An interview with Global Marketing and Communication Director of Giuseppe Zanotti Design Italy, Silvia Pavan
By Emily Lucas
Go beyond classic still life photography and learn how to tell a story through photographs with Silvia Pavan, the Global Marketing & Communication Director of Giuseppe Zanotti Design Italy.
Silvia will be judging the still life category at our Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence. Read the interview to find out more on impressing an art buyer, the best platforms to showcase your work, and Silvia’s journey to establishing herself as a successful marketing and communications director.
Production Paradise: Could you give us some insight into your background and your journey to becoming the Global Director of Marketing and Communications of Giuseppe Zanotti Design?
Silvia: First of all, I have to say that I consider myself to be very lucky because I’m doing exactly the job that I wished to do – in other words, I have acquired the position that I wished I could cover at a certain point of my career. When I was about 20 years old I was studying and living in a little village near Venice in the east part of Italy. I decided to move and I relocated myself to London where I started to work for an Italian brand, Alberta Ferretti. I was a sales assistant: I was helping customers to find clothes that suit them. At that time, in the same building, they had their press office and they were looking for a press intern that could help them to monitor the local press, the in and out of samples and someone who could also speak with the headquarters that were located in Italy. I, therefore, started working there as an intern, and from there I realised that it was the job that I wanted to do.
I returned to Italy and I started working for Diesel, and then for another Italian denim company, Miss Sixty; after that I worked for Bally, and from Bally to Moncler and finally I took the position as global marketing and communication director of Giuseppe Zanotti. So, finally, I had reached one of my career goals. I’m very happy because working in marketing and communications gives you a lot of flexibility to be able to work in your vision of what the luxury and fashion world could represent today.
Production Paradise: What is it about the Still Life photography category that appeals to you? What sort of images would you like to see?
Silvia: I’ve always been very attracted to still life imagery. Even in my personal life, when I have to find an art piece to put in my house, I’m more interested in photography than in paintings. There is something in photos and frames that attracts me a lot. A good photographer has a particular talent in capturing the right object in the right moment, to get the perfect picture. And this is a talent that also differentiates one photographer from another.
Production Paradise: For this category, do you think the story that a photograph tells is just as important as the photograph itself?
Silvia: It’s always a mix of elements that contribute in identifying the right picture. Personal taste plays an important role, as it’s always someone’s eyes that judge a picture. One picture that is amazing for me, may not be as amazing to someone else, but at the same time, there may be a sense of beauty represented through the story that picture is telling. There are a thousand ways and possibilities to tell a story to different viewers, and I think that’s really important.
Production Paradise: What are some of the key things you look for when selecting photographers in the art buying process?
Silvia: I think what is essential is the ability of a photographer to differentiate him or herself – especially for me, as I work with different brands and different product categories. Now at Zanotti, the brand specialises in luxury shoes and accessories, so the range of products is slightly more concentrated in those two elements.
But earlier, working for other brands, the range of elements available to me was really wide, from apparel to shoes, bags, jewels or sunglasses. So what is very important in the process of art buying, is trying to find a photographer that is able to tell the story that you need to tell, or is able to capture the object that you need to present, and is able to give life to different types of products. It’s very important for photographers to be able to identify what they have in front of them and be able to transform that object into something that is alive.
Production Paradise: How important are online platforms for finding new talent? What platforms do you use to scout new photographers?
Silvia: Nowadays, it’s impossible to not consider Instagram as one of the most important platforms for scouting. YouTube is also important. But at the same time, for professionals that are doing this for a living, there are platforms that help make their lives easier. For example, Production Paradise allows you to just click and search what you are looking for and connect with the most talented professionals from all over the world. So, I would mention one professional platform like Production Paradise, and another that is more accessible to everyone, like Instagram.
Production Paradise: In what ways do you think Production Paradise Spotlight Awards for Photographic Excellence will benefit and facilitate the careers of photographers?
Silvia: Nowadays photographers are suffering a lot because there is big competition around. As I mentioned before, Instagram and all the new technology, such as smartphones, can make you believe that someone is good at taking pictures with just an iPhone over a photographer that has been doing it professionally for 25 years.
The way Production Paradise can benefit a photographer is in terms of credibility. Someone that is awarded from a professional platform like Production Paradise, is not only recognised as someone that takes good photographs but also as a good photographer as a whole. This makes a very big difference in my opinion.
Production Paradise: Is there anything you would like to add – are you curious to see who will be the finalist of this competition, and would you agree then to possibly hire the winner for future projects?
Silvia: I’m super curious to see who the winner and the finalist of this category will be, and the portfolio will be absolutely evaluated to see if it could be featured in any upcoming projects.
We would like to thank Silvia for taking the time to share some invaluable advice! Knowing what makes a photograph memorable, we invite you to enter our Spotlight Awards and showcase your strongest still life images. Good luck!