5 minutes with — Roberto Panciatici

Siena Wedding Photographer Roberto Panciatici

Roberto Panciatici is a portrait and wedding photographer from Siena, Italy. Currently he is a nomad moving around the world, but has a base in Berlin, Germany and often return home to Italy. He also has one of the hardest names to pronounce ever.

WUN: So, for those who don’t know you, who is Roberto Panciatici?

Roberto Panciatici: I am Roberto Panciatici. I work throughout Italy and internationally as a wedding and portrait photographer. Portraits are honestly the “goal of my life” (although not the real goal of my life, if you know what I mean, because it might change again).

Anyway, I’m from Siena, Italy but right now living in Berlin. I’m a nomad, so I really don’t know how long I will be in Berlin, but the plan for now is until the end of March.

It’s fucking hard to pronounce my name. When me and Magic (Maciej Suwalowski) was doing a workshop in Berlin together, Cole from Nordicaasked us if we wanted to share it using the snapchat account, so we did. And we asked people to send in a video trying to pronounce my name correctly. And if they did, they would get a 10% discount for the next workshop.

It was a joke, obviously, but people do have a problem with my name. I usually do not have Italian clients, but work almost 80% with Americans, and when they ask about my name, I answer that “Just Rob” is fine. And so, for this reason, “Just Rob” became my nickname (for instance, my instagram and facebook account is justrob).

I really love to work with the people from the US, because it’s a totally different mind-set between Italian people and US people about what they think about photography. I also love to work with asian people because they really love photography. So that’s why for the second time this year (2016) I’m working in Japan. They have a totally different taste about photography, what they like and the stars they look up to, but they are good people to work with.

WUN: For how long have you been doing this?

Roberto: I don’t remember, but maybe three or four years. I never thought to become a wedding photographer or a photographer in general, because photography didn’t mean much to me. I was a banker and I worked in a bank for 11 years. I had a rich girlfriend and lived an easy life. But I was 29, I felt like my life was over, no more dreams and so on. Then a friend committed suicide and that really made me think. It was the first time in my life that I really felt that life was really going to end. So it was a good reason for me to seriously ask myself if I was happy or not.

The answer was not. So …

WUN: So you were looking for something else…?

Roberto: Yes. So I broke up with my girlfriend. I started to travel and — now, here I am. So I totally changed everything in my life. It was a sad fact what happened, but it is not a sad thing for me today because it generated a lot of great things about my work, about myself and how I relate to people and my family in general.

WUN: So you started moving in a completely different direction.

Roberto: Yeah, totally different. I even look different, with tattoos, the clothes I wear. I express different things and life is good.

WUN: All right, that’s interesting. So you went through a life crisis and then you changed everything and now you’re a new kind of person.

Roberto: Yes. But I don’t call it a life crisis. I mean, I have a crisis every year, haha! This — it was a revolution. I’m a Buddhist and I really love to talk about these kind of things. We don’t have time for that now, but I was in Naples in November and did a two day workshop with Anna Ambrosi, who is presenting at Way Up North in april in Rome, and we had eight hours each, to talk in front of 150 people about it. A lot of people in this industry have the same experience and are struggling and it is important to tell them to go for it, that we were also at the beginning of the path once and tell them not to give up. Invest in yourself and that kind of shit.

WUN: All right.

Roberto: This is not really reflected on social media because I …

WUN: It’s personal?

Roberto: Well, it is more known by Italians, because I also have a blog where I write, because I love to write. But I can’t write in English that well, I can’t express myself in the right way in a second language. I would love to, because I love to think about choices, about life, about the path, etc. but that is not how it is right now.

WUN: Alright, thank you for taking the time to speak with us!

Roberto: Thank you! I’m 39 next month, so if you publish this in January, it will be a gift for my birthday, haha.

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