Larry Busacca: I am a camera!

Rob Lowe © Larry Busacca

Larry Busacca, based in downtown Manhattan New York, is Senior Staff Photographer for and, among the world’s leading stock agencies. If you asked him why he takes compelling pictures that seem to reveal the essential character of his subjects, his simple answer would be that he’s never given serious consideration to doing anything else! To quote the typically laconic and insightful bio posted on his website “I’ve had a camera in my hands since I can remember. Photographing people has always been second nature. To me it’s simple. I am endlessly curious about human nature. Whether my subjects are well known or not, they are still people. Ultimately it’s not about me. It’s about my subjects and I enjoy connecting with them and creating a positive and e3xciting experience during out time together no matter how long that may be.”

After shooting at Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah this year, we were able to interview Busacca.

Q: What camera and equipment do you use?

A: For “smaller” format I am mainly shoot with a Nikon D3s. In the studio, up till now I was a Phase One user. But now that I have experienced the Leica S2 I will definitely be using that regularly.

Kate Bosworth © Larry Busacca

Elizabeth Banks © Larry Busacca

Don Cheadle © Larry Busacca

Q: How would you describe your photography and approach? What genre does your style fall under?

A: Subtle insightful portraiture. In terms of genre, I shoot a mix of photojournalism and portraiture.

I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life. Photography for me is a lifestyle choice.

Q: Were you a serious enthusiast before going pro? What made you decide to go pro?

A: I don’t think I ever thought about photography as a hobby. It was always just a way of life. Period. The commercial side of the business was a result of the focus and passion I’ve always had toward photography.

I think I was born with a camera in my hand. It’s as if my mother and father said the moment they saw me after I was born “Oh, there’s that little camera we thought we lost. How did he get in there?”

Q: Practically being born with camera must make photography seem like second nature. Did you ever have any formal training?

A: Luckily my high school had a photography class with a good darkroom and all. The teacher, Mitchell Alvins kept us involved and interested in photography and provided a broad range of lessons that showed us the range of possibilities within photography. Keep the arts in the schools people! It’s REALLY important.

Q: Was there a photographer or type of photography that influenced your work or inspired you?

A: I was interested in a strange mix of styles from the start. I was drawn to Henri Cartier-Bresson, The f/64 club photographers and Philippe Halsman.

Q: How did you first become interested in Leica?

A: My first serious camera after my hand-me-down 35mm’s from my father was a beat up old Leica M3. It even had a small chunk of the body missing but it was under the base plate and luckily there was no light leak. Since then I have always used Leicas. Now, I have a few Leica film cameras including an M3, M4 and M6. Whenever I can get my hands on the M9 or S2 digital I love working
with them.

Q: What do you think of the S-System as a tool for your stock photography?

A: It’s perfect. The handling, fantastic image quality and reliability makes it a no-brainer for most stock style shoots.

Thanks Larry!

Leica Internet Team

To see more of Larry Busacca’s work, please visit

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  • ”I am a camera”
    Ha ha I like it and now looking forward to see his work

  • Sorry to be negative, but this is some of the most mundane portraiture run on this blog, just because Larry uses a Leica S2 doesn’t mean he is a good portrait photographer, there are plenty of amazing photographers out there that could benefit from the exposure. I would suggest to Larry that he sticks to his red carpet stuff for Getty

  • I second that! Boring! No story here “I was born with the camera” everyone says that theses days

  • Maybe the appeal here for these celebrities to be photographed by Larry, is that for the first time, they get see what they look like in a real life. These portraits are unusual to say the least. When it comes to portraiture & leica, I would love to Steve McCurry put down his Hassleblad and give us a taste of he could do on a Leica s2. Now that would be a hot blog post.

  • The connection between Larry and his subjects is obvious. Leica S2 or not, Larry is the reason that these portraits come alive. The photo of Don Cheadle is beyond words.

    Looking forward to seeing more of his work!

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