AE 22. Cristina “Mitty” Mittermeier Photography, made under pressure.

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In my career as a professional photographer, several artists come to mind who have inspired me as an artist. However, one in particular stands out both for her work with indigenous peoples worldwide and for her underwater environmental photography; Cristina Mittermeier. She is an award-winning wildlife and conservation photographer, a marine biologist, a renowned portrait photographer, co-founder of SeaLegacy, and a mom. And if that isn’t enough, she is also secretly a friend of ours in the #watchfam as an explorer supported by the Rolex Perpetual Planet initiative.

Cristina’s portraiture and storytelling is a masterful blend of ecology, art, humanism, and advocacy. As she describes in this episode, she uses her art to capture an individual or animal’s power and personhood. Each shot she aims to capture serves as a connection to something dynamic or impactful. Whether it is marine life adapting to a changing world or the cultural power of an indigenous person trying to live their life in a modern world, her superpower is preserving images that evoke a sense of connection. Bringing us into her subject, we have a moment to empathize with the conflicts of a modern and changing world. If I had to describe a common thread in Cristina’s photography, it would be her ability to show the interconnectivity of our lives. That is, how our lives pressure the planet to change and how a changing planet pressures our lives.

As a scientist and environmentalist, she wants to keep her photography apolitical. She highlights the delicate balance of marine ecosystems and acknowledges their beauty and fragility. Her photography portrays the reminder that there is Hope for our environment. It draws not just from her observations as a marine biologist but also as a portraiture photographer showcasing the vital role indigenous communities play in conservation.

Her portraiture, above and below the waves, is a masterpiece of the interconnectedness of people and nature across cultures worldwide. It is a testament to her life as an environmentalist and photographer who wants to share Hope, one shutter click at a time.

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