Ferdinando Scianna’s foray into fashion photography happened by chance. The then new label, Dolce and Gabbana, wanted to commission a photographer not from a fashion background and chose him. He has since become established as a pioneering and provocative master of the genre, pushing the boundaries of what fashion photography could be.

A photograph is not created by a photographer. What they do is just to open a little window and capture it.

Ferdinando Scianna
© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

Ferdinando Scianna started taking photographs in the 1960s while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo. It was then that he began to photograph the Sicilian people systematically.

After moving to Milan in 1966 he worked as a photographer then journalist, writing on politics and on photography and literature. He entered the field of fashion photography in the late 1980s, producing pioneering work that brought fashion into the streets of his home of Sicily.

Scianna has also explored the subject of religious rituals and photographed across Italy, America and beyond, as well as collaborating with famous writers such as Leonardo Sciascia. He joined Magnum Photos in 1982.

© Ferdinando Scianna | Magnum Photos

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