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Cristina Mittermeier

Conservation Photographer; Co-Founder, SeaLegacy; Founder, Former President, and Fellow of The International League of Conservation Photographers

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A virtuous mind and voice in conservation photography and one of the most influential female photographers in the world, Cristina Mittermeier began her career as a Marine Biologist working in her native Mexico. She soon discovered that she could better advocate for the oceans and the planet through the lens of her camera than she could with data on spreadsheets.

Today, Cristina is the co-founder of the conservation society, SeaLegacy,  a National Geographic contributing photographer, a Sony Artisan of Imagery and the editor of 26 coffee table books on conservation issues. She is the first female photographer to reach 1M followers on Instagram and was a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She is acknowledged as one of the most Influential Women in Ocean Conservation in 2018 by Ocean Geographic, and The Men’s Journal recently named her as one of the 18 Most Adventurous Women in the World.

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Cristina Mittermeier Sizzle Reel

PIX2015 - Cristina Mittermeier - Water's Edge - Keynote

How National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Cristina ...

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Cristina Mittermeier is the marine biologist and activist who pioneered the concept and field of conservation photography. Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues. In 2014, Mittermeier co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean. SeaLegacy is a global network of storytellers who use their art and expertise in media and communications to fuel a community focused on restoring the ocean's health and abundance.

In 2020, on the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Mittermeier announced the most ambitious project of her career: Only One, a new digital technology product that amplifies stories, campaigns, and solutions that sit at the intersection of ocean health and social justice and uses the power of media and technology to inspire individuals to take action to rebuild ocean life. Mittermeier is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and was named one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year in 2018.

She is also the recipient of many awards, including the Mission Award from the North American Nature Photography Association, the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award, and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back. In recognition of her three decades of courageous journalism and making the pictures that tell the story of our planet, Mittermeier was presented with the 2021 Seattle Aquarium Sylvia Earle Medal and is the recipient of Travel + Leisure's Global Vision Award for 2021.

Speech Topics

There are secrets held deep within sacred cultures that many of us will never get to experience first hand. These secrets transcend time, place and perhaps most importantly, possessions. Through a personal discovery of what it means to find joy by fulfilling our human promise, Cristina takes audiences to some of the most remote indigenous communities on earth. From the traditional Inuit ways of life in Greenland, the couragoues warrior tribes of the Amazonian, to the resourceful youth of Madagascar’s Vezo tribe and the First Nation activists of British Columbia’s environmental movement, the ancient secret to happiness is not about how much we have, but by how much we give back.

Photojournalist and marine biologist Cristina Mittermeier has traveled around the globe to explore indigenous populations’ relationship to that most sacred element – water. From the Amazon to British Columbia and Hawaii, Mittermeier has immersed herself in indigenous communities to share stories and images of the powerful interdependence of people and water. Join her as she shares a treasure trove of remarkable photographs and a priceless understanding of the one concept that bound these three different communities: “enoughness,” or, taking only that which you need.

Cristina has been in love with the sea her entire life, and she has spent her entire career sharing this love with millions of people around the world. Through unique personal stories, compelling imagery and a solid scientific background, Cristina will open your heart and mind in a way that ensures your relationship with the ocean, and all of its creatures will be profoundly changed. If you haven’t already fallen in love with the sea, this is the start of your lifelong affair. If you already know how precious our oceans are, Cristina’s stories and images, filled with both heart and humour, will cause you to fall in love all over again.

One in every 7 people around the world depend on the ocean as a primary source of food and are also the most vulnerable communities to the effects of climate change, and yet, many of us have little awareness of the life-giving and life-taking powers of the sea. With the number of people relying on the ocean for food expected to double to within twenty years, Cristina turns to examples of coastal communities standing up to protect and restore the bounty of their ancestral shores.  With grace, integrity and humour, Cristina takes you to the shores of our world’s oceans for an experience that will open your heart, and mind, highlighting the fact that we are all ocean people.

There’s a beauty in the space between land and sea that is found nowhere else in the universe. It’s in this space that Cristina’s unique perspective showcases just how inextricably linked we are to all to other species on this planet. Cristina transcends this thin blue line and exposes the mystery contained in a space that both connects and divides. Through stunning imagery and engaging personal accounts, Cristina will grab audiences by the heart and mind, transporting them to a world that humans are only beginning to understand.


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