Didier Ruef was born in 1961 in Geneva, Switzerland, and has dual nationality, Swiss and Italian. He graduated from Geneva University, where he studied Economics (1981 – 1984). In 1985, he went to New York, where he obtained a diploma (1986) in photojournalism at the International Center of Photography (ICP). Since returning to Switzerland in 1987, he has started to work as a freelance documentary photographer and photojournalist and has visited all five continents, with a preference for Africa. He has worked on various reportages on the human condition in color and black & white.
Didier Ruef is based in Lugano, Switzerland, and works as a freelance photographer. He was a member of the Network Photographers Agency in London from 1991 to 1997 and a founding member of the swiss photo agency, Pixsil, created in september 2002, which he left in July 2009.
He is currently represented by the photo agencies Cosmos in Franc, Luz Photo in Italy and Visum in Germany.
Didier Ruef has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Swiss Red Cross, Heks (Interchurch Aid), the Syngenta Foundation and the World Council of Churches.
His pictures are published in numerous magazines and newspapers in Europe, Asia and America. He has presented his work in various individual and collective exhibits.
Didier Ruef published in 1997 his first book on swiss mountain farmers, Bauern am Berg – Offizin Verlag, Paysans de nos montagnes – Editions Monographic, Vita di montagna – Edizioni Casagrande.
In 2005, he published his second book Afrique Noire – Infolio Editions.
In 2007, he was commissioned by the Swiss Foundation DiDé, Dignité en Détention, for a his third book Enfants Prisonniers on Minors’ Jail in Gitarama, Rwanda.
Since 1991, he has also been shooting worldwide a personal project of twenty photo essays on Man and Waste. In 2011, he finaly published his fourth book Recycle – Labor et Fides ( french – english) and Edizioni Casagrande ( italian – german).