Max Cardelli was born in Milan, Italy. After high school, he enrolled in the Faculty of Political Science and, at the same time, attended Fashion Photography at the European Institute of Design.
Upon completion of his studies, he decided to move to New York where he began shooting his first assignments for Conde Nast America. There, his first editorial fashion stories were commissioned and his own distinctive style began to emerge. Over the years he has worked with several international fashion magazines; he is a devoted contributor to Italian Marie Claire and his editorials also appear on Allure, D Magazine, French Elle, WallPaper, GQ, Russian, Dutch and Spanish Vogue and others.
His advertising clients include names such as Lancome, Versace, Prada, Nike, Wella, Shiseido, Collistar, Max Mara, Platinum, Missoni, La Perla, L’Oréal, Daks, Mila Schön, Clarence, Les Copains, Pirelli, Etro and Issey Miyake.
Max is also, from the onset of his carrer, a portrait lover. His research on expressiveness involves celebrities as well as less popular faces but always with a strong emotional impact. Among the celebrities photographed there are Italian beauties like Monica Bellucci, Laura Chiatti and Valeria Golino next to names of international fame such as Jennifer Lopez, Cecile de France, Milla Jovovich and Vanessa Paradis.
In 2005 he was one of the photographers hosted by the Milan exhibition “Italian Eyes”, an exhibition overview on fashion photography in the last 50 years. In 2006 he received the International Kelly Award for the best spread campaign in collaboration with the agency Wieden Kennedy for Nike Women’s Fall campaign 2005, which celebrates women’s bodies. In 2009, he realized his own project on the city of Havana for the 50th anniversary of the Cuban revolution. This project gave life to a book and a personal exhibition in January 2011 for the fifth edition of the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Ferrara.
In 2013 he realized a collection of B/W photographs of the actress Isabella Ferrari. These images, accompanied by a series of poems written by Aldo Nove, gave life to a book (“Forma/Luce”) on female archetypes (published by Drago Editore and sponsored by Bulgari for the benefit of Save the Children). In July 2014 the project was exhibited in the Horti Sallustiani in Rome. In 2015, Max realized a personal exhibition: “Wonderwomen”, a collection of 40 prints of women portraits exhibited in Milan. He is currently working on a new project on women portraits.