Massimiliano Toscanelli

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Massimiliano Toscanelli
Massimiliano Toscanelli

1978 (age 46-47)
Ravena, Italy
Known forPhotography

Massimiliano Toscanelli (born January 6th 1978.) is an Italian photographer best known for his work as a fashion photographer but also his unique view on portrait photography. He considers a portrait to be a “true and only expression of a complete human being”. Therefore, his portrait photographs often include an entire figure and not just the face of a person. Massimiliano’s photographs have seen huge success all over the world, especially in Italy and France and among more avant garde artists. He has shot some of the most famous fashion shows in the world such as Paris and Milan fashion weeks. If you have ever opened a fashion magazine (Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Vanity Fair), chances are you have seen one of his photos.

Early life[edit]

Massimiliano was born in Ravenna, Italy, on January 6th, 1978. He is the only son of Alessio and Emilia (nee Bruno) Toscanelli. His father was a local journalist and his mother worked as a nurse. He fell in love with photography through his father, who was an amateur photographer. While his father was working, Massimiliano would secretly play with his camera.This is how he took his first photo ever: a portrait of his grandmother, which, to this day, he considers his best photograph ever taken.


He attended elementary school and high school in Ravenna and after graduating he enrolled into Drama, Art and Music Studies at the University of Bologna, although he was never really interested in pursuing academic success. His only desire was to take photos. After 2 years at the University and much to the chagrin of his parents, he abandoned his studies and moved to Milan to pursue a career in photography.


While living in Milan, he met Lucia, a beautiful young woman who was aspiring to be a model. They immediately fell in love and started working towards the mutual goal of finding work in the fashion industry. She as a model, he as a photographer. Neither of them found success, which started putting a strain on their relationship. With no money and no prospect of finding a job in the industry, they decided to move to their hometowns. But, on the same day they had made that decision, Lucia received a phone call from her modeling agency, but they were not calling to ask about her, they called to inquire about the photographer who took her photos. This fateful event sparked the entire career for Massimiliano. He immediately grabbed the opportunity and started working for the modeling agency as their photographer which got him into the room with people that worked in the industry. After just a year of officially working as a photographer he got the chance to shoot some of the biggest fashion icons of Italy and Europe (Natasha Poly, Lily Donaldson, Gisele Bündchen) as well as meet the editors of leading fashion magazines. His unique artistic expression is apparent from the start because he doesn’t work as most photographers do. He is known to closely work with designers, make-up artists and scenographers in order to truly represent the idea of the designer. He sees himself as a medium between the designer and the model and the wider public. During his career, he has been a runway photographer for every major fashion show, he has worked with almost all world-famous talent and has had his photos featured in the biggest fashion magazines. He has also photographed some of the most famous Hollywood celebrities: Christian Bale, Carrie-Anne Moss, Uma Thurman, Léa Seydoux, Jake Gyllenhaal, Timothée Chalamet among others.

Personal Life[edit]

Massimiliano tries very hard to keep his personal life private. He doesn’t expose any parts of his private life online or in other media. He separated from his wife Lucia in 2010. and it is currently unknown if he is in a relationship. He doesn’t have any children.


2011: Milan Fashion Museum, Milan - "Ephemeral Elegance"
2012: Milan Fashion Week, Milan – “LVMH”
2012: Vogue Italia Collaboration – “In Vogue: Fall for All”
2016: Vogue Italia Collaboration - "In Vogue: A Century of Style" featuring cover shoots
2018: Paris Fashion Week - "Sartorial Symphony" attended by fashion enthusiasts
2018: Collaboration with Michelin-starred Chef Giovanni Rossi - "Culinary Couture" inspired by dishes favored by Christian Bale and Carrie-Anne Moss.
2019: New York Fashion Week - "Beyond the Lens: Fashion in Motion" attended by celebrities like Christian Bale and Carrie-Anne Moss.
2020: Collaboration with United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) - "Portraits of Resilience" capturing the stories of refugees,
2021: London Fashion Week - "Couture Chronicles" featuring designs worn by celebrities
2022: Collaboration with International Institute of Fashion Design - "Fashion Fusion" featuring garments worn by Uma Thurman and Léa Seydoux.
2023: Venice Biennale - "Reverie Redux" showcasing multimedia installations attended by Jake Gyllenhaal and Timothée Chalamet.
2024: Collaboration with City of Barcelona - "Urban Utopia" featuring urban landscapes