Winner, New Talent Portfolio – Travelogue
Travel Photographer of the Year 2014

You can buy this and other Travel Photographer of the Year prints online here.


Massimiliano Fabrizi | StaaG interview

Amateur photographer Massimiliano trained as an architect from Rome, and is now working as a self-employed multimedia and graphic designer. After working for 10 years in the educational department of an Italian national broadcasting company he switched to a more location-independent professional lifestyle, to enable him to pursue his passion for photography and travel.

“I am fascinated by places with a double soul; cities that have changed their architectural, urban and social status in a short period of time, following major historic events of which traces are still visible today and memories are still vivid in people’s minds. That’s why I visited Berlin in the early Nineties and I recently chose it as my second home. For the same reason I fell in love with Havana and other places in Cuba.”

You can see more of Max’s work on his website

1. Where are you from?

I am from Rome, Italy.

2. What first got you into photography and how old were you?

As a kid I was fascinated by documentaries about remote places, isolated tribes, natural wonders and overland expeditions. I used to make videos at home or in the countryside, trying to imitate what I was watching on TV. After high school I started traveling throughout Europe by car: photography was my way of telling stories when I was back home. Still today it’s connected to my travels and experiences as a form of personal journal.

3. How do you look to approach and capture your next best shot?

I try to learn in advance about cultures and traditions, sometimes reading books by local writers: once in the place I like to get lost, wandering through city streets in search for spots where local people meet. I explore marketplaces, temples, ports and bars, taking what unexpected events bring to me. Ideas and inspirations for new subjects often come in this way. Whenever I can I prefer traveling overland, reaching far destinations even when the road is long: what happens in between is often the most rewarding part of the trip.

4. What has being involved with Travel Photographer of the Year done for your photography career?

It was important for the exposure and the advice I got, and to understand how to improve the way I approach my projects. Mentoring from the judges and questions from people attending the exhibition helped me realize how images are perceived beyond my personal experience.

5. Tell us the story of your profiled picture

I took this picture on the Malecón, Havana’s seaside boulevard. Before sunset it’s always full of people walking, chatting, flirting, playing some instrument or just sitting by the sea, until the next big wave comes and everybody moves back. Music comes out of side streets, like a soundtrack to a scene that repeats every day when the temperature cools down. This girl was sitting on the wall bordering the seashore, studying some books and papers, probably she was a student. Attracted by her elegance I started taking some pictures, framing the scene in various ways. I think she realized only later, but didn’t care about my presence.

Massimiliano Fabrizi
Macon, Cuba | © Massimiliano Fabrizi. You can buy this print online here.

6. Where is your favourite place you have visited, and why?

Each time I come back home after a long travel I feel the way I see the world and people around me has shifted. I have mostly traveled throughout Asia, but my last trip to Havana had an unexpected impact: traces of its revolutionary history and culture are visible everywhere, the double soul of the city emerges from the decaying architectures with sounds, smells, voices… every building seems to be full of life. Hearing stories from people I have met taught me more in a couple of months than many experiences I had before.

7. Tell us a fascinating fact or story from your travels

I cannot stop telling people that traveling alone is a life­changing experience that produces a lot of unforgettable memories. During my longest overland trip along the Silk Road I was invited countless times by local people to visit their homes in remote places and share food with their families and friends, or join them when they traveled the same direction. In most cases, we talked a lot and had fun without even understanding each other!

8. What piece of advice would you give someone starting out on their photography ‘career’, say in the New Talent award?

I like artists that are constantly at work, using various instruments and forms of expression, surrounding themselves with their passions or whatever triggers their creativity. Collecting images, ideas and stories from various sources helps stimulating inspiration. Photography could be used on daily basis to experiment with subjects and compositions, and to explore personal interests. The amount of work will eventually develop in a unique style, which I think is essential to emerge.

For more information on Travel Photographer of the Year or to enter, visit

For more information on Max, visit