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Almost all of the portraits in Paolo Leone’s fresh and candid celebrity series Nice to Meet You are the fruit of the Sicilian photographer’s longtime friendship with Franca Sozzani, the editor of Italian L’Uomo Vogue, who first published his work 25 years ago.

Following family tradition, Leone studied architecture in Milan, but soon after left for Paris where he took up photography, never returning to the drafting table.

When it comes to shooting big personalities such as Michael Stipe, Steve McQueen or Dante Ferretti, he says that he doesn’t so much take photos as “steal” them. “Posing always makes people uncomfortable and you never have very much time,” he observes. “So I begin shooting before they’re even aware.”

Leone claims his verbal reticence also helps in dealing with celebrities, “Being Sicilian, I speak little. I try to say few words, but make sure they’re the right ones, and with certain types of people that works.”


Photographer: Paolo Leone

Writer: Megan Williams