Denis Balibouse

Denis Balibouse

Geneva, Switzerland
Lausanne, Switzerland
“The purpose of news photography is to tell somebody a story. I try to give readers the chance to view something they couldn't otherwise access.”


I cover local and international sports, business, conferences and political events at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva. My favourite thing is photographing alpine skiing - a combination of extremely fast action, cold weather and "blink and you've missed it" drama.

One Shot

. MONT-CENIS, France. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
A musher and his dogs compete on a track near the Mont-Cenis Path during the ninth stage of La Grande Odyssee sled dogs race
“I must be a bit of a masochist because I like working in cold conditions in winter. There I was covering a night stage of the Grande Odyssee sled dogs race, not even sure where their route would go. I set up three cameras with remotes and I managed to get this racer headlight in the whole frame while also capturing the beautiful light from a nearby village.”


My earliest memory of photography is a picture I took when I was six years old, during a holiday on the Greek island of Cos. It was an uneven shot of the harbour. It’s still in a box somewhere at my parents’ place.

My dad was a freelance sports journalist for a Swiss French TV station and was also on the staff of local newspapers. I would follow him on the weekends when he was covering events, often carrying the camera tripod for him.

I’m a self-taught photographer, and I learnt mainly by practicing or getting advice from colleagues. I’ve never been good at reading manuals or books.

I struggled for a very long time until I was happy with the pictures I was taking, mainly because I was very shy. With time, I learnt to be patient and to open up to other people.

When I was a freelancer for a Swiss photo agency, I had to cover poverty for a city council’s local newspaper. I was brought face to face with the reality of many people’s lives, which was all but hidden from view in this supposedly rich country.

If I weren’t a photographer, I would probably have worked in a bank or an insurance company, like a lot of Swiss people. I don’t think that would have lasted long though!

With the arrival of digital I have been able to experiment a bit more, but I think I still mainly focus on the moment.

I’ve learnt that the biggest subjects don’t always make the greatest pictures.

The purpose of news photography is to tell somebody a story. I try to give readers the chance to view something they couldn't otherwise access.

Behind the Scenes

. LANSLEBOURG, France. Reuters/Denis Balibouse
Reuters photographer Denis Balibouse files pictures from Mont-Cenis Pass Road in Lanslebourg during the Grande Odyssee sled dogs race.
. Sion, Suisse. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Balibouse takes pictures in an L-39 C Albatros aircraft during a media presentation flight of the Breitling Jet Team in Sion.