Ferdinando Scianna took up photography while studying literature, philosophy and art history at the University of Palermo in the 1960s.
He moved to Milan in 1966 and started working as a photographer for L’Europeo in 1967, becoming a journalist there in 1973.
Scianna wrote on politics for Le Monde diplomatique and on literature and photography for La Quinzaine Littéraire. He first joined Magnum Photos in 1982, becoming a full member in 1989.
He followed the money and took up fashion photography in the late 1980s.
His first work, in 1987, was to photograph Marpessa Hennink for Dolce & Gabbana’s advertising campaign for their Fall/Winter collection, clothing which was inspired by Sicily.