Joe Carrotta is a documentary and portrait photographer born and raised on Long Island. His curiosity to discover interesting people and their passions is what drives him to create work. Joe received his BFA in Photography and Related Media from the Fashion Institute of Technology in May of 2017. He is also an Eddie Adams Workshop XXX Alumni.
My White Flag story sheds light on the art of body suspension, featuring Cere Coichetti, one of the first body suspension artists to offer suspension in the United States. I traveled with Cere, his apprentice and other members of the community into the forests of pennsylvania. Where we returned to the waterfall he has been suspending at for the past few years on his yearly White Flag campout.
I am still working with Cere and the White Flag family as we became good friends through this process. We have plans to travel to Iceland together for our next suspension trip. Along with that I am connecting with other members of the community in order to show the wonders of this practice.
As you can imagine, any italian mother and father wouldn’t be so thrilled to know there son is traveling into a secluded forest with 10 other people that hang from their flesh. After explaining my passion for the work they were more than supportive.
When I work on a story, I try to cover a topic many people don’t know about. If I can open someones eyes to a new topic, let alone get them interested enough to try it. I would say that is a success in my book.
How do you get your practice out when it is stuck?
Being stuck as an artist is a challenge we all have to face at some point. Sometimes there is no other way out then just putting the camera down for a few days, or going out of my way to photograph something I have never before. Trying something new always gets me inspired.
Talking about my White Flag story in particular, many people ask me if it is dangerous, if it hurts, or my favorite, “why doesn’t the skin just rip?” I had the privilege to suspend with some of the most knowledgeable people out there while photographing this story. I had no intentions of doing so while leaving for that trip. After being around such a supportive group of people, I never felt safer.