Paolo Galletta

20 October, 2014
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
  • ©Paolo Galletta
Date and place of birth:
I was born in Sicily in 1977, specifically in Messina, I still live in Sicily
How did you ended up in jazz photography, starting from jazz or from photography itself?
I started mainly making reportage and portraits and Jazz photography came later. My great passion was for music, especially jazz. I even studied a little and tried to play the drums and trumpet, but with poor results, so the only way to live jazz was by representing it with photography.
Is jazz your main activity as a photographer?
Jazz is an important part of my work, as well as the work of reportage and the research of portraits.
Do you have any other activities related to jazz?
Always related to photography, by collaborating with some magazines, some record labels and jazz festivals.
Do you stay in touch with the musicians that you photograph?
I have to say that most of the times, yes, I stayed in touch with many musicians and it was always a pleasure to meet again, that is jazz! And it's great for that.
How important are social networks in your work?
Social networks are always essential for promoting my work; it is always like a window to show that it keeps evolving. And you can always decide what to show and to whom, I basically use facebook
In jazz words, how would you label your most recent work: mainstream, fusion, free, avant-garde…?
Certainly "free" because it all starts with what inspires me, without preconceptions and without instructions from anyone. Maybe there's a bit of "avant-garde" lately in a few portraits for booklets.
Can you tell me 3 features of jazz photography that make it so interesting to your eyes?
I like waiting for the concert and watching musicians still relaxed, I like music that blends with the light and the darkness above, I like the eyes of the musicians during the concert.
Do you think that there’s a relationship between the quality of the music in a concert and the quality of the photographs you take there?
I think yes, in life in general, anything that you like sends you a great feeling and allows you to make better, even in jazz. When I like a concert I live in a different way, it affects me to the point of thinking that am playing with the camera; in fact it happened to me more than once that I took the shot according to the beat of music.
What side of jazz photography is more attractive to you, the creative side or being a jazz reporter?
I like them both, I really like being a reporter by representing what happens on stage and behind the scenes in a "photojournalistic" way, the creative side instead is essential in the composition and selection of the set during the portraits.
Some so called ‘jazz festivals’ diversify their offer in favor of other styles of music. Do you think that this trend is a thread for the consistency of jazz photography?
Everything has its importance and its characteristics, it is clear that the modernization and evolution of the music represented on stage leads to different results in photography, especially due to the design of the lights and the selected colors that bring you to express yourself accordingly, and at the same time to evolve hand in hand in photography. I continue to love the darkness, contrast, and the old black and white photographs.
Can you recommend a contemporary jazz photographer?
I am part of "Jazz Photographers" community in Facebook, where every day I see so much good material of some international jazz photographers. It would be hard to mention just one name because of several features, some of these photographers really arise at a high level. Among the ones in Italy, I like Andrea Boccalini.
Thanks, Paolo.