Biography

Growing up in Argentina my birthplace, three things shaped my adult life: boarding school, the open “pampa”, the savannah hinterland to the west of Buenos Aires city and cinema. After my arrival in London and my completion of a Hotel management degree which saw me don a morning suit and aprons and serve room service to the likes of Prince Hassan of Jordan and Henry Kissinger at two of London’s most prestigious hotels. I decided against my parent’s will, to leave the trappings of the hospitality industry for a far more unpredictable and challenging existence. Photojournalism beckoned. Cinema and politics had shaped my early life and my very first story proposal to London’s Observer and Sunday Times Magazines was a look at Argentina one year after the Falklands war. The Observer gave me my very first taste of telling a story through pictures. I was completely electrified and captivated by the opportunity this gave me to use a camera as a passport to explore the world and travel. Over the past 30 years this is exactly what I have done. In these intervening years I have had the good fortune to work in some 80 + countries exploring all manner of subjects, from the political, to the environmental, the social to the hedonistic, from the scintillatingly uplifting to the down right depressing. Seeing the best of humankind to the worst.  It has been a riveting journey of learning and discovery filled with surprises, heart-stopping moments of disappointment, elation, thrill. A voyage filled with poetry and grit, awash with emotional resonance and delight.

Shortly after my breakthrough stories for The Observer and Sunday Times magazines (London), I travelled to Vietnam to explore the country 10 years after the ending of the American lead war. It was a spine tingling experience for me, a young man whom until that time had had limited international exposure and whom had been fascinated by the conflict throughout the 70’s and avidly read all about it through dad’s subscription to Time magazine. Little did I imagine then that I would eventually travel to the country to report about it for none other then Time magazine!

Thereafter and buoyed by the success and exposure that that story brought, as well as growing confidence I continued to work principally for the Sunday Times and Observer Magazines into the 1990’s and in particular a long standing association with Germany’s GEO and Stern Magazines which continues to this day. For these latter magazines I have travelled and reported on a very broad diversity of subjects worldwide tending to work not on the ground breaking “big” stories of the day, but those often under reported or off the media’s radar screen all together. This allowed me time to develop and explore the chosen subject in greater depth. In conjunction with my editorial commissions during the 90’s I dedicated 5 years to document Brazil’s beach and body culture, which explored the hedonistic behaviour of this sun seeking fun loving country. This was published in most of the world’s leading magazines, and turned into a book, with an introduction and preface by author Paul Theroux and Brazil’s pre-eminent musical ambassador Caetano Veloso. It was widely exhibited around Europe.

In recent years I have been commissioned by British publisher (Dorling Kindersley) to work on three large format travel and architectural books in which I journeyed across China and India, completing the trio with an intimate look, both architectural and people based, on the inner workings of the Vatican.  Parallel to this work large-scale global advertising commissions have followed.

Christopher Pillitz

Editiorial Clients

Clients include The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Observer, Intelligent Life (The Economist), Paris Match, GEO, STERN, TIME, The Smithsonian, LIFE, The New York Times, Newsweek, El Mundo, El País, La Republicca, VSD, Le Figaro, Sette (Corriere della Sera), National Geographic Traveler magazines amongst many others.

Commercial Clients

Clients include Shell, HSBC, Canon, Glaxo SmithKline, Syngenta, Mars, Vodaphone, Cafédirect, Glenlivet, Bulmers, Alessi, News Corporation, Telegraph Group.

Exhibitions (selected)

1996 – 2007
Brazil Incarnate. Touring exhibition: Hamburg, London, Manchester, Biarritz, Milan, Warsaw.

1993
Positive Lives, the response to HIV. Global touring exhibition.

1992
Creating Reality, National Museum of film and photography, Bradford.

1991
Eastern Europe in Revolt. National Museum of film and Photography, Bradford. Zelda Cheattle gallery, London.

Books

Tearsheets