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Documentary Photography

“I started taking pictures when I was in high school in Italy many years ago—my first camera was a Nikon FM that I borrowed from my father. Back in the day, I used to develop and print photos at home in an improvised darkroom. I can still recall that feeling of anticipation from each image I was about to develop. Ever since then, photography has become an inseparable part of my life, and along the way, my focus and style have changed and evolved.

I incorporate all kinds of subject matter in my photographs: architecture, nature, weather, and humans, among other things. More than anything, I want to show how we interact with spaces; I try to combine street photography and an awareness of architectural spaces. In the beginning, I was mainly interested in travel, geometric patterns, and portraits. During my years at the University of Architecture in Venice, however, my main focus naturally shifted to architecture and buildings.

After that: New York City! It’s a unique city with so many stories. Those stories triggered my passion when I moved here 7 years ago. I like to observe people and travel through their lives using my imagination (and my camera).

My photos are tied to people and their environment, their movements, and their emotions. I’m interested in the little quirks that connect us as humans—those are the mundane things I want to document with my photography. Shooting has become a daily routine for me: I feel that it brings the world a little closer to me, especially in New York City.

When I photograph, I focus first on the people, then the light. My pictures are not necessarily about beauty, but more about hunting people in this “concrete jungle.” I like strong contrasts, comic situations, and interesting faces, and this is reflected in my style: my images are often high-contrast and try to convey a unique intimacy.”

Michele Palazzo