Alessandro Trovati

A black and white image of a cliff diver in action taken from below. The diver is silhouetted against a cloudy sky.

Canon Ambassador and Italian sports photographer Alessandro Trovati took this dynamic image during a cliff-diving competition in Malcesine, Italy in July 2017. The photograph was later displayed in Spazio Tadini Casa Museo, Milan, as part of an exhibition entitled Sport in Black and White. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM) at 70mm, 1/800 sec, f/22 and ISO640. © Alessandro Trovati

Italian sports photographer Alessandro Trovati has a talent for creating bold, imaginative and evocative sports imagery that has caught the attention of clients in both news and advertising for almost 30 years.

Canon Ambassador Alessandro grew up with a camera in his hands. His father, the late Armando Trovati, was a long-time Associated Press photographer who covered professional skiing and founded the Pentaphoto agency. "My father was, and still is, my inspiration," Alessandro reveals. "I use my photography to try to excite and attract as many people as possible to the world of sport. I love sport in all its forms, dimensions and disciplines. I'm attracted to the new challenges and technologies sports photography brings. Above all, I love working with the great champions of sport."

Eager to follow in his father's footsteps, in the early 1990s Alessandro started working for Pentaphoto, the family business that has specialised in sports and advertising photography since 1978. He now holds the helm alongside his brother Marco.

As his father did, Alessandro also works for the Associated Press. He was the youngest accredited photographer at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, and cites this as the moment he turned 'pro'. He may be best known for snow sports and cycling imagery, but he has also shot a huge range of other disciplines, including gymnastics, synchronised swimming, regular swimming, fencing, triathlons, athletics, tennis and many more. His images have appeared on the sports pages of notable newspapers and magazines including Vanity Fair, Sports Weekly, Sports Illustrated and L'Équipe. In 2021, he also took on the role of photo manager at a leading alpine skiing competition in Italy.

Canon Ambassador Alessandro Trovati.

Location: Milan, Italy
Specialist areas: Sports, commercial and advertising
Favourite kit:
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
A blurred image of female diver in a blue swimsuit about to hit the water.

Alessandro captured this image of a female diver during a 3 metre springboard diving competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in the summer of 2016. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II (now succeeded by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III) with a Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x lens at 436mm, 1/5 sec, f/45 and ISO250. © Alessandro Trovati

Packs of competing cyclists pedal along two roads divided by a line of tall trees.

Packs of professional cyclists race through the town of Madonna di Campiglio in Italy during the 17th stage of a high-profile international racing event. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens at 24mm, 1/200 sec, f/5 and ISO1000. © Alessandro Trovati/Pentaphoto

In addition to sports journalism, Alessandro has conquered the advertising sphere, creating dynamic and innovative campaigns for prestigious international brands such as Samsung, Gatorade, Kappa, Audi, Nordica and many more.

"My favourite campaign to shoot so far was for Arena, a top swimsuit brand, because I got to shoot underwater," he says. "Scuba photography is amazing and I really love it! It's funny, because when Arena first asked if I was able to shoot underwater I told them, 'yes', without actually having had any training or experience. So I trained every day for a whole month."

A black and white image of a sprinter kneeling at the finish line of a running track and bowing his head to the ground.

Alessandro captured this shot of a sprinter at the end of a gripping 200m final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016. Taken on a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x at 560mm, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6 and ISO2000. © Alessandro Trovati/Pentaphoto/Mate Image

Alessandro's talent has been recognised at both ends of the market, resulting in an array of awards, including the Best Sports Campaign at the Grand Prix della Pubblicità 2008, and the Ussi [Italian Sports Press Union] award for Best Sporting Photo of the Year in 2012 and 2014.

"Two particular highlights stand out for me when I think back over my career," he says. "Coming first in the Grand Prix for my sports campaign, something which helped to cement my name in this industry; and in 2005, when I landed my first Sports Illustrated cover, which showed Lance Armstrong during the Tour de France."

How do you decide where to stand?

"I have a clear idea of what I want my shots to look like before I decide where to stand: I like the background to be clean and neutral; I have the light coming from the side and back; and I like to compose the image holding the subjects on the left or the right."

Do you ever retouch your shots?

"I do very little post; one, because when I shoot for AP I use live technology to send my images straight from the camera to the photo editor, and two if you expose and shoot correctly you don't need to."

In your experience, what's the trickiest sport to shoot?

"Skiing, because you work in extremes: it's cold and icy, on a slope, the subjects move very fast and you have only one chance to take the perfect shot. My advice is to know the sport, position yourself in a spot where you have a perfect backdrop, and use a long lens."

What items could you not do your job without?

"My cameras, the appropriate lenses, remotes, warm and waterproof clothing, and extra batteries because the cold can drain them fast."

One thing I know

Alessandro Trovati

"Professional photography in all sectors has become very difficult to enter, so you need to get experience, make good contacts, never be discouraged, and have bags of passion and creativity. Don't imitate another professional photographer's images; it's the result of years of work and research, and probably taken with gear you don't have. Rather, try to use the gear you do have and experiment with it. It's a myth that sports photography is only shot using long lenses – try using a wide angle! But the number one rule of sports photography is to know the sport you want to photograph, and know it incredibly well."

Facebook:Alessandro Trovati


Alessandro Trovati's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Alessandro Trovati's kitbag contents, including Canon cameras and lenses.


Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

The ultimate creative toolkit, with superb low-light performance, deep learning AF and 5.5K RAW video. "This DSLR gives me the speed that I need as a professional sports photographer, so I have two of them," Alessandro says.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The successor to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III that Alessandro uses. The 5D Mark IV’s full-frame 30.4MP sensor delivers images that are packed with detail, even in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows.


Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

The complete range of ultra wide-angle focal lengths in a single high-quality zoom lens. Perfect for those shooting landscapes, architecture and interiors on location. "This is my new lens and I love it! There's no big distortion and it's versatile. I think it's Canon's best lens," says Alessandro.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L USM

With an incredible f/1.2 maximum aperture, this super-fast lens is a consummate low-light performer. "This is the lens all photographers should have," says Alessandro. "Great quality and brightness, and a life-saver in near dark situations."

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM

This is a high-magnification super-telephoto lens featuring integrated Image Stabiliser technology and a fast f/4 maximum aperture. Perfect for wildlife, nature and sports photographers working in the field.

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