Alvaro is a documentary photographer, filmmaker and storyteller who has worked in over 40 countries on key assignments for TIME magazine, New York Times, Le Monde, Libération, Newsweek, Sunday Times Magazine, CNN, Vanity Fair, XLSEMANAL and many others. Born in Spain in 1979, he took up a career in photography while at university, joining Agence Vu in 2005 and the Reportage by Getty Images roster in 2009.
He has published five books – Macondo, memories of the Colombian Conflict ( 2017), Apocalypse (2010) Children of sorrow (2006) – and exhibited his work internationally, winning numerous awards including the Over Seas Press Club, the Alexia Foundation Jury Special Prize, the World Press Photo JSMC, the Getty Grant for editorial photography and a Photo of the Year.
In September 2017 until September 2019, Alvaro was appointed as one of the prestigious European Canon Ambassadors. At present he is a Leica Ambassador and head of Leica Gallery and Leica Akademie Iberia.
For Alvaro Ybarra Zavala, photography is a crossroads. A crossroads that captures the dogmatic truth behind each of our memories, one that each of us become attached to. A crossroad that has the ability to transform these memories into plural memories that challenge each of our fundamental core beliefs that prevent us from accepting the plural richness of the identity of the human being.
As a photographer he seek to understand who we are as a species, the world in which I live. His photography obsessively seeks to learn from the value of the different and accept our plurality. A photograph that is a crossroads that provokes a dialogue in each of us as a first step to open a common understanding, harmony and a hopeful future.
Over the last twenty years, he has created bodies of work photographing topics like the legacy of War, the human impact on the environment and in the wildlife, the marginalized souls of our civilization, food production, the social movement and identity in Latin American, taboo and beauty in love, and the recent history of human migration.
Alvaro has also worked for NGO´S and Foundations as UNHCR, ICRC, PRONIÑO and he shoots commercial assignments for BBVA, Movistar, Canon and CNN. He has extensive experience in the film industry having collaborated on films like “The Mountain Between Us” and work with CNN, Fox entertainment group, TFC Vancouver Productions LTD and Telecinco.
Alvaro Ybarra Zavala is a frequent professor of photography at universities. He directs an audiovisual production company and an editorial house specializing in author’s books. At present alvaro has its base between Madrid, Bogota, and London.