Cristina Mittermeier@cristinamittermeier

Photographer / Speaker / Adventurer at National Geographic / Founder of ILCP/ SonyArtisan / Founder of @Sea_Legacy /

Two short days ago, I left a @Sea_Legacy expedition in Alaska for the @cannes_lions International Festival of Creativity to represent @NatGeo as a #WomenofImpact in collaboration with @Facebook and @Instagram.
I love spending time with women who are making a difference in this world. It inspires me to work harder in meaningful collaborations. As an ethnographic photographer, I get to visit some of the most remote areas on Earth. I live on the edge of danger and discomfort, away from family and security, all in the hope that my pursuits may gift others with a broader, more compassionate view of our planet. On my travels, I have experienced the kindness, the sisterhood and the generosity of women from all cultures and all walks of life. The day I took this photograph, I was ill. So, I sought shelter from the relentless sun of the Madagascar Spiny Desert in a hut. In this tight space, I was cared for in the company of this beautiful woman, who was wearing a traditional mask made of powdered bark, which acts as a natural sunblock and mosquito repellent. We sat quietly in the smoldering heat, and I felt incredibly grateful for her humble hospitality.


Having the opportunity to photograph, represent, mentor and empower women has been one of the greatest gifts of my career. I am very honoured to represent @NatGeo today at their #WomenofImpact event with @Facebook at the @cannes_lions International Festival of Creativity

I photographed this Enga woman from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Her headdress, a precious heirloom made with the wings of an Astrapia Bird of Paradise, is a proud and cherished possession that will be passed on to her family. Images like this are collected in my new book “Amaze”, which can be pre-purchased on the link in my bio.

#canneslions #women #creativity


A panther chameleon, one of the most intriguing creatures I have ever photographed. Don’ t be deceived by its bright colors. It is a common misconception that chameleons of any kind can change color to match their surroundings. All chameleons have a natural color range with which they are born, and is dictated by their species. It is affected by temperature, mood, and light. Touching a chameleon is taboo among the tribes of southern Madagascar, an interesting bit of superstition that has probably spared these beautiful reptiles from extinction.


Video by @Sea_Legacy // When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The biodiversity in this pristine ecosystem is unlike any other in the world and worth protecting. Yet, the Provincial and Federal Governments of Canada continue to put it at risk by allowing open-net Atlantic salmon fish farms to operate across critical marine habitat. Diseases from these open-net containment pens spread to the local wild salmon, and their populations are declining. Salmon are a bio-rich nutrient delivery mechanism that feeds the entire ecosystem – from orcas and seals – to eagles and spirit bears. After these predators feast, the leftover fish carcasses, packed with nitrogen, act as a fertilizer for the rainforest, allowing the trees to grow to an impressive size. Without wild Pacific salmon, this entire ecosystem will suffer. Check the link in my bio to join us in the campaign to #GetFishFarmsOut.


Happy Father’s Day! A massive male Southern Sea Lion takes a nap next to his week-old pup on a remote island in the subantarctic. While the female goes out to sea to feed for a few hours, dad is reluctantly, in charge. Wishing all my friends who are wonderful fathers, an awesome father’s day! #TagADad #babysitting #cute #baby #fathersday


Jah is da word, da word is the music, music is da key to children.....For me, our complex and layered relationship with nature will never be fully comprehensible. It can become clear for small beautiful moments, but they are mere glimpses of an ever-evolving connection that is inextricably intertwined. I felt a moment of clarity when I photographed baby Ezequiel and his father, musician and surfer, Molonai, on an assignment in Hawaii a few years back. Among his ohana, his family’s friends, his parents, surrounded by music and on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, I understood that water has the power to give life or a sense of place in this world, and even strengthen the bond between father and son.
#fathersday #ocean #relationship #family #ohana #hawaii #photooftheday #instagood #bw #father #beach #beachlife #awesomeearth #enoughness


The diversity in the Gardens of the Queens is likely the most important factor behind its resilience. Teeming with three times more life than surrounding waters, a reef like this is much more capable of surviving rising temperatures than a system that has been weaken by overfishing, pollution and tourism. Yet, the abundance of life in this near-perfect marine reserve cannot protect it from the toxic effects of plastic pollution. Click the link in my bio to watch Cuba: Gardens of the Queen episode 7 on plastic.


This pint-sized schooling fish is one that most people have only seen inside a can, but it is so much more. Sardines plays a mammoth role in maintaining the balance of marine ecosystems as an essential food source for other fish, marine mammals, and seabirds. Their beauty and importance shine underwater in the mangrove forests of Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen. Diving with massive schools of sardines that sparkle and pulse with the light, emulating a synchronized heartbeat, gave us a sense of hope and pride for the future of our oceans if we just let them recover naturally. Visit the link in my bio to watch Cuba: Gardens of the Queen Episode 6 on these little, lively and vital fish.


Video by @Sea_Legacy // Wild salmon in British Columbia face a number of threats throughout their lifecycle, from habitat destruction caused by logging to pathogens and aquatic pollution from Atlantic salmon farms. Jamieson Atkinson, Cowichan Tribes, and the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, @living_rivers, funded by the Pacific Salmon Commission, tag salmon and collect critical data on the lives and marine survival of wild salmon populations. Projects like these, big and small, help to educate us and bring us one step closer to healthy and abundant oceans. Click the link in my bio to learn about @Sea_Legacy’s campaign to #GetFishFarmsOut of the Broughton Archipelago in British Columbia.


Protected by the Rwandan government, these Mountain Gorillas, which live is small family groups, enjoy a tranquil life in the high altitude African forests. I was lucky to spend a few hours with them and to observe their loving family interactions, gentle attitude, and playful nature. These Gorillas support a thriving and very well managed tourism industry that brings income to the communities with whom they share their homeland.


The Alaska Range; amazing. So interesting how some people see only piles of ore and oil to be exploited while others see the majesty of our planet in all its glory. Everything is connected. What do you see? #onassignment for @sea_legacy with @paulnicklen @liannanixon @ericnixonphoto @kyle.roepke
##power #beauty #nature #stoppebblemine


Shyly peeking from behind his mom’s grass skirt, a young boy from Yimas, a tiny community along the mighty Sepik River, eyes me with a mix of suspicion and curiosity. Not many people visit these remote villages, so although I am always respectful and friendly, I am never surprised when little children run away crying when they see me.
Deeply invested in a complex belief system that can oftentimes be scary and seeped with superstition, the spiritual lives of indigenous people must always be approached with curiosity, care and open minds.
#indigenouspeople #spirituality #PNG


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