Learn From Experience: Paolo Ferruzzi

Born in Arezzo (Italy), in 1968. Almost self-taught, I start taking amateur shots and in 2015, by chance, I discover the world of “Polaroid” and instant photography. At the end of 2016 I joined Polaroiders Italia and attended Alan Marcheselli’s workshops. This is how my addiction started!

Today, for my shots, I preferably use vintage cameras and equipment, rather than new ones.
My recipe is made of natural light, films of all kinds, sometimes even expired, and a lot of passion for this analogue photography, which despite its age, new technologies and millions of pixels is still made of negative, positive and emulsions and retains all its charm, its vintage flavor and its magic that make it unique, unrepeatable, just like those photos in that little frame where, a chemical process, transforms emotions into images.

I usually define that of Polaroid as “impressionist photography”, where the binomial instinct-instant is best realized.
I exibited my Polaroids in Bologna on the occasion of ISO600 international, Riccione, Roma, Pescara, Piacenza, Varese, Savignano sul Rubicone, Catanzaro e Castelfranco Veneto and was selected for Instant Art Paris 2020 unfortunately canceled for covid.

What are the rules of your photographic work?

My first rule is: run !! My work arises spontaneously, suddenly, from the impulse that  an object, a light, an image, an emotion can arouse, but it’s a matter of moments, then the light changes, the emotion fades, images slowly disappear as a dream when one awakes. So, I have to run, fast, so as not to lose the moment that crystallizes all this in that magical alchemy made of emulsions, positive and negative rising directly in your hands in a few minutes.

Is for this reason that I use to define the instant photography as Impressionist Photograpy.

Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?

No, I think the difference is dictated by the idea. If there is an idea there is a photograph. The technique or tools you use can only make it more intelligible. You can also take pictures with a few euro camera if this is able to tell your idea.

Tell us about an experience that definitely changed the way you work and made you grow.

Surely the numerous workshops and shooting sessions I attended with the photographer Alan Marcheselli determined my growth and enriched my knowledge and passion for instant photography: it was exciting to discover and undestand the “anatomy” of a Polaroid film with Alan and apply this knowledge to artistic creations contained in a 7.7×7.9 cm frame.

Anyway, I think that every single shot represents an experience that every time changes my way of working and makes the difference in the next one.

Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.

On last March 9th, when the total lockdown due to the covid19 pandemic was established in Italy, I was confused and really afraid of not being able to take shots, of not having the possibility, the ability and the opportunity.

Then I looked around, inside the walls of my house, and I discovered a new world ….

How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?

They exist in symbiosis: one is an integral part of the other, they interact and interpenetrate in the story of the image… on the other hand, what would Little Red Riding Hood be without the forest?

I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.

I have no secret techniques. When I was asked how I made a particular shot I was happy to let other people participate. As I said above, a photography rise from an idea and this makes it unique. The idea should be secret and if so…. I’m sorry, but I will not tell you!!!

Tell us about your equipment, what kind of cameras do you shoot with?

I have a large number of Polaroid cameras. Both old and new: however I’m a “nostalgic” and I much prefer the charm of vintage: my favorite? The reflex cameras: polaroid SX70 and SLR680: style, photographic minimalism and timeless elegance; I love them, I have learned to know their “character” and their “behavior” in every situation: I now have a relationship of confidence with them, there is feeling, empathy, and they too have learned, over time, to understand my style, and they go along with me …. almost always; they have a few years but they are always ladies and as such they deserve all my due respect, patience and devotion. In some way…is a passionate love story: one day we get married and we’ll live happily ever after.

Are there any books you would recommend?

Yes, my first publication …. when it will be done! ( for you I will make a special price… )

What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?

Every single light, object, geometry, emotion, stimulus that, in turn tells me a light, an object, a geometry, an emotion and a stimulus…

Paolo Ferruzzi