Despite coming from a background in construction and working in the New Zealand Army, photography has always had a big presence in the life of New Zealand-born photographer, Ricky Gestro. Influenced by his father who was a keen photographer, Gestro discovered point-and-shoot 35mm photography in his teens. But it wasn’t until 2011 that Gestro’s interest in photography really took off. “It happened in the form of travel photography while travelling India for the first time, with friends. It just seemed to make sense,” says Gestro.
Relocating to Perth in 2010, Gestro realised that in order for his photography to flourish, he would need to consider formal study. After three and a half years at the Central Institute of Technology in Perth, he graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Photography. Mentors have also been an important part of his education. And becoming a second shooter for one of his mentors, wedding photographer Steve Wise was a pivotal point.
As a result of his education and influences, Gestro has developed an eye for intimacy which touches each of his works. “Visually, I’m attracted to graphic scenes, architecture, and isolation of people within built environments.” Themes explored by his work include identity, status, and other symbols of modern living – metaphors for social commentary. “I also get a real buzz from getting close to people and communities abroad and capturing intimate environmental portraits with dignity and simple narratives,” he says.
Amongst his numerous awards and accolades, in 2017, Gestro received a Gold and Highest Scoring Print in the Travel category of the AIPP APPAs. He was also runner-up at the Fremantle International Portrait Prize. In 2017, he was also named WA AIPP Emerging Photographer of the Year.
Gestro plans to develop his personal work and as well as delve into the wedding market in Western Australia, eventually incorporating his passion for travel into destination weddings where he can explore his current vision and style.