Fine Art Photography Daily

The CENTER Awards: Editor’s Choice 3rd Place Winner: Barbara Zanon


©Barbara Zanon, 2020: Michele in the pool during winter holidays

Congratulations to Barbara Zanon for her Third Place win in CENTER’S Editor’s Choice Award for her project, The daily life of 3 brothers with autism. The Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter. Images can be singular or part of a series. Winners receive an opportunity to be part of the Winners Exhibition at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe, complimentary participation in Review Santa Fe, and an Online exhibition at

Juror Nicole Werbeck – Senior Supervising Editor for Visuals and Engagement, NPR shares her insights:

 Coronavirus. I would have never imagined. The global pandemic fully gripped the world during the time I was judging this Award. It’s hard to believe, I was more focused when I was considering everyone’s entries. But I was looking for an escape. Each piece of work I consumed was a respite from our new normal. I want to thank everyone who entered the contest. Your photography provided me with a light during a difficult time. Remember that what you do matters. During this health crisis, people turned to art and photography for relief, comfort and guidance.

For me, photography has always been a powerful tool that inspires and empowers people. And that is what I found the hundreds of entries that I reviewed. I was impressed by the field overall. It was really difficult to just pick 3 entries. Not only was there a wide variety of topics covered from aging and climate change, I was particularly struck by the different ways photographers and artists are using photography. And the variety of emotions that were triggered for me by these projects.

The daily life of 3 brothers with autism much like the previous project transcended me into a world that I have no experience. Through these images, I felt the weight of what the family must have gone through while finding so much joy. You feel the love the family has for each other through their interactions and moments in their everyday lives.



©Barbara Zanon, 2016: portrait of Riccardo

Nicole Werbeck s currently a Senior Supervising Editor for Visuals and Engagement at NPR. She is in charge of the photo and multimedia editors. And runs the engagement and social media teams for the radio network.

Nicole was a Senior Digital Photo Editor at National Geographic. While there, Nicole assigned and edited photo and multimedia stories from across the world to publish online and in their magazine, and helped run NatGeo’s social media accounts. Nicole worked with veteran National Geographic photographers and editors as well as recruited new photographers into the fold. Nicole helped bring Agile methodologies into the NatGeo newsroom and worked as a multimedia coach for the Society’s grantees and explorers.
Nicole spent 10 years as an editor at The Washington Post. Nicole was a Project Editor, Photo Editor, and Deputy News Editor. She worked on a variety of important stories, from the September 11, 2001 attacks to Hurricane Katrina.


©Barbara Zanon, 2020: Portrait of Luisa in the hotel room during winter holidays

The daily life of 3 brothers with autism

This long term project tells about an italian family living with Autism Spectrum Disease (ASD). Emilia and Francesco, after having tried for a child for years, 
 they resorted successfully to artificial insemination (ICSI) and had twins: Luisa and Riccardo. Only nine months after their birth, Emilia became spontaneously pregnant with their third child, Michele.

At two and a half years, Riccardo and Luisa were diagnosed with a severe form of ASD. Unfortunately, just a year later, Michele was diagnosed with the same.

 Autism is a neural development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication.


©Barbara Zanon, 2018: Luisa(12) plays with the mirror at the supermarket with her outreach worker. Luisa often looks herself in the mirror and plays with her body

Barbara Zanon was born in Venice (Italy) in 1979 and is a portrait photographer and photojournalist. She has been a contributor in the news for GETTY IMAGES since 2010 and as a photojournalist has been published on international and national magazines and newspapers (as: TIME, LIFE, Vogue, Elle Decor, Cosmopolitan, The Financial Times, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Stern, The Sun, India Times, Yahoo, CNN, The Miami Herald, The National, Chicago Tribune, The Times, The Independent, The Huffington Post (uk), People, Forbes, New York Daily News, Rolling Stone, Courier Post, Photograph Magazine).

As portrait photographer and fine art photographer and also journalist, Zanon has won several international prizes and honorable mentions as Lucie Awards (IPA), Paris Photo Award (PX3), Budapest Photo Awards, Renaissance Photo award , Margaret Cameron Award.

Also, Zanon has exhibited works (collective or personal) in London, Paris, New York, Budapest, Los Angeles, Venice. Now I am focused on a fine art project and social long term project.


©Barbara Zanon, Michele hides under a gym mattress in school during a gym class. He seeks cover to reduce the overstimulation, like noises, colors etc, from the external environment. The three brothers attend school regularly. Their school offers a special education teacher for each child.


©Barbara Zanon, 2016: Luisa covers her ears to reduce the noises at the hairdresser’s. Her mother or her nanny or some one of the family takes her every 2 or 3 months for a haircut. An haircut is often a very difficult experience for an autistic child who has an overdeveloped sense of touch and hearing and is easily frightened by the tools used, such as comb, scissors, or hair dryer.


©Barbara Zanon, 2016: Father and son spending time together after the school; Francesco tickles Riccardo


©Barbara Zanon, 2016: Michele and Emilia rest on a lawn after a hike at the Rifugio del Fargno mountain retreat.


©Barbara Zanon, 2018: Riccardo at home, before sleeping


©Barbara Zanon, 2016: Riccardo, Luisa and Michele swim and play at home in their pool. They spend most of time in immersion because the water reduces the external noises and so the level of stress linked to their sound sensitivity. Hypersensitivity to noise is common among people affected by ASD


©Barbara Zanon, 2016: Luisa has a snack at home in the kitchen, while being watched over by the babysitter.


©Barbara Zanon, 2018 : Riccardo try to communicate with his father, Francesco


©Barbara Zanon, 2016 : Luisa, Portrait


©Barbara Zanon, 2016 : RIccardo (10) walks in the mountains along with his brother, sister and parents during a Sunday outing. Taking small trips and traveling to see new things while being outdoors, away from daily stress, lets these children relax. In the photo, Riccardo with his father Francesco


©Barbara Zanon, 2018 : Luisa (12) plays with her games at home

Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

NEXT | >
< | PREV