Meet the Makers: NYC Blizzard Photographer Michele Palazzo

In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.

Today, we feature our interview with Michele Palazzo, photographer of the New York City blizzard.  Michele captured many moments of this year’s blizzard that hit NYC back in January – photographs of building intersections and city locals coping with the intensity of the snow. Some of these photographs look vintage, however, they were all taken on the streets of Manhattan just months ago!

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 GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?

Michele Palazzo: I am Italian by blood, an architect by training, a User Experience/User Interface Design Director by day, and a Photographer by heart. I started taking pictures many years ago, when I was in high school in Italy. My first camera was a Nikon FM borrowed from my father. Since then photography became an integral part of my life, and along the way my focus and style have changed and evolved. I’d like to consider myself a visual storyteller and tell the stories through my photos.

 GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?

Palazzo: During my years at the University of Architecture in Venice, Italy, my main focus was photos of just architecture and buildings – I didn’t want people in it. Just pure geometry, light and shadows. I had an amazing teacher at the time in the school, Italo Zannier. After graduation, I started my own web agency in Bologna and I began to specialize in User Interface and User Experience Design.  As a result, the switch to digital photography was a natural step and with that I started to explore the editing process of digital photography.

I think architecture, design and photography share something in common:  on top of the visual and creative components, they all relate to us in an unspoken, subliminal way. And that’s what I want to communicate to my audience through those two dimensional still images after all.


GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?

Palazzo: Just my mood and sometimes my fears. I do mainly Street Photography, sometimes Architecture and Fine Art, but especially when I have to confront with people, my mood is the only constraint. If you are nervous or not confident enough your subject can feel it and you will ruin the candid of the moment, or not taking pictures at all.

GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?

Palazzo: The 5 old former self will probably ask me questions about the camera and how to use it…I was always a very curious kid. I hope my future 90 year old will not laugh too much about my work…I think the secret of the creative process is not be happy of your production but aim always to something else.


GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?

Palazzo: Architects, Artists in general. I’m actually collaborating with a painter to create a collection of my photos with a painting touch, I like contamination between arts. The collection name will be Unseen, because there’s always something unseen in your own work, something that other souls can see and in this case will be revealed by the painting.

GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?

Palazzo: NYC is my home at the moment, and I’ll continue documenting the city, the people and at the end my life in it.  I want to capture new points of view, and try as much as possible to be again in the right place in the right moment. I need good shoes! In the future, well everything can happen so I welcome the adventures!  

GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!

Palazzo: My creative arena is the city and the world!



Many thanks to Michele Palazzo for the insight of his dimensional still photographs. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.

View this maker’s work: Instagram