Carlos Gutierrez

Carlos Gutierrez

Puerto Varas, Chile
Puerto Varas, Chile
“Many people encounter tragedy, and photography should illustrate their pain without becoming morbid.”


I cover lots of different topics: the natural world, volcanic eruptions, natural disasters, and social movements.

One Shot

. PUYEHUE, Chile. REUTERS/Carlos Gutierrez
Lightning flashes around the ash plume above the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near Entrelagos.
“With this series of images, I showed the power of Mother Nature, and the respect that we should have for her. It's impossible to feel that we're superior when we are faced with this destructive power.”


My first memories of photography? I remember my uncle taking pictures at family parties and I remember the town photographer Hardy Schafer.

From a young age I was interested in communications and I searched for what I liked most. In the end, photography found me!

Work as a photographer began for me with a tragic accident in 2002, when the breaks on a lorry broke and it hurtled downhill into my town, crashing into a small car, killing the two people inside and leaving 14 people severely injured and scattered across the street. All of this happened in front of my eyes and, luckily, I always carry my camera with me. I tried to help the wounded, but it was already too late.

When I take pictures I want to reach out most of all to poorer people who don’t have the money to go and see photography or art exhibitions. That sort of thing gets to Santiago, but in the provinces there are fewer cultural offerings.

I’ve learnt that, above all, we should respect Mother Nature. In our profession we should also respect people and their dignity. Many people encounter tragedy, and photography should illustrate their pain without becoming morbid.

Many photographers have inspired me: Kevin Carter, James Natchewey, Robert Capa and the Chilean photojournalist Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, who was killed in Chile by a millitary patrol during the dictatorship. The journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski and Gabriel Garcia Marquez also give me inspiration. All of these people have created a great legacy in journalism and photography, both thanks to their bravery and to their professionalism.

Behind the Scenes

. Chile. Jessica Phelps
Reuters photographer Carlos Gutierrez at the Osorno volcano, Puerto Varas, Chile.