When it comes to photography inspiration, there are a few artists that come to mind... Polly Balitro. I found Polly's blog, Passer Domesticus, over a year ago and I have found myself contentiously drawn to her collections. Polly's use of film inspires me to shoot with my various old(er) cameras, find beauty in the simplest of natural locations, and makes me long for having a dark room of my own in the future. I hope you become inspired as well by her interview, and some of her favorite picked photographs.
(Lindsey)Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do. (Polly)"My name is Polly and I’m an Italian girl living in Helsinki, Finland. I’m an artist photographer with a passion for nature, analogue image making and blogging."
I strive to live a lifestyle that is.... "Above all relaxed and down to earth, I suppose. I am a person that appreciates simple things and everyday pleasures the most: I am content with a cup of tea and a book, an afternoon spent in the company of a friend, good music and lots of photographic adventures in the nature."
How would you describe your photography style? "Just like my lifestyle, I believe my photographs to be simple and transparent; I cannot associate myself with fictional and pretentious images. That is why I like the directness of analogue photography."
What made you desire to start blogging and sharing your photographs with others? "I suppose I have always felt the need to share my works, to be able to get feedback from others; blogging is a simple and effective way to do that, even if it requires a lot of patience.
As for my favourite blogging reads, lately I am especially fond of: Random places / Familiar faces, Petal and Plume, Unexpected Light, Aprons and Birds, The Bird House of Birdie ,I Diari della Lambretta...Oh but, there are too many really!"
Who are some of your favorite photographers that inspire you? How do they do so? "This is always a hard question for me to answer, as there are many artists that inspire me, both contemporary and non. I will mention the name of two great photographers: an Italian one, Luigi Ghirri, and a Finnish contemporary one, Pentti Sammallahti. I find their images extraordinary in their own simplicity and beautifully nostalgic."
What are your other creative outlets besides photography? What are your other hobbies? "When I am not taking photographs, I enjoy drawing and sketching, but I do not consider myself remotely good at it; I really like reading and writing, listening to music and spending time with my cat. And I also enjoy cooking for friends and family - I suppose my Italian heritage helps in that sense."
What is your favorite camera to shoot with? "My absolute favourite is my Nikon FM; it belonged to my dad and he gave it to me when I started to study photography."
Where do you go to gather inspiration besides the other photographers or blogs/online sources? "I would say that the most inspirational place for me is the natural environment; living in Helsinki, it is quite easy for me to get away from the city and reach the forest - I always find it so soothing and inspiring to walk in the nature!"
What's in your camera bag? "To tell the truth, I never go around with a camera bag, but I usually put my camera in my everyday backpack - if I bring more cameras and lenses I just take a bigger backpack with me. Besides my photographic equipment, in my backpack there is always a water bottle and a sweet snack, which are really important during my excursions in the nature."
You recently reached your goal on kickstarter for your Iceland photography book, congrats! Tell us more about how that experience. "Thank you! It’s been a wonderful experience and I’m so happy about the way everything went in the end! When Jacopo - my partner - and I had the idea of putting together a book with our photographs from Iceland, we could never imagine that it was going to be so engaging and successful.
As for the future, I am looking forward to start working on other publications: I have really enjoyed the process behind the creation of our book!"
If you could share with us the most valuable thing you've learned in the past year, what would that be? "Well, I have learnt - or at least I’m trying to learn - that following my true passion will eventually bring me somewhere, that the journey is as important as getting there and that I just have to believe in what I do and be a little patience. I guess that is really valuable, isn’t it?"