Ivan Alvarado

Ivan Alvarado

Santiago, Chile
Santiago, Chile
“Good pictures don't need big captions.”


I cover natural disasters, riots, soccer and environmental and social issues.

One Shot

. SANTIAGO, Chile. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
A Chilean student is detained by riot police during a protest in Santiago.
“This picture is full of contrast: a girl, maybe a punk and perhaps quite poor, versus a riot policeman. To me, the two of them look like dancers. Just a few elements show great inequality. It was much more violent than it looks.”


My first memory of photography is holding my mother’s hand in our neighbour's laboratory and looking at black-and-white films.

My oldest brother taught me photography with an Olympus M10. Since then, I shot many other pictures, studied photography at school and slept next to a black and white dark room.

My first assignment was at a news conference for an environmental NGO in Santiago. I was a trainee for one of the most important Chilean newspapers and was assigned to shoot the conference with black-and-white films. Using a low shutter speed I got some good shots of hands moving while the speaker remained still. From that day on, I never stopped.

Whenever and wherever you are, you can get a good picture. That idea was my mantra during my internship.

The assignment that left the biggest mark on me was the 7.9 earthquake that hit southern Chile, because I witnessed the disaster with my own eyes.

Any assignment excites me as long as I can take good pictures.

My biggest lesson? Remember to change your batteries.

I respect photojournalists and I am grateful I have the freedom to be one of them.

One thing I would like to add: good pictures don't need big captions.

Behind the Scenes

Reuters Photographer Ivan Alvarado stands in front of an antenna that makes up part of ALMA, the world's largest radio telescope.