Massimo Sestini was born in Prato (Florence) in 1963.
Self-taught, he started taking pictures while he was still in high school, photographing rock concerts and covering the news for local papers.
His first scoops were published in the middle of the 1980s: the portrait of Licio Gelli while he was taken into prison in Geneva (Gelli is a former Italian financier, known for his role in the Banco Ambrosiano scandal, in 1981 he was revealed as being the Venerable Master of the clandestine lodge Propaganda Due); the images of the Train 904 bombing - also known as the Christmas Massacre, a terror attack on December 23, 1984, in the Apennine Base Tunnel - that made him achieve his first international cover on Stern.
From then on he founded Massimo Sestini News Picture - where he collaborates with numerous photographers helping them grow - and focused on news and on celebrities’ private life stolen images. This marked the beginning of his career as a paparazzo, but his approach to photography remained the same: his goal is covering the news by whatever means necessary. He always puts himself in the condition to shoot, even if it seems impossible.
Digital and constantly updated technology as well as more powerful telephoto lenses will help him.
Massimo Sestini was the only photographer able to access Stefano Casiraghi’s funeral in Monte Carlo; he shot the first photograph of Lady Diana wearing a bikini in Sardinia in 1991; he witnessed the Moby Prince disaster (a major naval accident resulting in 140 deaths); he is the author of the aerial pictures of the murder of judges Falcone and Borsellino in 1992.
In the 90s, he collaborated with the major Italian and international agencies, he worked with the most important news magazines whose editors trusted Massimo Sestini as the photographer able to take significant pictures, regardless of how complicated the context could have been. In those years he got other scoops, worked on many reportages and portraits and paid particular attention to sports photography. Aerial pictures became a permanent feature. Among his best known photographs taken from an helicopter are the Jubilee in 2000, the G8 in Genoa in 2001, the funeral of Pope John Paul II in 2005.
Since 2007 he has worked as an external advisor and collaborator to several institutions.
In 2012, he dived with the Italian Police in the Costa Concordia that had just sunk and overflew the wreck a few days later.
In 2014, he worked for the Italian Navy on the project Un Sogno lungo 100 giorni, he spent three months in setting up and shooting in several Italian ports (Napoli, La Spezia, Taranto) and along the Libyan coast to document the technological, human and adventurous reality of Italian Navy.
In 2014, he was on the “Bergamini frigate”, where he witnessed the rescue operation Mare Nostrum off the Libyan Coasts. After twelve stormy days he succeeded in taking a photograph of a boat of migrants from a helicopter. In 2015 this picture won a Word Press Photo - General News Category.
He is the author of the 2016 Italian Police Calendar.
The exhibition displaying the photographs of the project Orizzonti d’Italia, dagli elicotteri della Polizia di Stato opened in May 2016 at the Palazzo del Quirinale in Rome at the presence of the Italian President Sergio Mattarella.
Fare Luce - a cura di Sara Ugolini e Cristina Calicelli
Museo di Stato - Palazzo Pergami Belluzzi, Città di San Marino
Eye in the Sky - curated by Livia Corbò
LABottega, Pietrasanta, Italy
Orizzonti d'Italia, dagli elicotteri della Polizia di Stato
Palazzo del Quirinale, Rome, Italy
Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles, USA
MEDITERRANEO, il Mare tra le Terre - a cura di Dimitri Angelini
Il Frantoio, Capalbio, Italy
Festival of Political Photograhy
Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
Ho Visto Cose - curated by Livia Corbò
Festival della Fotografia Etica, Lodi, Italy
ENFI Sopot, Poland
Mare Nostrum. Miracle in the Mediterranean Sea - curated by Tiziana Faraoni
Festival FotoLeggendo, Rome, Italy
WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2014 exhibition
various location worldwide
Teatro Nuovo, Verona, Italy
Il viaggio di Bilal
Festival Storie Senza Confini, Conversano – Bari, Italy
News Pictures - a cura di Tiziana Faraoni
Galleria Grazia Neri, Milano