Meet Sheila

Hi! I’m Sheila Bocchine, a pinhole photographer, daydreamer, world traveler, storyteller, with a flirtatious giggle, and a camera in both hands.

I feel like each pinhole photograph is a marvelous dream… a surreal and whimsical moment in time that has swirled around my daydreams before coming out as the perfect pinhole photograph.

Pinhole photographs are gorgeous. The combination of still and motion look surreal. The blending of colors look painterly. The long exposures give the illusion of a movie filmed in one frame.

I especially love to photograph people, and if time and language allow, find out their story. I believe everyone has an interesting story to tell, and I’ve lent my ears to quite a few epic monologues.

Graffiti exhibit at the Pera Art Museum. Istanbul, Turkey.

My Story

I’ve always been interested in photography, and my parents were constantly documenting our lives through photographs and film. My mom was the photographer, and my dad was the filmmaker. I got my first camera when I was 3 years old, and it was my

favorite toy, until I lost it in a restaurant. My parents went back the next day, but it was gone forever, and I cried for days. When I was 8 years old, I told my mom when grew up I wanted to be a photographer and travel around the world. I used to spend hours flipping through National Geographic magazines, totally mesmerized by the photos. When I was 9 years old I remember taking a photograph in Sicily, Italy where we were living, and there was an instantaneous moment when I released my finger from the shutter and I knew at that moment I was destined to be a photographer.

For my 10th birthday, I was gifted my very own camera, so no more stealing my mom’s camera from her purse. I took photos of everything, including my thumb, which was often seen in early photographs. On my 18th birthday I bought myself my first ‘real’ camera, a Nikon N50, and declared that I was going to study photojournalism.

I studied photography at Columbia College in Chicago, and then went to Pratt Institute in New York City and received my Master’s in Arts and Cultural Management. After I graduated I moved to Phoenix, Arizona and opened a photography gallery called, ‘four white walls’. The gallery was open for 2 years, and I really enjoyed having a space to exhibit talented photographers, but I eventually wanted to concentrate on my work, so I closed. I was also a full time photographer specializing in pinhole portraits and documentary travel photography.

Chinese audience while I'm taking a pinhole photo in Shenzhen, China. The audience I attracted while doing a pinhole portrait in China.

Still interested in seeing the world, I sold all my possessions, packed my bags, and headed to Asia. I lived in South Korea for 2 years, China for 3 years, and now I’m in Istanbul, Turkey.

Artist Resume