In the series, ‘Lobster Photographers’ Stories’, we can get an insight into the lives of our different photographers from around the world. This week we are sharing the story of a veterinarian named Paolo and his inner photographer.
My name is Paolo Polidori (also known as “polipao” on the web). I was born in 1959 in a small town in the Marche region of Italy known as “Casenuove,” where everyone knows everyone. I attended the faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Bologna where I obtained my degree in 1986. Since then I have always been self-employed by choice, keen on not distancing myself from the beautiful area I live in, which is Montefeltro.
Ever since I was young I have always loved animals, and today I am able to use this passion in my work, which gives me great satisfaction when I see them cured. I am not a professional photographer but a veterinarian with a passion for photography, who has always aimed to portray the beauty of his country to the world, aided in recent years by the internet. I have been married to Paola for 25 years and together we have two children.
I discovered photography in 1968, when I was given a Kodak Instamatic, a compact camera with film and could only take square photographs. It was love at first sight. At the time, film rolls were expensive, so you would generally only photograph important occasions or subjects which warranted the use of the camera. Then, in 1982, I bought my first single-lens reflex camera with my savings: a Pentax K1000. With this camera I learnt to compose an image, not through studying photography but because the instruction manual that came with it explained the rule of thirds, which I don’t always follow.
I photograph a bit of everything, animals and plants: I don’t really do portraits, my favourite subjects are the landscapes of my homeland, all places which, thanks to my profession, I am able to see at different times of the day and therefore under a different light each time. I always have my reflex camera in the front seat of my car because, when you least expect it, a shot that just a few hours earlier was insignificant can suddenly come to life bathed in beautiful light and colours. That’s when I usually slam on my brakes to take the photo.
I certainly would not be able to recreate some of those wonderful shots I see online, where everything is meticulously studied and planned; I don’t have the patience for that. My photos are spur-of-the-moment and spontaneous, often taken on the street, when I’m lucky enough to find myself in the right place at the right time.
My motto is: “A photograph is a moment stolen from the passing of time.”
An example is the image below, which I consider to be most beautiful shot I’ve ever taken: it’s called “New Life” and the subject is a sea daffodil bud trying to find its place in the world, making its way through the sand grains of a beach in Sardinia. I spent the whole day next to this plant without noticing it. Then, as I was dismantling our beach umbrella to go home, perhaps due to the play on shadows created by the setting sun, I was struck and amazed at the same time by the tenacity of the small sea daffodil, which was being born into life and I captured the moment.
Since 1988, when my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) first dragged me – literally – to Greece for the holidays, I instantly fell in love with the country and its people, so much so that it became my favourite place in the world. Maybe one day I will move there! This photo of Cape Tenaro in the Southern-most point of the Peloponnese perfectly embodies my ideal holiday spot and climate.
I have also been fortunate enough that many of the images taken during my holidays have been published by a Dutch magazine called “Griekenland Magazine”, whose editor found them by chance online and contacted me asking me for permission to use them. Of course you can imagine I was more than happy to oblige. I am curious by nature and I love to travel but, unfortunately, I am limited in the breadth of my travels due to an uncontrollable fear of flying. I can still reach holiday locations in the car or ferry and these two means are perfect for reaching Greece.
There are things I would like to accomplish: the first is to publish a photography book, the second is to restructure my childhood home into a B&B.
There are still a couple of things I would like to accomplish in the coming years: the first is to publish a photography book on the Montefeltro area, the second is to restructure my old childhood home and turn it into a B&B to welcome people from all over the world and introduce them to this area which I hold dear in my heart.
All the photos I have taken and which I will continue to take for many years still are merely images which struck me and captivated me with their colours and light. There is nothing more behind them, no subliminal messages, if not the simple beauty of this area. A beauty which unfortunately is slowly wearing away with the passing of time: indeed, the landscape around my home is constantly changing and, at times, man contributes to changing it in a negative way, too fast. I therefore try to preserve and capture these moments in time forever in my photos.
Many thanks to Paolo, and Francesca Squillante for translation, for their time on this truly wonderful story.
Please check out Paolo’s photos here!
See more: People in Photography: Dustin Drankoski (Mashable), How Can You Start Making Money From Your Photography?, Sell Your Photography, UGC Licensing, About Lobster Marketplace, Current Competitions, UGC Subscriptions.