We would like to take the opportunity to present our members for the IAEJ community of journalists and photographers during these trying times of a global pandemic. Next to go is one of our photographer members from Italy: Massimo Argenziano
Questions & Answers
Q: Where exactly are you based?
A: My house is in Rocca di Papa, really close to Pratoni del Vivaro, my office is in Rome, close to basilica of San Peter.
Q: Do you live with any partners, family and/or pets?
A: I live together with my wife, my younger daughter and our two dogs.
Q: Do you work independently or are you affiliated with a particular organization?
A: I work independently. I collaborate with FEI and FISE as freelance. I also work with different Italian and foreign equestrian magazines.
Q: How long have you been an equestrian photographer?
A: I have focused my attention on the equestrian world since 12 years now. I made this choice not so long ago, and I took it seriously as I have big goals to reach.
Q: What was your path to becoming an equestrian photographer?
A: I have worked as a photographer since I was 14. I started quite early not moved by a particular passion but basically because my parents had a photographic company and my dad especially was a remarkable photographer in the 70-90th. For this reason, I had the chance to work alongside important photographers in the fashion world, reporting and publicity and I have been lucky having the chance to learn from all of them.
Almost 12 years ago I decided to combine my profession to my lifelong passions: horses, sport and travelling.
Horses have always been part on my life. Me and my wife we were both riding when younger, my grandfather was a military farrier and in the end my daughter made it her profession focusing her attention in eventing. She lived for several years in England and in Germany, and she competed since she was 15. Going with her at the shows gave me the chance to get closer and closer to this amazing world.
To improve my equestrian shooting I took part in several clinics or stages as a spectator. It happens quite often that I train in smaller national competitions.
I also worked in national and international competitions, world games, European championships, media and equestrian equipment companies.
Q: What sports and types of competition do you cover? Other types of equestrian related assignments?
A: I focus especially on eventing, show jumping, dressage, rider portraits, advertising photos, horse shows and more in general everything that concerns horses and the equestrian world.
Q: What new skills did you pick up during quarantine? How has the Covid-19 pandemic effected your life?
A: During the lockdown I reorganized my archive and renewed my website. I have been commissioned by an important newspaper to take a photo shooting of Rome while empty from people and tourists. I am anyway quite sorry for this 2020 as all my plans went away due to the loss of all the contracts I took on at the beginning of the year, my photo archive for 2020 is almost empty. But luckily at the end of the season we had two important competitions close to Rome which gave me the chance to shoot international professional riders.
Q: What’s your all-time favourite moment in equestrian sport?
A: I love my job in total as it is always so exciting, I meet so many persons and have the chance to get to know personally even the big champions. Some of my favorite memories are definitely shooting Queen Elisabeth in Blair Castle, the very last Totilas competition, being in Badminton and the final prize ceremony at the WEG in Caen where also my daughter was present together with her boss Dirk Schrade who was receiving the gold medal in the German team.
Q: Talk about your most memorable adventure while covering equestrian sport.
A: One of my favorite adventures was back in 2014 when I did a 50-day road trip, stopping by to shoot at pony and junior European championships, international competitions and WEG in Normandy. I took the chance to visit many places between Germany, England and France. That is what I missed this year more than anything else.
Q: What is your favourite competition venue and why?
A: I do love working in Aachen. It is a real show where you can find the best riders of the three disciplines. Sometimes it can be frantic and chaotic but the organisation is amazing and it helps working in the best way. I have also the chance to meet many friends and colleagues and advice with them.
Q: What is the last book / latest streamed series / favourite podcast you read / watched /enjoyed?
A: My last book is “Second Chance”, Mark Todd autobiography. It is a great and inspiring book that also gave me the chance to improve my English vocabulary.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I have respect for my friend Jacques Toffi who I always meet with pleasure he is a PHOTOGRAPHER. Then there are Bob Langrish and Kit Houghton, they are masters.
Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not working?
A: I don’t really have free time, but if it happens – always with horses.
Q: What is the philosophy behind your work as a photographer?
A: I like to be very professional to the clients and at the same time deeply respectful to equestrian world, horses and riders. I am proud of having never published in my life pictures of riders or horses falls or any other shoot that could in anyway damage their image. I know how much effort and hard work there is behind every rider and their horses and I personally think photographers should be respectful in this way
Meet Massimo Argenziano through his work
All photos by Website: www.massimoargenziano.it