wedding photographer in italy
Hi, I am Mauro Pozzer and I have been a photographer for almost my entire life.
My first approach to photography was through my mother, who used to shoot dozens and dozens of film rolls of me and my siblings as we were growing up. I still remember looking at that little black box with curiosity and being enchanted by its magic: a slide of the thumb, a small pressure of the finger on the shutter, and a moment was frozen in time and forever impressed onto the film roll itself.
In the early eighties, while studying at night school, I started working odd jobs and finally bought myself my first camera: a tiny Cosina CT-1A that cost me 160.000 Lira (around 80€ – that was more than half of my monthly earnings!).
I started bringing my “cosina” (fun fact: that word means “tiny thing” in Italian) with me all the time, developing my early aesthetic, photographing the people close to me, the places I visited, both on the ground and under the sea.
Before even thinking about being a wedding photographer, in fact, I used to bring my camera under the sea: I was (and still am) a passionate scuba diver, and I wanted to show the hidden beauty of what I found in the depths of the sea to the people close to me, the ones who couldn’t immerge with me.
Somehow, this idea of showing other people the things that I could see stuck with me, and I can see in retrospect how this slowly became a staple in my photography.
I got married pretty young; I was only 23 when I married Catia, my late wife. By the time I was thirty, I had a wife and two daughters, I had had dozens of different jobs, and a burning passion for photography.
In 1996, at 32 years of age, I took a loan and was able to purchase a studio and a license to a Wedding Photography Studio: it was called “Magic Foto Studio” in Vicenza. Finally, I could turn my lifelong passion into a job.
WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER in italy | mauro pozzer
The first years at Magic Foto Studio were exciting, tiring, challenging, a whirlwind of emotions. Being the sole provider for my family and a small business owner meant I had to spend all my days working to try and make my dream come true, while at the same time keeping a roof over our heads.
In the early 2000s, the first Nikon digital camera was released (I still own it to this day: a Nikon D100, with a sensor of 6 megapixels): after having tried it once, I put my film cameras to rest and switched to the DSLRs. At the time, I was playing around with the first version of Adobe Photoshop (scanning film photographs first, and digital ones then) and creating my first website.
In those same years, around 2005-2006, the first destination weddings in Italy started happening. Working with these early foreign couples brought a total switch in my photography: not being exactly an impeccable English speaker I could – well, I had to – limit my verbal interaction with the couple and really focus on what my eyes could see. Once again, immersing myself in the situation, interpreting what was happening in front of me, and bringing out photographs that could show the world what I was seeing.
Those were the years in which the first national and international photography associations were born; I was co-founder and president of ANFM (the national wedding photography association) from 2008 to 2010, and started participating in and winning the first national and international photography contests. For the first time, I felt I was playing on a bigger field, getting recognition for what I did and for who I was.
Then, life happened. My wife passed away from breast cancer in 2010, and our family of four became a family of three with me and my two daughters, then 16 and 19 years old. To say that I was not prepared for that is an understatement: I did not know how to handle this all, so I threw myself into my work even more to find some sort of balance in my life. I couldn’t see it back then, but I was living in pure survival mode: I was experiencing a sort of freedom I had never had in my life, while at the same time filling up space and time with things and people and experiences to try and avoid being alone with myself.
Those years brought even more professional success: I was called to speak at several Italian and European photography conventions and had my very own (Emotions in Venice, from 2011 to 2015). Back then, my eldest daughter, Selene, started working with me. Those were the years of my first weddings abroad, too: I shot weddings in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, Africa and around Europe.
It was a rush, a neverending run toward the next success. Naturally, like every rush, it had to crash eventually.
Around 2016-2017, both my daughters left home and went their own ways, life and work-wise. For the first time in my life, I had to provide and live for myself only.
I got lost. Slowly, I started feeling detached from photography itself: when I was around shooting weddings, sometimes I was able to feel the same fire, the same urge, and connection as before, but most of the time I simply didn’t. I kept on keeping myself busy, but for a long period of time, I felt like I had nothing more to say. The emptiness I tried avoiding for the past years had finally caught me. That’s when I decided I had to re-ignite my love for photography, somehow, while at the same time finding a way to process my grief and everything that had brought me there. In late 2017, I contacted the director of the same hospital that had treated my wife and presented him with a photography project dedicated to caregivers, nurses, and healthcare assistants. I started shooting in 2018, and spent one day a week, every week for nine months inside the halls of the hospital of Vicenza. I witnessed and photographed everything: from babies being born to elderly patients on their last days, winnings and defeats, life and death. This project eventually became a book, City of Angels, that was released on March 6th, 2020 – exactly ten years after Catia’s passing.
However, we all know what was about to happen in March 2020. Italy was one of the first countries to shut down entirely from COVID; due to the previous release of my book, I was invited back into the hospital to document life during the worst months of the pandemic. That led to a second book, called Nessuno si salva da solo.
Being able to photograph just for the sake of photography itself felt liberating. For the first time in many, many years I felt connected to my art on a deeper level, having erased all the superstructure and found a way to get back to the core. At the same time, I bought all the materials to start shooting and developing film again: after almost twenty years of shooting digitally, coming back to a film camera gave me raw, material sensations and allowed me to focus on what really matters to me.
Photography became a way, for me, to process all the pain I inflicted on myself and on the people I love. To process grief, loss, to ask for forgiveness and forgive myself in the process as well. To feel again, to reconnect. Once I was able to look at my photography without all the expectations, the trends, and the constructions, I was able to finally fall in love with it again. With the help of my daughters, I was able to put all of this into words and came up with the concept of Poetic Realism – the very core, the thing that, at the end of the day, really matters.
This is it.
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Wedding Photographer in Italy
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Every wedding is important and special: I want to know about you, your story, and your plan to make your big day unique and unforgettable.
Contact me to find out availability and to get your personalized proposal, I will reply in a very short time.