Featured Artist: CJ Infantino

From Engineering to Photography

How does an network engineer suddenly become obsessed with photography? Well, for as long as I can remember I have been fascinated with visual media. But my love affair with photography really picked up in 2015.

The tragedy that pushed me to my end

In 2015 my wife was diagnosed with stage four metastatic breast cancer. At that time we were living in California with our three young children and away from our family.

Me and depression go way back, but that year threw me into a wake of emotions I wasn’t sure I’d be able to escape.

Moving back to NY and being challenged by my friend

After my wife’s initial treatment, we moved back to Rochester. We realized we needed the support of our families. And our kids needed the best chance at having a stable home life.

Shortly after we returned – like all good relationships go – my friend Chris Mason and I picked things up right where we left off.

He was expanding his design business into photography. So of course, we would talk at length about it. Then one day he challenged me to pick up a camera.

We spent many late nights roaming the cold streets of Downtown Rochester. It was during those times that I began to realize how extremely cathartic photography was for me.

I began sharing my images with friends and family and it wasn’t long before I felt the pull to share more broadly.

Home is where my camera is

I am the epitome of an introvert. I’d stay in my house for days or weeks if I could.

But there is something special about getting behind the camera. It’s my safe zone. A place where I can observe the world around me.

I shoot fine art photography. I am driven to capture humanity.

I am greatly inspired by Brooke Shaden’s and Zhang Jinga’s work. More and more, my art is trending in that direction.

The voice that never leaves me. My greatest inspiration.

The biggest inspiration in my life was my grandma. She was the one person who always believed in me.

No matter what.

She is the one person whose words will remain with me forever. In my darkest and brightest moments, her voice is the first thing I hear.

Transparency is everything.

I believe the world and our communities would be greater if we were more transparent. We all struggle, yet we are quick to hide it.

At the end of the day, all we have is each other. If we could practice being open and honest, we just might find the help we so desperately need.

Humans are incredible and are worth documenting

Capturing people and sharing my struggles are my passions. They’re what drive me to push further.

I want the world to be better for my kids. I want them to grow up where people are real and connected; where it’s commonplace to share our stories and fears with one another.

So that’s the world I am trying to build. One photo at a time.

P.S. I’m really into Korean skincare. It’s not uncommon to see me relaxing with a sheet mask on.

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