Film photography attracts us because it gives us a wide range of emotions that we connect with during the whole process. Its tangible aspect can be one of the ways we have to extend this connection and we can’t deny we’re drawn to it. Today, we want you to meet an Instant Photography master.
Mostly equipped with his Polaroid SX-70 and some Impossible Project 600 films, he has been communicating through a personal language where ethereal, unsaturated images recreate an imaginary world that viewers can’t escape from. Feel welcome to join Simone Carollo’s journey with us.
Please tell us a little about yourself, where you are from, and what you do.
I’m Italian and I live in Vicenza, near Venice. I’m a passionate photographer and skateboarder but my day job doesn’t concern any of these two things.
How would you personally describe your style of photography? What message/s do you try to convey through your images?
Well, it’s hard for me to describe my style; I just know what I don’t like. I like dark images and I love shooting indoors mostly, but I love shooting surrounded by nature sometimes, too.
I wish that my photographs appear vague, old, and ethereal. To be honest with you, I don’t try to convey any specific meanings with my shots. I like the idea that someone can just take pleasure in looking at them, that’s all. The subject, the colors and the unsaturated tones of films I use, I like to think that they can generate and stir up emotions with the viewer. My work is almost never planned, so I never know what exactly is going to happen.
Which elements of shooting film are you drawn to the most?
Definitely the results. Even if I were to embrace digital photography, what I love most about analogue is the texture, the tones of instant film, the whites and blacks of the photographic films, the camera obscura, and the photographic papers. There is a certain satisfaction when you shoot on film; I believe there is more heart there.
What would you say is your greatest inspiration?
Everything, I think. When I go out I’m always looking around; I look at spaces, I see the light in those areas, the people, everything. When I see something interesting I write it down immediately and usually make a big effort to go back there within a short period of time. It’s as if I’m always taking pictures, even without my cameras. I do very little research and I try not to look too much at other photographers; otherwise I would fall in love with their work and unintentionally try to copy them.
In this part of our interview, we get a little more up close and personal with our hero through a handful of questions about the people he finds inspirational, his tools of the trade, shooting routine, and more:
Name someone whose art makes you shiver.
If you had to choose a camera + film to shoot with for the rest of your life, which combo would it be and why?
SX-70 Polaroid land camera, Impossible 600 color film because it’s too fun, and because I wouldn’t need a camera obscura or Photoshop.
If you could time travel to the past and be the assistant of a great photographer, who would it be?
Can you share the weirdest situation you’ve faced being a film photographer?
Nothing strange has happened to me so far, except that sometimes I fear snakes when shooting outdoors. But, having my tripod sort of helps!
Do you remember the photo you took that made you feel proud for the first time? Can you share it with us?
Yes, one of the first I shot of my girlfriend. I’m happy to share it with you!
Describe your shooting routine.
It’s nothing special. If I shoot with Polaroid cameras I shoot like 24 photos, very slowly. I take a lot of time, as I don’t want to waste my shots. I usually work alone with my subjects, so it’s always a mess if I need to use a reflector. But it’s fun for both.
Speaking of portraits, who’s the face you’d love to photograph but haven’t had the chance to have in front of your camera yet?
Another difficult question for me. I love discovering faces, trying to find new people everywhere. I have no idea about someone famous. Of course, if you work with professional models you could get fabulous portraits. I guess, I have a lot of pretty friends anyway.
Who do you think we should feature in the next Hero of the Week section?
See more of Simone’s work in the link below: