Emilio Del Tessandoro, Software Engineer at Spotify and Photographer

I like to see things and I love nature. Sometimes I sit looking at a great scenery and I think: “there are literally no words that can describe how incredible this is, and how it makes me feel. I am so grateful I have my eyes to enjoy it”. So I guess I just like to try make or capture something beautiful. And photography at the moment is my expression for doing that.

My name is Emilio Del Tessandoro, and I’m from Lucca, a beautiful town in Tuscany, Italy. At the moment, I’m living the adventure of working abroad. In particular, I’m based in Stockholm, Sweden, working for Spotify as a software engineer.

Computer science (or just “programming” at the time) has been my hobby since high school. I always thought I was going to be a physicist, but after a while, I realized that computer science seemed more fun and easier for me, so I decided to change.

I moved to Sweden three years ago for a master programme exchange in Uppsala. Shortly after I moved here, I got an offer from Spotify, and at the same time, I met my wife. Spotify is just a cool place to work at, especially for its incredibly diverse international community, benefits, and amazing growth opportunities.

I bought my first DSLR in 2010. So I would say that’s when my interest in photography started to get serious. Before that, I used a compact camera and even before that I used to draw a lot. I also had a traditional SLR when I was really little, and I remember stressing my mother to bring me to the photographer to develop my photos (my experiments!). So I’ve always been interested and curious about visual arts.

For now, photography is just something fun, even though it definitely changed the way I travel. I tend to go places where there is really no reason to be other than enjoying nature and/or photography. And I’m pretty happy about it because I get to see things that are pretty unique! Usually I plan trips around Europe to specific places that are interesting to me. I feel Stockholm does not have as much to offer in terms of landscape photography, or at least not as much as Tuscany (I guess I’m a bit spoiled!).

In general, landscape and nature photography interests me the most. When I started I was doing a lot of macro photography, then I moved to landscape. I try sometimes abstract/architecture – it’s also something interesting to me. Sebastião Salgado is maybe my favorite landscape/nature photographer. His work “Genesis” is just incredible. I also really like the work of Marc Adamus and Max Rive. Also, some “surreal” photography works are really cool (they are probably classified as “fine art”).

The place I work promotes creativity and hacking on new technologies, but the nature of that is very different from photographic creativity. So I would definitely like to have more intersection in my work life and my photography life. My long-term goal is to make it more important, maybe become a photographer full time at some point. Or I would like to work in tech with something more related to photography and visual arts.

I think is very important to be exposed and go deep into something else other than your job. It’s not just being a “more interesting” person. In my case, I would say it’s the most human part of me – it keeps me close to nature and to what I really like. I think machines are going to be much more present in our lives now, and they will even replace us in several contexts. So I think having these creative outlets, and being connected with passions and nature, is crucial.

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