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Polaroid In-Depth: Luca Franchini

By Luca Franchini Jun 25, 2018

Luca Franchini, a Polaroid photographer and founder of the sustainable clothing brand, SALT Clothing, uses his Polaroid photography to express his personal vision of beauty and femininity. He shoots people he meets in natural settings and in natural light to create stunning photographs.

Woman in bathing suit by the sea

I'm not a professional photographer, I just take pictures.

Polaroid pictures are to me, a chance to express my personal vision of beauty and femininity.

By nature, I'm strongly attracted and distracted by details, forms, shapes, and body parts. I'm so fond of Polaroid cameras since they have the ability to reflect not reproduce reality. Through Polaroid pictures, I am not only able to create memories of moments, but also of fantasies and feelings I had at the time.

I'm interested in individuals' spontaneous expressions of femininity, therefore, my subjects are common people and not professional models. All my subjects are people I find by street casting; many of them just entered my store. I seek fresh-faced people and I shoot them in natural light. The subjects are attracted to the camera and curious about the result. I like to catch them while distracted, thoughtful, unaware, and natural. The summer and the sea are main players in my work since I decided to live by the sea in Croatia.

Two years ago, I bought my first Polaroid camera, a Polaroid Sun600 LMS. It has been the perfect Polaroid camera for me to start with. Due to its automatic flash function and fixed-focus lens, it has pushed me to create original solutions to obtain my desired light, like partially covering the flash with my fingers.

I received my second camera, the Polaroid SX-70, as a gift. With this camera, I started to experiment with manual focus, the use of perspective, and light exposures. Needless to say, I love it also for the design.

I was born and grew up in Milan, but I currently live and run a sustainable and ethical clothing brand and concept store in the town of Rovinj in Croatia called Salt Clothing.

I personally take the pictures I use for the Salt Clothing Instagram page. This is another reason I started taking Polaroid pictures as well.

The creation of every Polaroid image series starts with an inspirational mood I have in mind, followed by research on iconic photographers and images. A photography style, a photographer, or sometimes a movie, can trigger fantasies (Herbert List, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Guy Bourdain, Helmut Newton, or, Evil Under the Sun, La Piscine, The Lover). 

An instant moment that has left an impression on me recently is a photo I took of a landscape in Risnjak National Park, in the middle of a pristine forest covered in snow.

I don't even know why I carried my Polaroid SX-70 to this remote place; with snow up to my knees and the temperature below zero. After I took the photo, it took a very long time to develop, but when it was finished, it entirely caught the magic of the moment and of the place, which I had reached by following wolf tracks. No other camera could have ever done it.

To see more of Luca's work and learn about the concept store, check out his Instagram and Salt Clothing's Instagram accounts.