Ionut Macri

Sheep with metal parts and a shepherd surround a fire against a mountainous landscape, created by Ionut Macri using a mixture of photography and CGI.

"This image was created to showcase what we can do with a mixture of photography and 3D digital manipulations," says commercial photographer Ionut Macri. The landscape, shepherd and fire were photographed by Ionut in Romania's Carpathian Mountains, while the sheep and the metal parts in the foreground are CGI (computer-generated imagery). Taken on a Canon EOS 5DS R with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 44mm, 1/8 sec, f/2.8 and ISO 2000. © Ionut Macri

A passion for photography runs through Ionut Macri's family. Both his father and grandfather were keen amateur photographers and he learned how to use a camera and print photos at an early age. Ionut went a step further, though, making photography his profession and becoming one of Romania's most successful advertising photographers.

Ionut now has over 25 years' experience producing visuals for major national and international brands, and he runs Macri Studio in Bucharest, which has won numerous industry awards and accolades. He first had the idea of becoming a professional photographer when he bought his first camera, a Canon EOS 650, while he was still at high school in 1990. "It was not easy for us in Romania to buy the latest cameras, so when I bought the EOS 650, it was like a miracle – it had autofocus and was motor-driven," he remembers. "It blew my mind. With this camera, I felt everything could be achieved."

While Ionut was studying engineering at university, photography was taking up much of his spare time and he began earning money from it by shooting landscapes and cityscapes around Bucharest. "A few years after the Romanian revolution in 1989, people from other countries were starting to visit Romania and they needed postcards to send home," he says. "The photos on the market were from the communist times and were not good, so I started shooting images of Bucharest for a company that produced postcards and calendars. Later I shot images of other cities in Romania for the company."

Instead of settling for a career in engineering after university, Ionut went into the photography industry. He learned his studio photography skills from working as an assistant to an advertising photographer and in 1997 opened his own studio.

A headshot of Canon Ambassador Ionut Macri.
Location: Bucharest, Romania

Specialist areas: Commercial and editorial

Favourite kit: Canon EOS R5
Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
Four playing cards show people in the top halves and their underwater personas in the bottom halves, created by Ionut Macri using a mixture of studio photography and CGI.

This series is a mixture of studio photography and CGI. "The idea of showing the person underwater in the bottom half of the card came to me in a dream," says Ionut. "The people were photographed in my studio, then the lower halves were shot separately. I bought the fish in a local supermarket." © Ionut Macri

In his early years in the industry, Ionut specialised in product photography. "It wasn't glamorous, but I was very happy doing product photography and I became very good at it," he says. He later combined his advertising work with editorial photography, shooting fashion and celebrity portraits for magazines including GQ, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour and Elle. He has also had landscape and nature images published in National Geographic Traveller.

However, advertising has remained his specialist area of photography and for many years he has produced high-end commercial images for international brands. His company, Macri Studio, is well-regarded in the industry. Its awards have included being named as one of the Best 200 Advertising Photographers in 2010-2011, 2016-17, 2018-19 and 2023-24 and one of the Best 200 Digital Artists Worldwide for four separate years. Both of these annual awards are conferred by the influential Lürzer's Archive magazine.

A flute player photographed during a rehearsal for a multimedia concert, multicoloured lasers pointing at him, in a photo taken by Canon Ambassador Ionut Macri.

The Vienna-based Romanian flute player Matei Ioachimescu during a rehearsal for a multimedia concert, which included a laser light show. Taken on a Canon EOS R with a Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens at 105mm, 1/20 sec, f/4 and ISO 12,800. © Ionut Macri

A man with a moustache dressed in a period costume stands against a black background and looks at the camera, in a photo taken by Canon Ambassador Ionut Macri.

One of Ionut's personal projects is a series on a group of people who dress up in period costumes and reenact battles. "I improvised a studio outside using a tent, then photographed them with a studio flash and a softbox," he says. Taken on a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III (now succeeded by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III) with a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro lens at 1/125 sec, f/8 and ISO 200. © Ionut Macri

Even though Ionut has made a successful professional career from photography, he also, like his father and grandfather, enjoys the pleasure of taking photographs in his spare time and holidays. That personal work includes aerial photography, landscapes, cityscapes and portraits. "I am passionate about light in all its forms," he says.

How have mirrorless cameras changed your photography?

"For me, mirrorless was a revolution and I find the electronic viewfinder is a big advantage. Before mirrorless, I would stop shooting to check my images on the LCD screen before continuing. With the EVF's exposure simulation and image review, I see the image without taking the camera from my eye and I just keep shooting. It's very instinctive and it helps me a lot."

What makes a really strong image?

"I think a strong image has to communicate some emotion. In terms of ingredients, the lighting is important, the composition, and of course the subject has to be memorable."

What advice would you give someone who wants to be a professional photographer?

"For anyone who wants to be a photographer, I'd advise them to open their eyes to the world and find inspiration in good photography, films and paintings – whether that's the Old Masters or more modern photographers."

Photography is a very competitive profession. How do photographers make their work stand out?

"It's hard. There are a lot of recipes for different styles. Instagram started this trend with different 'filters' and people rushed to use them to make their photos look different. In fact, it's the opposite – they all look alike. Instead, I'd advise trying to find a style that suits you and creating the kind of images that make you happy, hoping that if they are made with dedication and talent they will stand out from the crowd."

One thing I know

Ionut Macri

"Cameras have evolved to the point where you no longer need as much technical expertise. The technical side can be learned, but the camera is just a tool for creating images. You need to be more than a technician – you need something to say with your camera, which is more difficult. To be a good photographer, it's important to find your own unique voice."

Facebook: @MacriStudio

Instagram: @ionutmacri


Ionut Macri's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Canon Ambassador Ionut Macri's kitbag containing Canon cameras, lenses and accessories.


Canon EOS R5

Whether you shoot photos, video or a mixture of both, the EOS R5's uncompromising performance will revolutionise your creativity. Capture sensational 45MP photos at up to 20fps, or flick a switch for cinematic 12-bit 8K RAW video. "The EOS R5 is the best camera I've ever had," says Ionut. "The autofocus is so fast and precise and the camera gives me all the detail I need in advertising work."

Canon EOS-1V

The last model of Canon's professional film cameras before being discontinued in 2018. "I got the EOS-1V camera a few years ago and used it for black and white," says Ionut. "It's more like a hobby. I seldom use it, but when I do, it's with great pleasure."


Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM

This zoom lens covers wide-angle, standard and telephoto focal lengths. A 5-stop Image Stabilizer preserves sharpness in low light, while Nano USM focusing benefits photographers and filmmakers. "I always have this lens with me and I do about 80% of my work with it," says Ionut. "It's versatile, very good and easy to carry."

Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM

The RF 28-70mm F2L USM offers the kind of image quality you'd expect from a prime lens, and adds an f/2 maximum aperture for more creative control. "This is an excellent lens, like having a collection of prime lenses in one," says Ionut.

Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

A super compact f/2.8 telephoto zoom that incorporates a 5-stop Image Stabilizer to ensure great handheld results, closer focusing down to 0.7m and fastest-ever AF. "I mainly use this lens when I'm outside, especially for landscapes or outdoor shots of people," says Ionut.

Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM

A short telephoto focal length combined with a large maximum aperture and fast autofocus make this lens an ideal optic for any photographer shooting portraiture. "I love using this lens, which I bought in 2005 and still use now," says Ionut. "It's sharp, fast and small."

Canon TS-E 90mm f/2.8L MACRO

Refine your vision with an outstanding 90mm tilt-and-shift lens offering perspective control for beautiful portraits and product images. "I mainly use this lens for product photography in the studio," says Ionut. "It gives me great control over depth of field, like the large format film cameras I used earlier in my career."


Related articles

Canon Ambassador Jaime de Diego

Canon Europe Ambassador Programme

Find out how the ambassador programme works, and meet the phenomenal photographers chosen to represent Canon.

Canon Professional Services

Members get access to CPS Priority Support, both locally and at major events; a priority Fast Track repair service; and — depending on your level of membership — free back-up equipment loans plus return shipping and discounts on maintenance. They can also enjoy exclusive members’ offers.