Working such long projects requires extensive planning, Paolo says, from conducting local research to curating the gear he'll need to accomplish the job. It's a large investment of time, effort and money, so Paolo chooses his projects carefully. A potential story usually begins with something that piques his interest while on assignment, or after reading about it in the news. Paolo will then devote some time to deeper research into that story and place. If he still sees potential to tell a story after these efforts, he'll make the commitment to pursue it as a long-term project.
The biggest challenges Paolo faces in his work, he says, are telling a story while not being influenced by outside factors, and getting himself through the phase in any long-term body of work where he begins to doubt what he's doing. In these situations Paolo seeks to remind himself of the reasons why he started the project. Likewise, he has to recognise the signals and understand when a project should end.
Paolo has received many awards over his career. Among them are World Press Photo Awards in 2001, 2009 and 2015. His Peshawar project received the 2001 Canon Best Portfolio award. His photographs are also part of collections at London's V&A Museum, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Istituto Centrale per la Grafica in Rome.
Born in Turin, Italy, Paolo is now based in Paris and Barcelona and is a member of Agence VU.