Roberto Pazzi

This week’s ArtDrop artist is Roberto Pazzi, an Italian, award winning, published travel photographer. Roberto’s currently living in Spain, has a permanent exhibition in Singapore and is an author for a Brazilian gallery.

His photos are characterised by their remote, exotic nature, something Roberto is intrigued by. He also organizes and leads photographic journeys to exotic locations and remote cultures through Nomad Photo Expeditions.

Hi Roberto! We’ve seen your incredible photos and the first thing that we wondered was; how did you get into photography?

I’ve been a backpacker for a long time, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I started to explore my great love for photography. 

Before becoming an award winning and published travel and documentary photographer, I worked for 15 years in ICT (Information and Communication Technology) companies, first as a software engineer and later as a sales manager.

In 2015 I decided to turn my passions (travel and photography) into my lifestyle, so I quit my job and changed my life completely.

I started photography thanks to my first good camera. I got this one in 2013, right before a trip to Indonesia and West Papua. Those first shots were noticed and published by the most important newspapers in the UK providing me with pretty good, short-term exposure.

A little later, I received the same exposure thanks to the shots I took during a trip to India.

Thanks to the visibility that these outbreaks provided me with, I started some collaborations with galleries and editors. That’s how I got invited to share my works in exhibitions in different countries.

How was the shift from working in ICT to photography?

I landed in photography as a personal choice of life and never considered it as something similar to a real “job”.I embraced photography as my biggest passion and wanted to explore every facet of it. In order to achieve that, I changed my complete life and dedicated myself full-time to it. Therefore, I have always avoided projects involving shootings of marriages, personal events, shootings in a studio and so on. That’s work.

From the first moment on, I have done only what I really "want to do", instead of what I "have to do".

So what is it that you really want to do?

What I really want to do is keep on traveling, meeting and documenting remote cultures.

That is why many of my photos involve the human figure, often those from remote cultures.

I love to tell stories from people of various cultures and to share their lives and their traditions through my photos. Behind every person there are stories of sacrifices, happiness, emotions, scents, rumors, pain, memories, voices, tired hands, marks of the time, wet eyes, smiles, etc…

My current style and approach are a natural consequence of my inspiration and willingness to document and tell stories of people from exotic and remote cultures.

What is the most challenging part?

The most challenging aspect of my photography is, without a doubt, to create a "relationship" with the subjects. It is a fundamental phase as it allows me to know more about them, getting to know the elements to include in the final work to properly tell their story.

I’m used to approaching a lot of people all around the world and spending time with them whenever it's possible. Sometimes I have to collaborate with a local tolk to communicate with some communities. 

To transmit all emotions in the best way, it is important to know what the story behind the subject is. According to my availability of time, I may stay with the same people from a few hours up to a week.

Can you tell us a little bit about this week’s ArtDrop?

It’s an image I'm particularly fond of. It is one that I took in the first stages of my photography career, and it got shown in some exhibitions too. This reportage meant a lot for me and my career.

The photo represents Dani people (men and women) in their traditional dresses during the celebration of the Baliem festival in West Papua. This tribe was discovered only in 1938 and many important media wrote about my expedition (Daily Mail twice, Times, Daily Telegraph, Civilization, and so on...).

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