Italian photographer Paolo Destefanis was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spent much of his childhood traveling around the world. He studied in Montreal, Canada, and at the Università di Siena.

Between 1981 and 1984 he lived in New York to pursue his long-time interest in photography, taking specialty courses and working with renowned photographers specializing in corporate, industrial, advertising, studio still life and editorial. Back in Italy he fulfilled his military draft in the Italian Army and was made head of the photography division: aerial photography, documenting simulated rescue operations for natural disasters, official ceremonies and portraits for government publications.

From 1986 to 1991 he worked in Rome doing advertising, interiors and editorial work for clients such as the Ottaviani Hotel chain, the Baglioni Hotels, the Immagina advertising, Enciclopedia Treccani and Centro Dom Architecture. He was official stage photographer for several art and music festivals, photographing workshops and performances of renowned international performers, including mime master Marcel Marceau. His work was published in Sull'Arte del Mimo (Editori del Grifo, 1988).

In 1987 he won an eight-month contract with the Ministry of Culture to photograph for the book Building Techniques of the Paleochristian Era. This project brought him to some obscure locations and presented a particular challenge for lighting and detailing in complex conditions. He also photographed fresco cycles for the exhibition catalogue Guercino Master Painter of the Baroque published by Electa and the National Gallery in Washington DC.

In 1991 he moved to the heart of Tuscany, traveling widely on assignments from international publications and on personal photographic projects. He also runs a Summer photography workshop ranging from basic techniques and darkroom operations, to portrait, still-life and landscape photography.

He has published extensively and often accompanies his reportages with descriptive texts. Through the years Paolo has contributed to several travel and lifestyles magazines, including House & Garden, Elle Decor, Casa Amica, Food & Wine, Wine Observer, Gourmet, Saveur, La Cucina Italiana, GQ, Forbes FYI.

Some of his more recent commercial work has produced publications and brochures for the Contucci Wineries, Gaia Ferro Forgiato, Polvanesi Monte San Savino, the Baglioni Hotel Group, and the Italian Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal.

He lives and works in Italy, splitting his time between Tuscany and Sicily.