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October - Paolo Esposito.

Paolo started photographing for a local magazine during his school vacation. At 20 he moved to Milan to study professional advertising and fashion photography. After graduation from the European Institute of Design, he assisted for a number of photographers before going out on his own. He now runs the Insight Studio in Milan, specializing in fashion, working both for editorial and commercial markets.

Paolo Esposito is unusual among the 2007 Hasselblad Masters – he’s a professional photographer who always wanted to be a professional photographer and only a professional photographer!  His father gave him his first camera when he just 12 years old and by the time he was 16 and still at school, he was already being paid to take photographs by his local magazine. 

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Paolo went on to study photography at the European Institute of Design in Milan and, having gained his diploma, worked as a photographic assistant all over the world for the next five years.  After completing both the theoretical and practical aspects of his training, which, together with his ability to fully apply himself to each task, he sees as key to his success to date, he was drawn, aged 25, to the glamour of fashion and advertising photography (he particularly admires the current work of Greg Lotus and Camilla Akrans), although, he says, he might otherwise have moved into sports photography. 

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He now works principally on assignments with advertising agencies and Italian lingerie companies, such as Lovable, Fila, Laura Biagiotti, and Ragno.  But it is his work for Intima France with which he is most satisfied (although as with many other Hasselblad Masters, he is never totally satisfied with his work), he says, “Because they allow me complete freedom to shoot as I like.  It is a very editorial and really creative interpretation of underwear shooting.  I try to make underwear cool, not just seductive.” 

Paolo feels that he has been “pretty lucky” with his  career – not only is he paid to do a job that he loves, but through it he’s also had the opportunity to travel and he met the woman who was to become his wife!  When asked what advice he’d give to young photographers who are starting out, he replies, “Do what you like, don’t copy too much and don’t be afraid if your job is refused at first.  Nobody can take your pictures, even in the same room, with the same light, with the same model…. You should press the shutter when you feel the time is right.  Be what you feel.”

 With a view to helping him secure more international clients, Paolo is currently rebuilding his web site (www.paoloesposito.com, ready by the end of November 2007), a project that is also proving to be a very nostalgic and stimulating journey as, with so many digital files, slides and negatives to review, “you realise what you like and what you miss after so many years of shooting pictures.”

And shooting in so many different locations means that Paolo needs a camera for all seasons, one that he can rely on to work properly, whether he’s shooting on a beach or in a desert, and to deliver great quality images.  That’s why he uses a Hasselblad H2, although he does like the shape too (“the design and balance make it comfortable to hold all day”), not to mention that it can synch at up to 1/800th second!

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When he’s not on assignment, Paolo enjoys nothing better than to escape to the freedom of the forests and mountains and ride his downhill bike as fast as he can.  But he always carries a small digital camera with him and uses it to capture reminders for potential locations and editorial ideas, as well as a diary of his time with his wife and friends.

Looking to the future and having already included them in a calendar, Paolo wants to involve all his cool freeriding friends in a fashion editorial, which he’d like to see published in a French magazine, which he admires for their technical and creative levels.

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In the meantime, he’ll keep producing exactly the kind of work his clients want, sometimes, in fact, before they even know what they want, as Paolo relates, “Recently a client came onto the set with some pages he had found in a magazine.  He told me that, for his shoot, he wanted the same kind of atmosphere and attitude from the girls.  He was happily surprised and I was so proud when I pointed out the name of the photographer on the side of the page……Paolo Esposito.”


To see more of Paolo’s work, go to: www.paoloesposito.com (from end of November 2007)