Canon Ambassador

November 15, 2023

Excited to share some personal news: I’ve officially joined the Canon family as a new Ambassador! Joining this community of talented photojournalists and dedicated storytellers is an honor, inspiring me to continue capturing and sharing committed stories through my lens. Grateful for this opportunity with @canonemeapro @canoneurope @canonme @canonitaliaspa

HERE is the full interview & a glimpse into my photographic exploration.

From the heat of battle in Libya, Syria, and Ukraine to the devastating impact of flooding in South Sudan and Italy, Fabio Bucciarelli’s photographs document the most testing of humanity’s times. The Italian’s visceral images of major global news events and their humanitarian consequences have made him one of today’s leading international photojournalists, published in the likes of The New York Times, la Repubblica, Die Zeit, TIME magazine, Al Jazeera and Le Monde.

Fabio describes himself as a photojournalist, rather than a conflict photographer, because he is also concerned with documenting the aftermath of war, focusing his lens on all the wounds of humanity, along with covering clashes from Gaza and Iraq to Mali and Ukraine. He has tracked refugees displaced by conflict and, increasingly, by climate change, across the Middle East, Africa, America and Europe.

“I’m trying to walk the fine line between photojournalism and reflective photography, straddling the boundary between images that provide answers and those that provoke further questions,” explains Fabio. “It’s crucial to present evidence of what’s happening, but equally important to encourage people to contemplate the deeper meaning behind it.”

When not on assignment, Fabio is based between his home city of Turin and the coastal town of Pineto, Abruzzo, in central Italy, a place close to his heart, where his father’s former house filled with childhood memories offers him a “refuge” when he returns from conflict. But his life hasn’t always been this way. His early years were infused with jazz piano music and mathematics, rather than photography. After studying telecommunications engineering and graduating with top honours from the Politecnico di Torino, it was while working in Barcelona, Spain, that Fabio found himself drawn towards the lens.

“I spent so much time questioning what I wanted to be and searching for my place, and then photography came along,” he says. “I knew I wanted to create images that made me feel connected with the world, capable of revealing its true face to myself and others.”

Shooting with a 35mm lens allows Fabio to capture images with multiple dimensions within a single frame. “It allows you to immerse yourself in the image, moving through its layers and drawing the viewer in,” he explains. In the background of this photo, framed by other people, a young wounded Syrian sits at the back of a truck after an attack carried out in Aleppo in October 2012. Fabio’s extensive work from Syria earned him the Robert Capa Gold Medal and a World Press Photo award in 2013. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D with a Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM lens at 1/250 sec, f/4 and ISO 160. © Fabio Bucciarelli

Barcelona’s underground photography scene, Fabio learned how to use analog equipment and develop film, bought his first Canon EOS 5D (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV), and attended a few photography masterclasses. “Everything was completely new to me,” he says. “That year, I made the decision to leave engineering behind and pursue a career as a photographer.”

When a massive earthquake struck Italy’s Abruzzo region near his family home in 2009, Fabio returned to cover it, sending images to Italian agencies and getting his first publications. He documented the impact of the earthquake for months and would continue to over the next decade. Thanks to this coverage, he secured a staff photographer contract with the La Presse/AP agency, where he honed his news-gathering skills, covering breaking events ranging from politics to sports. But after a couple of years, he was ready to move on.

“I hadn’t quit engineering to do those kinds of frames of Berlusconi or Messi,” says Fabio. “It was not interesting to me, so when I had enough experience to start working as a freelancer, I quit. One newspaper in Italy decided to send me to Libya with some of the best conflict correspondents, from whom I could learn how to move in the field.”

Capturing a photograph of the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was the “first turning point” of Fabio’s career. Having spent several months covering the war from Benghazi to Tripoli to Sirte, it was a striking image of the fallen dictator that caught the attention of picture editors. “It was the first contact with international editors, which I then developed in Syria,” he says. He went on to work for AFP covering the battle for Aleppo, as well as freelancing for leading global magazines and newspapers. Self-taught, his training continued in the field, as he got the feel of a 35mm lens in Libya and a 24mm in Syria – focal lengths he continues to use in his two-camera setup plus primes, with a Canon EOS R slung on one shoulder and a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV on the other.[…]