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Geo RomoloThe Stylistic features conversations about fashion, art and lifestyle with a variety of interesting gents. This week, we speak with 36 year old Toronto photographer Geo Romolo about urban decay, bear photography, and doing what you love. 

How did you become a photographer?
I’d always hang out in abandoned places, and my friends were doing some neat and interesting [urban decay photography] stuff with these locations. I resisted it at first but it became an obsession.  I started photographing friends for their online profiles, and bumped into GianOrso.com. It just made me rethink everything I’d ever seen, and I was moved by his beautiful images. He basically inspired me from day one.

Would you say you have a specialty?
I do a lot depending on my mood, but bear erotica and abandoned decay is my love.

What inspires you?
Seeing abandoned locations that are just so magnificent. Beautiful photos of bearish/chubby men in their element. My colleagues at school and many of my Facebook and Flickr contacts inspire me. There are so many people who inspire me on a daily basis.

How would you describe your style?
I don’t really think about it. The music I’m listening to influences me, so my style can range from moody to fun. I just let it guide me to whatever I’m feeling at the time.

Where do you like to shop for clothes?
I like nice things but I don’t buy them all that often. Most of my money goes towards photo gear, or trips across the USA, so I’m broke most of the time. When I do shop, I shop Goodwill, Wal-Mart, and sometimes Winners. I live on a budget and have holes in my socks and it’s just fine by me.

Choose one or answer them all: Hobbies, Vices, Heroes?
Hobbies: Exploring abandoned buildings – everything from insane asylums to neglected power stations.

Vices: Smoking, swearing, and farting.

Heroes: Sally Mann, GianOrso, Edward Weston, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Green Day, in no particular order.

Factories Down, by Geo Romolo

Do you have a life or style tip that works for you that you’d like to share with us?
Do what you love, and stop caring what people think of your work. Do work that you love, that inspires and drives you – not the masses. There will always be haters out there that will have something negative to say. Fuck em. They don’t matter one bit, and they don’t pay your bills. Believe in yourself and love yourself.  It’s a short life, so follow your dreams no matter what. You blink and it’s gone.

What’s next for you?
I’m looking forward to a collaborative show for Toronto Pride this summer with fellow artist CoinOperatedBear. Hopefully I can fit in a tour somewhere along the east coast of the US to find some awesome abandoned locations to photograph.

See Geo Romolo’s work and buy prints at 500px and Fine Art America. You can also catch up with him at Flickr.