Grow

Good Art Gives Us an Opportunity to Grow

Mike Poggioli. Born and raised in New Rochelle, NY. Die-hard Mets fan. Oldest of five siblings. Graduated from SUNY Stony Brook in Psychology. Lived in Chicago for three years teaching 1st grade with Teach for America. Moved to Cincinnati, Ohio in 2015 to start a Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology.

I've always been interested in taking pictures since my parents got me a cheap film camera when I was 10. I didn't really begin to see it as a serious creative outlet until after a couple years living in Chicago in 2015. 

I still use my first Canon Rebel Xsi, along with my iPhone 6s. Since the iPhone is like having a mobile camera everywhere you go, I find it's easier to shoot street moments with it, because I can get closer to people without them noticing to catch that authentic street scene. 

I love giving my photos pops of orange and dark blues, and I always am looking for new ways to play with leading lines, harsh light and shadows, and depth in my compositions. 

The architecture in Chicago is simply stunning, and the skyline is, in my opinion, without comparison. What mostly drew me into photography here was the L trains. When you ride through the loop it feels as though you’re getting a complimentary architecture tour. I am fascinated by the elevated tracks and constant movement of the trains; they make the city feel like its this living and breathing thing.

The most memorable experience for me was summer 2015 when I attended a Chitecture cruise and met so many photographers and creators in Chicago who inspired me. It was surreal to put so many faces to names I looked to for inspiration, and even more surreal to realize that they were so open and willing to get to know me.

I love the post-production process, so I am a big fan of VSCO filters. I use Lightroom first and foremost, and I don’t have Photoshop because I don't like the idea of significantly altering the content of what was originally in the photo. In Lightroom, I add one of my custom-made presets as a base layer, so to speak, and then adjust the settings to fit my vision for that specific photo.

One of the amazing things about living in Chicago was connecting with others through Instagram who shared the same passion for photography. Both following and shooting with people who lived in the same city, took the same daily routes I took, but looked at those same views in completely different ways, inspired me to find my own style. It also opened the door to urban photography, which I never could have predicted I'd be into! 

I grew up in New Rochelle, NY, and moved to Chicago to teach 1st grade with Teach for America for three years. I am now a full-time student entering my third year in a Doctoral program in Clinical Psychology in Cincinnati, OH.

I stay inspired mainly by following some of my favorite photographers and artists on Instagram, but most importantly by going out to shoot as often as I can with other photographers who inspire me both with their work and their passion.