All images by Salvatore Matarazzo. Used with Creative Commons permission.
Along the stretch of the Marina Di Massa in central Italy’s Province of Massa and Carrara is a 2.5-kilometer beach that caught the attention of Salvatore Matarazzo in the summer of 2018. There, he documented the animated scene of locals flocking to the pocket beach for a quick and cheap vacation. If you’re looking for some fearless street photography to inspire you to get close and keep going for the shot, this set will do just that.
Matarazzo shot the Pocket Beach set in the same bold style that we’ve previously seen in his Smoke series. Here, the burst of flash makes his subjects more eye-catching, and the colors of the scenes extra vibrant. This approach looks great for the scenes he captured, since the extra bright colors fit the mood, season, and story set on the beach. This “flashy” style has actually been popular for various genres in recent years, but street photography projects prove to produce some of the most detailed, unique, and sometimes controversial results.
Instead of capturing the big picture of what happens on this stretch of beach in the summer, Matarazzo chose to put his focus on the vacationers themselves. This goal often led him to get close to the subjects who caught his eye, perhaps even closer than some of us (whether as photographers or subjects) are comfortable with. “Most bathers are locals, or come from the colonies of workers and low-cost holidays organized. As I took photos, I noticed a great deal of distrust on their part and the problems were not few,” he recalled in the set’s description.
“People portrayed are workers who choose this ‘Pocket Beach’ as a vacation destination, saving money but without losing anything, because there is all that it takes to make a great vacation. After all, the sea and the sun, are free goods, and here you can enjoy it quietly, making a leap back in time.”