padu merlotti photography
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Padu Merlotti

I was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. My passion with photography started very early, when I was still a young kid in the early 80's. My aunt worked at a mall's photo lab in Sao Paulo and I used to love going there and admire all the equipment and beautiful prints hanging on the walls. This same aunt taught me how to operate her Yashica, the camera I used to take my first shots.

Photography started to really grow on me when I was in high-school and my parents gave me my first SLR, a Russian Zenit 12XP. As most of high schoolers, I couldn't afford to buy a lot of film, neither the development costs, so I started buying film in bulk and re-packing it by myself. My mother didn't like much when I took possession of the second kitchen and painted all windows black to build my darkroom.

During the nineties, I was really into competition skydiving, that's when I started filming and photographing people free-falling in order to finance my training.

The year 2000 marked a huge change in my life. That year I got married to the love of my life and moved to San Diego, California. After moving, I was too busy trying to build my life in a new country. When my daughter was born in 2005, photography gained a new importance in my life, and the passion was revived.