We’re thrilled to introduce: Simone Cento. Hailing out of Milazzo, Italy, Simone is a ship agent by profession who travelled the world. His dream: to dedicate himself completely to photography and shoot the streets of New York 16 hours a day. In this little feature, we get to know Simone’s background, his stories from the sea and a few tips & tricks on how he shoots..



Hi there! Why don’t you introduce yourself: who are you, how old are you, where do you come from, what do you and how was your day today?

Hi EyeEm! My name is Simone Cento, 36 years old, coming from Milazzo, a 35.000 citizen town in North-East Sicily (Southern Italy). I work in a Ship Agency and my day was pretty busy, but I like my job. So all is good so far!

In your photo stream we see photos from Italy, France, Amsterdam, the sea… do you travel a lot?

Oh yes! Travelling is great and I used to travel a lot since I was pretty young. Malta, Spain, Germany, Croatia, different Italian places all in my teenage time. A pity I was not addicted to photography at that time. In the last 4 years I commenced again travelling a lot together with my girlfriend (and wife since 2 years!): Egypt, Mauritius, France, Netherlands, Germany again. I lived some years in Munich too. Great experience.

And I’m planning my next trip… but I’ve still to decide which will be the next destination. I’ve in mind Iceland, Portugal, Ireland, NY City and many others. We’ll see…


We see that you’re also shooting with a professional DSLR camera. What’s the difference in shooting with your phone for you?

I shoot with a Canon 7D today and I commenced this wonderful experience called photography 3 years go with a 450D and the standard 18-55mm lens. But I’m glad to have discovered mobile photography one year ago when I bought my iPhone 4. My approach to photography changed and now I can dedicate myself really everyday to photography.

Before it wasn’t that easy. I had the chance to photograph only during my freetime or travelling. Mobile photography is a great opportunity. Really. I can tell you THAT nowadays the 75% of my photos are realized with iPhone 4 and I can’t complain about general quality, pixels and all the other stuff. It’s pure photography. I love it.

My Canon 7D is dedicated to organized trips and planned photowalks. For all the rest I shoot with my iPhone4 and sometimes with an old analogic Fuji STX-2. It’s another great zone I’m exploring of this amazing world that’s photography.


We love this series on the ship. What’s the story behind it?

Thank you guys! Appreciate you liked it. These 3 pictures somehow explain my work. I’m a ship agent and often I’ve to board on Motorvessels in the port of Milazzo. It’s a great opportunity to realize photos, obviously with my iPhone4. Can you imagine a ship agent going on board vessels with his DSLR camera? No way man. The 3 shots here have been realized  before coming inside the vessel. It’s a motortanker (ships loading/discharging crudeoil or other products like gasoil, gasoline, fuel oil).

I shot more photos inside but I don’t use to publish the 100% of the photos I take. This one, for example, is a “stolen portrait” realized during my stay on board together with the Master. I found him a great subject and with a bit of experience and luck I managed to capture him working on the desk.


I would really love to make a reportage about the life on board, but the best would be sailing with them for a week or so. And this is not really possible. Seamen have all a story to tell; most of them are particularly “closed” and they don’t love to be photographed. So it’s definitely not an easy project to realize.

If you were an animal, which one would you be?

Nice question! And for this question I’ve 2 replies. The animal I’d like to be: a cat. I’m fascinated by their attitude, their elegance and the way they play their life. But… the animal I would be for sure is a bull. I’ve a “volcanic” character and the bull is exactly the kind of animal I would be at 100%.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

There are at most 2 sources for my inspiration: people and sea. If you take a look to my stream you’ll find that the sea is a constant theme/subject/element of my photos. This depends obviously from the place I was born. Milazzo is an “earth tongue” inside the Mediterranea Sea. We’ve 2 long coasts. Sea is everywhere here.

The street is an infinite source of inspiration for me. I love to capture life’s momentS, faces, actions. This is the reason why I would love to visit  New York for example. Alone, for 7 days. I won’t care about Brooklyn, Manatthan and other touristic places to visit. I would stay 16 hours per day on the street making photos. Capturing daylife scenes.


Do you have a favorite quote from someone, a motto or, say, a philosophy in life?

“Live and let live” – Everyone has the right to live his life as he wishes (respecting others obviously). I don’t like people commenting, discussing others lifes.

What are your top 3 tips for taking photos?

1. Be relaxed! Take your mind out from daily problems/stuff and express yourself.  Take it easy and shoot shoot shoot!

2. Many people think a good camera = good photography. WRONG! Don’t lose time and use everything that gives you the chance to realize your photography. A cheap oneuseonly camera, a toycamera, an old analogic, a wonderful DSLR or your mobilephone. It’s the only thing you need. All the rest is YOU! Your mind, your heart, your sensibility.

3. Be curious!!! Don’t stop experimenting, observing life around you, share your passion and learn from others. Express yourself and enjoy this great experience called photography.

These are my 3 tips. I dont love to give “technical” tips. I prefer “approach tips” to photography. At least is the way I approached it and I’ll do in the future.



What are your projects & dreams for the future?

Well I would really love to build a family so my most important project for the future is surely becoming father. It’s really what I wish in this moment more than everything else. Talking about photography, as written, I would really like (but it’s a real dream) to dedicate my “working time” at 100% to photography and realize one or two projects I’ve in mind.

This would be really wonderful. Maybe 1 or 2 months travelling and concentrating my attention to one or two of my planned projects. Yeah that would be my little dream.


Thank you for the interview, Simone! If you like what you’re seeing, follow Simone and flick through Milazzo for more.