July 18, 2024

Paolo Ciccone – The Art of Film Photography, Classic Movies, and Capturing Timeless Hollywood Glamour


A headshot of Paolo Ciccone

Being born in the days of film, whenever I would open the development tank, and I look at a roll of film for the first time, there was an emotion happening there. When I look at a negative, it just feels different than digital.

Paolo Ciccone

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A B&W Portrait image by Paolo Ciccone

Paolo Ciccone is a portrait photographer based out of South Carolina. His unique approach to portraiture is a faithful reimagination of the glamor found in old-school Hollywood. Paolo puts his clients in control as he photographs regular people and turns them into beautiful classic images. His fiery passion for film is contagious to anyone looking to explore more.

In this episode we talk about:

  • How Hollywood influenced his photography
  • The digital divide – From film to digital photography
  • Why there is still a large place in the world for film photography

& much more!

While I may not be a film photographer myself, Paolo captured me with his passion for film for over an hour. I guess you could say that this was a timeless conversation!

Here is a preview of my conversation with Paolo.

A portrait image by Paolo Ciccone

Q: I know Hollywood was a strong influence for your photography, but I have to know, what’s your favorite movie?

Paolo Ciccone: Oooh wow, well, I cannot isolate just one, there is just so many. My wife and I watch Pulp Fiction often. Mr. Tarantino, if you’re listening, awesome job. Anyway, Pulp Fiction, Silence of the Lambs, and I love, love, love the original Star Wars Trilogy.

A portrait image by Paolo Ciccone

Q: I want to talk a little bit about the transition from film to digital photography, what are the differences in your creative process between the two?

Paulo Ciccone: This question touches on a key topic between film and digital photography, which is, the assumption that the two things are equivalent. This why film question really hides a bigger question which goes along these lines: with digital being as bit as film, or even better, beaucase there is no grain. And with film being so expensive an druqiring days or even weeks to be visible. Why would you use it? Every part of that question is false. We have grown in such a bias in our market where we don’t even question the question. We just assume that digital is as good as film, but no, digital is not nearly as good as film. The image is incomplete, it’s computed and not recorded.

A portrait image by Paolo Ciccone

Q: Okay, so we’re at the Hollywood part of your life, you’re in the industry, what’s next? Where does your journey take you?

Paolo Ciccone: Well, I worked there for about 4 years and we were doing this program where we shot a pilot for a TV show that didnt go anywhere. I ended up sitting in the office of Direct TV trying to pitch our product. I met a lot of people, learned a ton… and then figured out it wasn’t for me. I thought to myself, I love working with people and I love working with the actors, so why not do some portraiture.



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