Sergio Burani’s passion is connecting with people and places around the world – beginning with his 32-year global marketing career, and now as a philanthropic travel photographer.
Sergio joined Warner-Lambert as a marketing executive in 1984. He was responsible for building the company’s presence in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “I had the opportunity to travel the world and developed an affinity for it,” said Sergio.
As his career progressed, he supported many product launches in the Adams confectionary division including the Dentyne, Chiclets and Trident chewing gum brands. With the goal of creating global businesses out of local brands, he helped introduce these American products to the rest of the world. When Sergio retired as a global e-business officer in 2002, he didn’t stop his worldwide pursuits.
Aiming to start a second career in travel photography, Sergio returned to school full-time to earn a degree in Photography Technology from the County College of Morris. “My favorite course was History of Photography. It allowed me to put technology into perspective and learn from the masters of photography,” recalled Sergio.
After graduation, he launched Photos by Sergio, a freelance photo practice focusing on global destinations. “I had the energy and strength to reinvent myself. With my new career I can now give back to the community,” said Sergio. All of his earnings go to Africa Surgery, a New Jersey-based nonprofit providing health care to the people of Sierra Leone. Last year, he visited the West African country to document the charity’s work; he considers the documentary to be one of his greatest accomplishments.
Sergio has visited India as well, where he captured vivid pictures of local culture – from a vibrant bride to an uncanny Mother Theresa look-alike, as well as an extensive collection of camels.
Out of all Sergio’s travel destinations, he frequents Italy the most. Twice a year he visits his second home in Nimis, a small town in northeastern Italy, to capture some of his other favorite subjects: food and wine. He features the photos on his blog, including behind-the-scenes descriptions of delicious meals and all things wine. His wife, Johanna, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, guest blogs on Sergio’s site; she also posts nutritional advice and recipes on her own blog, eatgoodcarbs.com.
Sergio recently overcame a setback in his photography career; he underwent surgery for a detached retina. He has successfully recovered and returned to taking pictures for his service. After his short photography hiatus, he reconciled his eyes with his camera by snapping gorgeous photos of peonies.
Along with his photography career, Sergio teaches amateur photography classes. This spring, he’s teaching a self-designed course to improve students’ photography skills and practices.
Sergio is truly enjoying life after his great marketing career at Warner-Lambert. “After more than 30 years spent in corporate life, my dream has come true: photography as a second career.”