Alberto Venzago about his expressive black and white shot that won the People & Lifestyle Category


Working for many years as a filmmaker and photo journalist, Alberto Venzago had a chance to cover variaty of topics with his camera. “An authentic image is more important than a beautiful image,” is his philosophy. His captivating works have been published in magazines such as Life, The Sunday Times, Stern and Geo, also won several prizes, such as the Robert Capa Award and most recntly our Spotlight Awards People & Lifestyle category.

This year the winner of the People & Lifestyle Photography category was selected by our judges: Kieran Delaney, Creative Director at McCann Health, UK; Ronnie Patt, Creative Director at Jung von Matt, Germany and Paul Stechmesser, Manager – Design at The Coca-Cola Company, USA.

The winning image in People & Lifestyle Photogrpahy category of the Spotlight Photo Awards 2020. Photographer: Alberto Venzago


Production Paradise: Tell us about the winning image – the idea behind it, how was it shot?

Alberto Venzago: The winning picture captures a scene in a public toilet in Hong Kong. It is part of a great fairy tale story for adults. Julia, my art director and model, had the idea to visit the public toilet after a shooting in the city center. Our production team provided the two boys. It was already dark. Since we had no big staff, it was uncertain if our shooting would be disturbed by normal users. Especially since it is in the men’s toilet. But I love to work under tension…

Production Paradise: How do you feel about winning the Category Prize of Spotlight Awards 2020?

Alberto Venzago: It makes me proud, although I laughed at first: “What, with this provocative picture?”

Production Paradise: How would you describe your style?

Alberto Venzago: Actually I come from the Magnum Concerned Photography box. I’m a photojournalist from home, and have worked for the big magazines worldwide for years. My style is black and white, 35mm lens on the Leica Camera and very close to it.

Production Paradise: Name three photographers that have inspired you.

Alberto Venzago: Helmut Newton, Araki and Peter Lindbergh.

Production Paradise: How did you end up behind the lens? Tell us about your career path.

Alberto Venzago: I am an autodidact, after breaking off my studies of music and remedial education I started taking pictures. Very quickly I made a career, joined Magnum, became Winner of the Robert Capa Award (ICP).

Production Paradise: What do you think is necessary to become a successful commercial photographer?

Alberto Venzago: First you have to have a great idea, execute it professionally, surprise, provoke and stay yourself, and above all you should be a good team player.

Production Paradise: If you weren’t a photographer, what would be your alternate career path?

Alberto Venzago: Certainly a musician.

The artist couple Fokina-Venzago

Production Paradise: We believe you are not resting on your laurels – what are you working on now?

 Alberto Venzago: At the moment I am working on my retrospective, which will premiere in Zurich in May 2021. At the Museum for Design.

Production Paradise: Spotlight Awards had a judges’ panel composed of potential clients for commercial photographers – did that influence your choice of image(s) selected for your entry?

Alberto Venzago: Not at all.

Production Paradise: What made you want to participate in these Awards?

Alberto Venzago: Curiosity, to be measured and assessed. Commercial photography is not my main thing. I use photography as an art form. But I need money to finance my art, so of course this price is very convenient, not for the money, but for attention. I have been working with my partner Julia Fokina for seven years on our project: One-Seduced_by_The-Darkness. The winning Image comes from this work.

“We combine photojournalism and fine arts, reinterpreting events in a new, emotional and often provocative way“. At the center of our pictures is the narrative power.

We would like to thank Mr. Alberto Venzago for taking the time to speak with us. If you want to read more about him and his works, check out his member page on Production Paradise and his website.

If you want to present and promote your latest work to the industry in the next edition of Production Paradise’s Spotlight or Showcase magazine, please no hesitate to contact us now!


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1 Comment

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