The Documentary Portraiture — SIMONA GHIZZONI

The Documentary Portraiture

The most precious ally I have when photographing is time. Of all the work I have done in recent years, those that have not only characterized my career, but that have changed me as a photographer and as a person are long-term projects. From Odd Days, my first project on eating disorders, to Uncut, on female genital mutilation, the essential thing in my work has always been the relationship I have established with the people I have met. I am a slow photographer, and in this slowness, in building relationships with the subjects, I find my most authentic expression. Photographing people, familiar or unknown, implies a marked attitude to listening, a propensity for dialogue and emotional contact that allows us to break down mutual differences and mistrust. Only in this way can we try, perhaps, to reveal through the portrait both the intimate essence of the individual and the universality of the human condition. During the two days of the workshop I would like to share my experiences and my work path with the students. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their approach to photographic work, and in particular portraiture, through in-depth collective discussion and different moments when we work on editing and sequencing photographs. We will explore how to develop and refine your personal style and vision. We will focus on planning long-term projects: how to design, research and finance them. The workshop is mainly aimed at photographers who are approaching the profession and students who have already started a project, both reportage and personal research.

Requested equipment: Participants must bring a notebook and a selection of their project (minimum 20 images and printed in 10.15). A wider selection in digital version on hard disk or pen is appreciated.
Costs: €250. Room and board not included.

10% discount if you sign up for two or more workshops.


Simona Ghizzoni was born in Reggio Emilia in 1977. She began her career studying Music and Arts, an influence that continues to be present in her work. Since 2005 she has been working on documentary projects that mainly concern the condition of women; at the same time she conducts a research on self-portrait titled Rayuela, an imaginative rewriting of everyday life. Among his best known works, “Odd Days”, a long-term project on eating disorders and the long and difficult path to recovery; the series was awarded at World Press Photo 2008 and at PhotoEspaña Ojodepez Award for Human Values 2009. Since 2010 she has produced several chapters of “Afterdark”, a survey on the consequences of conflicts on women’s lives in the Mediterranean area: Jordan, West Bank, Gaza Strip and Western Sahara. In 2013 she directed her first documentary, dedicated to women victims of forced disappearance in the occupied territories of Western Sahara “Just to Let you know I’ m Alive” (64′ S. Ghizzoni/ E. Zuccalà. 2013, Zone – Roma/Meriem Belala – Algiers production). Since 2015 she has been working on UNCUT, about female genital mutilation in Africa and Europe, produced by the European Journalism Grants and ActionAid. Her work has been published on The International New York Times, L’ Espresso, Io Donna, il Corriere della Sera, El Paìs and awarded by World Press Photo, Poyi, the Aftermath project, BBC Arabic Film and Documentary Festival, Margaret Mead Film Festival, Leica Oskar Barnack Award, Sony World Photography Award, among others. Ghizzoni is co-founder of MAPS and ZONA :

Canon Academy

in collaboration with