My name is Diane Rizzitano and I’d like to share my photographic journey with you. You can find (and follow) me on Instagram and Facebook.

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is having the ability to share what is not necessarily how the world is, but rather my perception of everything around me. I am constantly striving to be a positive force and I try to convey that positive energy with my images. For example, when I came across this path on Tigertail Beach on Marco Island I just had to photograph it. For me, it was more than a beautiful scene; it was the representation of something new; some new journey or chapter in life.

Photography is a part of me; it’s a piece of my internal makeup. I remember being young and snapping photos of literally everything with my cheap point and shoot camera. I was so consumed by photography that my mother bought me an SLR for Christmas one year so I could better pursue my passion. I always wanted to be a photographer, but the idea of having a career with a variable income frightened me so I pursued what I felt would be a more stable career path. I never stopped chasing sunsets and I could never forget the feel of a camera in my hands, but I failed to truly follow my dream for longer than I care to admit. It is my greatest regret in life: squandering time and failing to pursue the things that make me happiest. It may have taken me awhile, but I’ve finally come to know that time is the most valuable thing in life and we should spend it well.

A reoccurring theme throughout my portfolio is: color; bright and vibrant color. At least once a week I set out to shoot the sunset. (I may be slightly addicted to watching our sun sink below the horizon; but I suppose there are worse things to be addicted to. I typically spend the half hour leading up to sunset with my eye glued to the viewfinder; just waiting for that perfect moment - the moment you know you captured something special.

Like most Floridians you’ll find in Naples, I’m a transplant from the north. I grew up in a typical New England town and I think something about feeling a bone deep cold for so many years compels me to head to the beach. When I have some free time, I’m there — at times I don’t even know if there’s any conscious thought to it.

It’s odd when you think about it, but in mere moments the crashing of the waves and breeze ripping at my hair creates an immediate sense of peace. These forces of nature are capable of wiping away all of life’s distractions just through the power of their presence.

I have a few favorite beaches around Naples that I find myself photographing quite frequently; one of which is Seagate Beach. I have been challenging myself recently to find new ways to photograph these locations. One of my newer tactics is reducing shutter speed while attempting to hold the camera steady for that fraction of a second. The result, when executed properly, is this really cool, smoky water effect contrasted with the sharp detail of static objects, such as the rocks in this image. Stop by my Instagram page or website and you will find that I like to experiment and find new ways to capture a scene.

I have been extremely fortunate to have friends and family who are extremely supportive and encourage me to experiment photographically. These particular images were taken in mid-January during a “just for fun” photo shoot that one of my friends volunteered to model for. Of course, we started on the beach where we were somewhat warm and completely dry. Then we progressed to the jetty where there were a few splashes and some wet feet, but still relatively dry. However, it wasn’t long after moving to the jetty that I vividly remember stepping “just a bit further” into the water to get a better angle and went from calf-deep to waist deep. From there, it was over — we both left absolutely soaked, but we had a great time AND came away with some great images!

The thing about photography is that the better you seem to get, the more you realize that you still have much to learn. I am extremely happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish in the short time that I’ve considered myself a photographer, but I know my best images are yet to come.

If you’d like to check out more of my photography, I’d love for you to stop by and like & follow any of my social media pages: Instagram, Facebook, & Tumblr.

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