Ep 214: Donato Dicamillo shoots street portraits from the heart

Donato Dicamillo’s street photography is nothing short of amazing. And he has an equally fascinating backstory that takes him from the streets of Brooklyn to being incarcerated in federal prison. His self-taught style captures a gritty emotion and imagery that is unique. And in this interview he reveals his journey.

Gina and Valerie love bringing this podcast to you. Hope you enjoy the podcast.

Sign up to the newsletter for great tips and free Lightroom presets.

Join the dynamic Gold Membership in our Community which delivers monthly tutorials, live mastermind and lots of behind the scenes videos into the creative process.

Click play to listen to the podcast or find it on iTunes here. If you don’t use iTunes you can get the feed here, or listen to us on Stitcher radio.

Show Notes

Above: Donato Di Camillo


Born in Brooklyn New York, Donato Di Camillo is one son of three siblings born from Italian immigrant parents.

As a child Donato suffered behavioural problems with anger, he would soon be expelled from school at the age of sixteen for violence, then finding himself in and out of behavioural institutions and jails.

Ironically Donato became intensely interested in photography while serving out a federal prison sentence in Petersburg, MCI, Virginia.

“I was always interested in magazines like National Geographic and LIFE. When I was a child I used to dream about being on adventures, exploring, always fascinated about other cultures in different parts of the world”.

Since his release in 2012 Donato taught himself to use a camera while being on home confinement. At first he photographed, bugs, plants or anything else within the 120ft of his home, which he was restricted to.

Donato was featured in multiple publications and news broadcasts around the world, such as, BBC, Washington Post, CBC, Huffington Post, and was invited to speak at the prestigious HEARST magazines annual summit.

Di Camillo continues to focus on people and plans to put out his first book late 2017. He currently resides in Staten Island, N.Y.

“You only have a few good pictures in a lifetime so If ya gonna go shoot, shoot with your heart.” – Donato Di Camillo

“American Truths Unwritten”

Image by Donato Di Camillo “American Truths Unwritten”
Image by Donato Di Camillo “American Truths Unwritten”
Image by Donato Di Camillo “American Truths Unwritten”
Image by Donato Di Camillo “American Truths Unwritten”
Image by Donato Di Camillo “American Truths Unwritten”
Image by Donato Di Camillo
Image by Donato Di Camillo
Image by Donato Di Camillo




Workshop – September 22-23 “The subtle art of giving a f@#k”

Where I will be exploring the multi-facets of the human thread and how it effectively works into photographic storytelling.

DONATO DI CAMILLO – Photographing the streets – My first year

Gear Leica M (Typ 240) Digital Rangefinder Camera

Photographers that inspire Donato

Bruce Gilden
Martin Parr
William Eggleston
William Klein


Get your copy of Gina’s guide “The Shot” FREE when you sign up to her newsletter. You’ll also receive FREE Lightroom presets every month.

How to direct and pose like a pro


Want Gina Milicia as your mentor?

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

instagram Instagram