One of Sofia Coppola’s favorite photographers, Diego Uchitel, included her portraits in his recent book, Polaroids, and I love the romantic aspect he captured. I also love the Polaroids he made of Sofia’s cousin, Jason Schwartzman, très drôle. Born in Buenos Aires, Uchitel began his artistic journey photographing the patients from his father’s medical practice before studying film briefly at University of California Los Angeles. He abandoned school to pursue his love of photography and never looked back, and moved to New York after a decade in California.
Uchitel explains his motivation as a photographer: “It has always been important for me to have my own style and stay true to it over the years. People describe my aesthetic as painterly, elegant, and classic. I am most fulfilled when I look at a photo that I took twenty or thirty years ago and it feels and looks like yesterday. Not always easy to achieve in Polaroid — or in the world of fashion.” When asked why Polaroid photography? Uchitel replied, “I love the amazing tonality of Polaroids and complete lack of pretense... I think people are missing out on the thrill of anticipation that Polaroids forced on its shooters. Those seemingly forever minutes waiting for the image to develop and the crazy effects that can happen in that process are lost. The spontaneity of Polaroids — not being able to retouch them — made them so pure. I miss that aspect in the digital age where everything is completely manipulated and retouched, and the integrity of the image disappears pretty fast.”
Uchitel's work has been featured in publications such as Elle, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Vogue Hommes, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, D, and Rolling Stone, and his lengthy advertising client list includes Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Victoria's Secret, Diane von Furstenberg, Neiman Marcus, Warner Brothers, Nike, Levi's, and Microsoft. His new book Polaroids collects his favorite photographs taken from 1982 to 2006; among his subjects are Gabriel Byrne, Lazaro Hernandez, Jack McCollough, Julianne Moore, Quentin Tarantino, Mary Louise Parker, and David Bowie as well as the portraits shown here of Sofia Coppola and Jason Schwartzman.
Diego Uchitel is passionate about Instagram and also has a Twitter presence so follow him to watch his work in progress.
Diego Uchitel photographs courtesy of diegouchitel.com and instagram/elietahari