Italy’s Giulio Busi continues to provide photographic excellence

For the past decade and a half, Giulio Busi has been the go-to photographer for the Italian Federation of American Football, FIDAF, and his images can be found to tell the story of almost every major international game in Italy not to mention the Italian Football League.

As the 2023 season of the Italian Football League heads into its third week of play, Busi is still on the field providing world class photographs of the action.

According to Barbara Allaria, Press & Communications Officer for the FIDAF, the veteran photographer is an indispensable part of football in Italy:

“The FIDAF entrusted Giulio with the responsibility of managing the Photographers’ area, a key sector for our Federation and for the sport we love. His passion, dedication and professional skills have contributed and still contribute to growing the game in Italy, by delivering powerful images that highlight not only the athletic action but also the “feeling”, the effort, the sacrifice of each athlete. Giulio, however, is first of all a dear friend for hundreds of colleagues and American Football fans, in Italy and abroad”.

In an interview with AFI, Giulio relates how he was first introduced to photography and then football and how both became passions that endure for him yet today.

AFI: How did you get into photography?

Busi: It was a long, long time ago. When I was 15-16 years old, I ‘stole’ my father’s camera, an old Minolta SR-t 101 full manual. My passion started then. I kept on studying, step by step, reading technical literature, looking at the big photographers and trying to emulate their jobs.

AFI: What attracted you to American football and when did you start photographing the games?

Busi: My biggest mistake, lol. I have always loved American football, in the ‘80s the game was broadcasted on the public television in Italy and in my town, Bologna, there a was a well-known team, the Warriors. Unfortunately, I was young, and I was unable to participate directly, and it remained just an interest like any other.

Since fate likes to play jokes, years later I met my future wife, and she was a great fan of the Warriors. Through mutual friendships I began to frequent the American football environment … and I’ve never been able to quit.

AFI: Is photography your full-time job?

Busi: No, I’m not a professional photographer. Like many football photographers, for me it’s just a great passion, even if we all try to have a professional approach. I am a computer systems engineer.

AFI: What is the part that you find the most satisfying about your ‘job’ as a photographer?

Busi: Even before photography, what is striking in American football in Italy is the environment, considering that we are dealing with amateurs, from the players to the coaches, up to the managers, the level of dedication and the love for this game are incredible.

Then as a photographer I love the spectacular nature of this sport and the feeling on the field, and capturing these spectacular moments in time is very rewarding.

AFI: Do you take a different approach when photographing American football games?

Busi: Yes, nothing can be compared to the intensity of American football in the kind of photography that I do. First of all you need to concentrate on the game, every play might be the main event of the game and at the same time you have to keep an eye on what happens all around to catch the ‘live action’ on the game field.

AFI: Tell us a little bit about a typical game day.

Busi: I think that my approach is quite different from that of all other photographers, because I’m usually also responsible for the other photographers on the field, therefore I need to arrive early and to speak with a lot of people before the game. I need to understand the event schedule and sometimes I have to agree with the journalists upon their sending pictures of the match in the nick of time. 😊
If it’s possible, however, during the pre-game I usually like to talk with the other photographers and also with the members of the teams, enjoy the moment, then the game, the adrenaline on fiel Then the worst part of the ‘work’: I need to select, process and send the photos that the journalists await in a very short time …. At the end, a cold beer with colleagues and maybe some players.

AFI: How do you see the growth of American football in Italy?

Busi: My feeling is that progress has been made in recent years, especially as regards the organization of the various championships, greatly increasing the level of professionalism of the clubs and the federation; important efforts are currently being made to try to make this beautiful sport more visible to the public.

We are also trying to involve the younger public, which is very important for the growth of both popularity and the teams themselves.

It is all very difficult, however, because unfortunately in Italy minor sports like ours are not followed by the media and are hardly supported by local structures or local government

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