Under the supervision of one of Mozambique’s most noted photographers Ricardo Rangel, Santimano started to work as a photo journalist for the newspaper Domingo in 1982. From 1983 to 1988, he produced and published relevant work for national as well as international press, covering war, famine, and political issues for AIM (Mozambican News Agency). In 1988, with his Swedish wife, he moved to Sweden where he worked and studied documentary photography.
After the end of the Mozambican civil war in 1992 he started working as a freelancer, documenting the consequences of war and the reconstruction of the country. For the first time in his life he could travel across the entire country and discover it in times of peace.
His first major work, starting from 1992 until 1993, was a long-term project – a series of portraits about a mine victim, Luísa Macuácua, whom he accompanied from the capital Maputo back to her town of Inhambane. From this work resulted an exhibition with the title Mozambique – Caminhos / The Long and Winding Road. It was shown internationally, and extracts from it were published in Revue Noir and the prestigious Portuguese news magazine Grande Reportagem in Lisbon.
Since 1997 Santimano has worked in Northern Mozambique. On several trips he has explored the northernmost province of Cabo Delgado on the Indian Ocean for an extended project. The outstanding series Cabo Delgado - A Photographic History of Africa emerged as a result of these journeys.
In the years from 2001 to 2005 followed Terra incognita, his work on Niassa as a homage to its people. It focuses on the realities of human life, the cultural identity of the people, and their solidarity in a place where they live under very difficult circumstances. On his trips to the North, Santimano always visits the Ilha de Moçambique (UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Site), the legendary first Portuguese base situated on the East African coast on the way to India. This is where he is working on another long-term project at present.
Since 1992, Santimano has exhibited extensively throughout Africa, Europe, Sweden, India.