Mihai A. Barbu grew up in the Jiu Valley coal-mining town of Petrila, the son of internationally-recognized caricaturist and political satirist Ion Barbu. His family still lives in Petrila. Today Mihai is one of the best young photographers in Romania. After graduating in 2002 Mihai got a job as a photographer for the Guardian newspaper. Soon thereafter he became a press photographer with Reuters International. He worked with EPA and AP and is now a photojournalist with Romania Libera.
In 2009 Mihai spent four months riding his BMW motorcycle from Romania to Mongolia and back, some 26,000 kilometers. He wrote a book about his adventures, “Vând kilometri” (“Sell kilometers”), its title taken from the method he used for raising the funds for the cost of petrol for the trip, namely dividing the trip into parcels of 500 kilometers and and “selling” each parcel for 50 euros. Each of the 43 people who “bought” parcels of the trip received a story and a photo from the section of the trip they purchased.
Mihai has received numerous awards and honors : Junior Award (best photographer under 25 years ) in the AFPR Awards ( Press Photographers Association of Romania ) in 2003 , in 2004 was named ” Photographer of the Year ” at the AFPR , was awarded Honorable Mention – Team Sports Action – Best of Photojournalism 2006, and in 2008 won the ” Photo of the Year” awards in the Romanian Press Club.