Mementos on Instant Film by @marcogagnoni


Inspired by “everyday life, scents, and sensations,” @marcogagnoni’s series of instant photographs taken in and around Italy invite viewers to pause, observe, and feel.

With his Lomo’Instant Wide and Diana Instant Square, Marco shares vignettes from Rome and last year’s summer trip to San Vito Romano — a small village in Italy where he spent most of his childhood years.

Photographed with the Diana Instant Square Camera and Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

Hi! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! Can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?

My name is Marco Gagnoni, I'm 29 years old, and I was born and raised in the beautiful city of Tivoli. Currently, I do commissioned photo shoots, focusing mainly on portraits and product photos.

When were you first introduced to film photography? How many years have you been shooting on film?

I don't remember the exact year, but I started shooting on film during high school with my first roll being a 35 mm Ilford HP5. Over time, I discovered instant photography and it was love at first sight. So, I initially started my photography journey on digital and ended up mainly using the instant format.

Photographed with the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

Why do you prefer the Instant format?

I love the idea of being able to capture a moment and see it materialize instantly on film. The possibility of experimenting with double exposures and manipulating photos with everyday tools is intriguing, but what truly excites me is the ability to alter the chemical development process to give my photographs different and unique meanings.

Creating photomosaics of people or situations I encounter on the street is a way for me to build a visual collage of my experiences. The fact that a darkroom isn't necessary or having to develop a digital file makes the process even more immediate and engaging. It's like having the power to instantly transform your vision into a tangible reality, right in your hands.

Photographed with the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

I see the kinds of instant photographs you take as relating to mementos and how we like to remember great moments that happen in our lives. How would you describe the kind of images you like to take on instant?

I'm fascinated by the everyday life on the streets, and I strive to preserve those traditions or moments that unfortunately won't exist tomorrow. Very often in my daily life, I encounter subjects steeped in melancholy, and this pushes me even more to narrate small stories through snapshots.

You’ve taken your Lomo’Instant Wide Camera with you around Europe, photographing candid moments, scenes, and sights you see around. Do you have a favorite photograph you’ve taken with this specific camera so far?

Last summer I brought it along to a small village where I grew up called San Vito Romano, and I embarked on a small project about the daily life of this place. I was captivated by the surrounding nature and wanted to capture those unique moments that unfold in the streets or in the village bars, where you can sense a kind of melancholy and the indelible presence of time.

Favorite photograph taken with the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera in San Vito Romano

Which features do you like most on the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera?

I like its ease of use, the design, and the possibility to change the lens.

You also have your own Diana Instant Square Camera. How long have you had it for?

I purchased the Diana Instant Square as soon as it was released, and lately, I've acquired another one so I can load them with different films.

Photographed with the Diana Instant Square Camera

Do you have a favorite photo taken on the Diana Instant Square Camera? Can you tell us the story behind it?

I was walking around looking for street scenes when I saw this man sitting on a bench in the sun. It was striking because he stayed there for a long time, saying nothing. I titled it "Solitary Man."

In a few seconds, I decided to manipulate the photo with a key to accentuate that sense of solitude. Almost all of my photographs were taken with the 75 mm Premium Diana Glass Lens because it gives the photos better sharpness. I love it!

Favorite photograph taken with the Diana Instant Square Camera paired with the 75 mm Premium Diana Glass Lens

Any tips on how to best maximize one’s Diana Instant?

Shoot in ample light and adjust the aperture properly for better shots.

Overall, how does your approach differ when you use the Instant Square and Wide formats? What purpose does each format serve in your photography practice?

Both formats are fantastic because they adapt to everything.

For my personal projects, I use both in my portraits and on the streets. A larger format like the Wide allows you to tell more of a scene, and that's why I chose the Lomo’Instant Wide for the San Vito Romano project.

Photographed with the Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

Describe the Lomography Community in three words.

Creative, fantastic, nostalgic.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Lomography community?

I'm developing many projects and I can't wait to share them with this wonderful community. One piece of advice I give to everyone is to cherish every single moment that life offers us and to make it eternal through photography, whether it's with film or an instant shot, let's make it tangible!

Thank you to @marcogagnoni for sharing his film photography journey with us at Lomography! See more of his instant square and wide photos over at his LomoHome.

written by macasaett on 2024-06-10 #gear #people #instant-photography #instax-wide #glass-lens #instant-wide #instax-square #diana-instant-square

Mentioned Product

Diana Instant Square

Diana Instant Square

Shake off expectations and let the Diana Instant Square fill your frame with unpredictable beauty. There’s no re-take, no post-production polishing — you snap the shot and seconds later you hold a beautiful picture filled with strong, saturated colors and soft, moody vignetting in your hands.


  1. roaringtree
    roaringtree ·

    Love the photos!

  2. marcogagnoni
    marcogagnoni ·

    Thank you so much for the interview! A big hug.

  3. polaroidlove
    polaroidlove ·

    Gorgeous photos! 😊

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