Would You Swim With A Great White? Exclusive Marc Montocchio Interview
Hope, Heroes and Startups: Occhio
Sometime you meet extraordinary people in serendipitous ways. Meeting Marc Montocchio underwater photographer and CEO of the art photography retailer Occhio made today one of those days. Marc, a wiry, athletic man whose tan is deep enough the color never goes away, speaks with a slight roll betraying his Durban, South African roots. Checking Marc's easy manner and slight frame against pictures of immense great white sharks floating silently around the room he answered a question without my asking.
“They wouldn’t let me out of the cage,” Marc told me angry still at the remembered slight, the indignity of not being able to swim with one of the few animals who could have swallowed him whole during his shoot a few weeks ago off the coast of Mexico.
"I imagined taking photos of a great white shark many times. It was an organic event in my dreams. I’d be shooting something else lost as I always am taking pictures underwater and suddenly there would be a great white there in its own element. I’d be swimming free taking pictures and boom I’d get every underwater photographer’s dream shot,” Marc explained. I thought how safe, tiny and protected my dreams were.
In Marc’s dreams the great white’s, slow, steady, special, underwater ballet is return for a life spent seeing and capturing special moments underwater. "Even in a cage with your camera I couldn’t take THAT picture,” I shared pointing to majestic black and white photographs printed on special paper.
Seeing so many images, so many NatGeo specials, we feel the world slip away running easily through our grasping fingers like seawater. Marc’s photographs and care his company, staff and friends take in curation recovers something lost, some natural immediacy only won back by a photographer of Marc’s stature and courage. Meeting Annie Leibovitz came to mind many times talking to Marc tonight.Continued on the next page