Francesco Zizola was born in 1962 in Rome, where he studied anthropology. He took up photography as a profession in 1981 and in 1986 devoted himself entirely to photojournalism. His pictures have been published by leading Italian and international newspapers and magazines. Zizola has been awarded several international prizes, including the World Press Photo of the Year in 1997, eight other category awards in World Press Photo contests, and four Picture of the Year awards.
He has published seven books, among which are True Colors, Uno Sguardo Inadeguato, Iraq, Etats d'enfance and Born Somewhere, an extensive work on the living conditions of children from 27 different countries. In 2006, the Italian film director Liliana Ginanneschi made a documentary on Zizola called Occhio Sensibile (Sensitive Eye). In 2007, he opened 10b Photography, a Rome-based multipurpose centre for professional photography, featuring a gallery and a digital laboratory. He is a member and co-founder of Noor picture agency.