John loved looking at photos during his childhood; it was always an interest of his. When he grew older and became a teenager, he would borrow his Mom’s camera and go photograph around town as well as the surf. Eventually he started getting published and realized he could make a career out of photography. His favorite subjects to capture involve many different genres including weddings, real estate, fashion modeling as well as corporate headshots. "I always seem to gravitate back to surfing and the ocean," John mentioned. "That’s what brings me the most joy and never feels like a job! I love being in the ocean and I love taking pictures. So combine the two and its pure stoke."
John enjoys the fusion of executive office space along with the support of artists when describing what he loves most about SMARTSPACE. "I think it lends to bringing a creative atmosphere in there and provides a less stressful office for people when they can step out of their door into an art gallery."
As an artist, John's most memorable experience or milestone occurred when he was a teenager. "As a teenager I idolized a famous surfing photographer named Aaron Chang. I would cut out his photos from the surf magazine and use them as wallpaper for my bedroom. I would study and daydream about the photos. Eventually on my 21st birthday, two weeks prior to moving to San Diego, I randomly met Aaron in my small beach town in New Jersey. We photographed together that afternoon and he told me to look him up when I got to San Diego. I did and worked for him for about 16 months where I learned a lot more about photography beyond just surfing."
When we asked John if he had any advice for aspiring artists, he left us with this: "Don’t ever give up on your dreams. Think positively and try to manifest your dreams into reality. When possible, try to help someone fulfill their dreams because good Karma is returned."
For nearly 20 years, John Cocozza has worked as a professional photographer capturing beautiful imagery throughout his travels and career. He has been working as a professional surfing photographer since the early age of 19. John was able to fulfill a life dream at 21 years of age both in moving to San Diego and working for legendary photographer Aaron Chang. Since then, John has had his photographic work published in print and online for media and magazines such as Surfing, Transworld, WATER, Eastern Surf Magazine, VERT, Tracks, Surfshot, Surf News, Surfrider Foundation, and Surfers Journal to name a few.