Cristina Mittermeier

Photographer / Speaker / Explorer & Contributor to National Geographic / Co-founder of @sea_legacy / SonyArtisan / NatGeoCreative / Founder of iLCP

847 posts 692,215 followers 6,937 following

The Maasai people are a symbol of Kenyan culture. To be a Maasai is to be born into one of the world's last great warrior cultures. From boyhood to adulthood, young Maasai boys begin to learn the responsibilities of being a man and a warrior. The role of a warrior is to protect their animals from human and animal predators, to build homes, and to provide security to their families. Today, the Maasai find themselves at odds with conservation. As grazing land becomes more and more encroached, they have no choice but to illegally bring their cattle to graze in Wildlife reserves. This introduces conflict with rangers and tourist operators. Most importantly, it creates conflict with wildlife. This is not the first time indigenous people are at odds with conservation and as the stakes get higher, the solutions become more difficult.
With @paulnicklen @epixnix and @lnixpix


How would you like to be greeted by singing and dancing? As I hiked towards the Volcanoes National Park in search of Mountain Gorillas, we walked through small villages and hamlets tucked away in the mountain. The women were out in the fields working and as we passed by, kids rushed out of their homes to greet us. As much as I wanted to repay their generous greeting, our guides had warned us not to give them money, because that would encourage them to skip school and beg instead. So although no financial gain comes to them, they still danced their little hearts out. I would love to know what you think of this?

#Enoughness #Gratitude #Dance #Love


Today is the last day to add your voice to official public opinion regarding Vancouver Island’s wolves, who continue to endure barbaric trapping practices and short-sighted culls allowed by the @bcndp government. BC Premier @johnhorgan4bc now wants to extend the trapping season—still allowing leg hold traps—to 10 months of the year. Send comments directly to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development, Doug Donaldson: And also to Premier Horgan at and We are better than this, aren’t we?



The @BCNDP government wants to lengthen the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island. The B.C. government is still not recognizing the coastal wolves of Vancouver Island as genetically distinct and globally rare, nor the highly social nature of these family groups or packs. Leg hold traps are inhumane, cruel and should be banned. If you want to help, join @sea_legacy and @pacificwild in letting the B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch know you oppose the NDP government proposal to lengthen the wolf trapping season on Vancouver Island. The deadline is January 19th. Alternatively, the mailing address is: B.C. Fish and Wildlife Operations, 2080A Labieux Road, Nanaimo, V9T 6J9. Alternatively, you could call them at (250) 751-3100. The best approach might be letting @johnhorgan4bc know you don’t this to happen at


Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the prettiest of them all? I love the things that we all have in common: wanting to feel good about ourselves, being proud of our heritage, being free to be who we are. I photographed this woman in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, as she was getting ready for a Sing Sing, or cultural festival. I love how pleased she was about her look. Beautiful in every way!

#Beauty #women #culture #love #pride


As two Thomson’s gazelles watch from the distance, a lioness takes her cubs out on a hunting trip. The Maasai Mara Wildlife Park is a magical place, but not all is well. Too many tourists, along with too many lodges and too many vehicles; surrounding Maasai communities struggling to find a place to graze their cattle (and often bringing it illegally into the park), and diseases transmitted to wildlife from domestic animals. That said, heroic efforts are being made by many to protect the integrity of this iconic park so that wild animals may survive into the future.
With @Paulnicklen @EPixNix @LNixPix and @sea_legacy

#love #wild #animals #mother #lion #Africa



Yes they are big, and when one of these leviathans decides to use its fluke to call some attention, it can definitely put up a show. Scientists don’t know if the persistent splashing of a whale’s tail is used as a form of communication, a playful gesture, a territorial or courtship display or just for fun. Sometimes I think they might be trying to scratch and itch! The truth of the matter is we know very little about these intelligent, sociable and amazing animals with whom we share our ocean planet.

#TurningtheTide with @Sea_Legacy with @PaulNicklen @_TomConlin @EPixNix @LnixPix @_AquaticAdventures

#Ocean #ballena #underwater #photogrqaphy #mar


A juvenile mountain gorilla munches on a leaf in the highlands of Rwanda. Less than 1000 of these beautiful apes remain in a handful of populations in Africa. Here in Rwanda, they are protected and part of a thriving tourism industry that supports surrounding communities. I was lucky to spend a few hours with them and to observe their loving family interactions, gentle attitude, and playful nature. A truly unforgettable experience.
With @paulnicklen @lnixpix @epixnix and @sea_legacy
#wild #animals #love #nature #hope #photography


In the coming decades, as the Arctic continues to warm at twice the rate than anywhere else, the place where the Last Ice will remain, will be northwestern Greenland, where I photographed this Greenlandic Inuit hunter. True to their connection to the land, and there hunting traditions, the Inuit people of northern Greenland will become the last great hunters of the North unless we, as a global society get a grip on climate change.

Niihi, a traditional Inuk hunter waits by the water’s edge with his kayak, his rifle and an inflated seal skin that he uses as a buoy to prevent his prey from sinking.
#TurningtheTide with @SeaLegacy @PaulNicklen @NatGeoPristineSeas @NatGeo



Photo by @AmyToensing // Few photographers produce work that speaks to me—and the kind of photography I aspire to do—more than @AmyToensing. I am in awe of her work surrounding women, and especially her recent coverage of widowhood. I saw her present at #WorksinProgress during @NatGeo Seminar last year and I was haunted by this image. West Bengal, India: This is Dhakti Dashi, a Bangladeshi widow who has lived in the back of an ashram for over a quarter century. Widowhood in some parts of the world marks a “social death”, and a woman is expected to live in mourning for the remainder of her life. But these expectations are fading, and laws are being enforced to protect and empower women. The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (@pulitzercenter) helped support the reporting for this story. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative
#tribute #women #metoo #honor #widow


On February 8th, @paulnicklen and I will be in #Chicago for a @sea_legacy fundraiser at @marshallslanding. I’m excited to share our fine art with Chicago, and to keep spreading the word about hope, conservation, and how we can help protect the oceans and animals we love. If you’d like to join us, go here ——> @lookbelowthesurface


Photo by @jodicobbphoto One of my favorite photos my one of my favorite photographers. The words that come to mind when I try to describe @jodicobbphoto work are “hidden worlds”; the hidden worlds of Geishas in Japan, the hidden worlds of Saudi women; the hidden worlds of human trafficking; all powerful, intimate stories that needed to be seen by the world at a time when there were only a handful of female photographers. She is also a woman of “firsts”, the first female staff photographer for National Geographic and the first woman to be named White House Photographer of the Year.

For any aspiring female photographer @jodicobbphoto is the role model of excellence to follow. I am lucky to call Jodi a friend and, as I have got to know her over the years, my admiration for her work and her photographic legacy has grown. To learn more about a truly iconic @natgeo photographer, #Follow @JodiCobbPhoto.
#tribute #grace #gratitude #first #metoo #admiration #women @natgeocreative



Photo by @MaggieSteber. In her own words ” "Photographers should have open minds and open hearts to see and RE-SEE the world in a new way if we want pictures to do their job.” Maggie’s photographs speak to me; her images live in the intersection between dreams and reality. When I look at her photographs, like this one of two girls from Oaxaca in my home country of Mexico, I am reminded of the feeling one gets when waking up from a dream. Light and dark, beauty and horror, innocence and grief, are the contrasting edges where Maggie’s images live. I know that if I work hard, keep a humble attitude to continue learning, open myself up to new ideas and ask lots of questions, maybe one day I will get close to doing this type of work.
To learn more about how a true artist leaves her mark to make this a better planet, #follow @MaggieSteber. You will not regret it.

#Admiration #Icon #love #Friends #women @natgeo @natgeocreative #triubute #metoo


Photo by @amivitale. Who inspires you? Who do you look up to? As I head to @NatGeo Headquarters today for the photographer’s annual seminar, I am excited to see some of the photographers who I admire most. The amazing women whose work I will share with you this week, are not only talented, they are passionate voices for some of the most pressing issues of our generation.

Meet @amivitale. Although she is best known for her coverage of orphaned baby elephants and rhinos in Africa, and the reintroduction of pandas back to the wild in China, she is also very outspoken about gender equality and the difficult lives women lead around the world. I chose to share this image she made in Benin during a #Fulani baby naming ceremony in which the girls put on lipstick for the special occasion, because like Ami, I believe we need to so much more for women’s rights.
Ami is a courageous assignment photographer who has worked in remote and dangerous places, from war-torn zones to the wilderness of Africa. I love that with this image, she chose to highlight the #MeToo movement.
Please #follow @amivitale so see the beautiful body of work she has created around the idea of making our planet, a better place for all.

#silencebreakers #women #WhistleBlowers #courage #speakup #tribute #gratitude #friends #oprahforpresident


There is a poetry in the way light dances as it enters the water, especially when I am in the company of animals. As this young American crocodile gently pushes itself off the bottom to take a breath, I am reminded of the fact that we are both fragile earthlings sharing time on this planet.
#TurningtheTide with @Sea_Legacy with @PaulNicklen @Andy_Mann @Ladzinski @MDalio @SamKretch

#lucky #grateful #underwater #picoftheday #bw



I’m almost back from a much-needed holiday getaway and ready to hit the ground running with the @sea_legacy team at our annual planning summit. Focused for 2018.


Spending the New Year in the company of Mountain Gorillas was an experience I will never forget. The expression on this creature, who is so closely related to us, and yet is peaceful and non aggressive, had me wondering if we can all strive to be more like them. I had to smile as this young gorilla briefly glanced at me from his peaceful nap. Protected by the Rwandan government, these gorillas, who live is small family groups, enjoy a tranquil life in the high altitude African forests of their home country and they support a thriving, and very well managed tourism industry that brings income to the communities with whom they share their homeland.

With @PaulNicklen @LNixPix @EPixNix and @sea_legacy

#peace #beauty #nature #kin #


Happy New Year! I hope that 2017 was good to you and that in 2018 you might see all your dreams come true. For myself, I will continue striving to find a sense of Enoughness in my own life. What is Enoughness? Well, it is the name of the feeling you get when you first step into a forest; the moment of clarity you feel when the first rays of sun shine on you in the morning; it is the determination to live in the here and now, to be present with those you love. In other words, it is the opposite of feeling unhappy and dissatisfied; it is the opposite of emptiness and it is also the remedy to too-muchness. Think about it often and you will find that Enoughness is not a task, it is a compass for how to better live our lives.

A group of Hawaiian girls cheers as the sun sets at the end of another year on the beautiful beaches of Makaha.
#TurningtheTide with @Sea_Legacy @haakeaulana

#Enoughness #Culture



The sun sets on 2017 and I’m looking forward to the next spin around the sun. I hope your year was productive, healthy, and full of beauty.


Happy New Year’s Eve, friends. Let’s all make 2018 as great as we know we can. Thank you for all the support at @sea_legacy. We will make you proud. Onward and upward. #turningthetide


Let’s stick together in 2018. We’ve seen how politicians can divide. Let’s show the world how communities unite. At @Sea_Legacy, we use the power of visual storytelling to amplify messages for ocean conservation and create real-world solutions for our waters. In 2018, we will amplify further and louder, growing our influence and creating more marine protected areas. To understand how we do this and donate to the cause, please click the link in my bio. We—all cultures, Nations and people—are in this together.


At the end of this year, it’s amazing to look back at how much of a difference @Sea_Legacy has made for our oceans. Through world-class storytelling, imagery, and progressive social media campaigns, we amplify a message for ocean conservation. So far, 762,494,000 social media impressions have registered in our campaign to protect the Antarctic Peninsula. That’s over 762 million times people have learned why we need to protect this pristine habitat from being destroyed by intense fishing in critical wildlife habitat. This awareness leads to results—similar to the recent grizzly bear hunting ban, and the protection of the Great Bear Rainforest—both campaigns @Sea_Legacy was part of. In 2018, we will amplify ocean conservation further, growing our influence exponentially and building constituencies with renewed vigor. Link in bio to learn more. #turningthetide


Ready for a New Year? I am! I hope that this is the year we truly turn the tide. I hope we are ready to find strength, courage and determination to bring some sense and light back into the world. It desperately needs us! Learn how to help on my bio.
A Pantanal cowboy rides into the sunset on a swampy afternoon.
#newyear #2018 #hope #turningthetide #brasil #pantaneiro #light


As we close another year, I am reflecting on the work that filled my heart with a sense of purpose; the people that gifted me with the best human emotions: Love, compassion, and empathy. I am making a list of the goals I want to achieve in 2018 and I am working on developing my own sense of #Enoughness. I want to Be Enough, Do Enough, Love Enough, have Enough. I want to make this a better planet. I wish the same for you! *
A group of Kayapó children runs around me with their homemade wooden airplanes. They have never flown, but they have crafted these toys from the planes that occasionally land in their village and their joy and laughter couldn’t be more precious! *
#love #gratitude #resolutions #brasil #newyear #2017


A pink anemone reaches out into the currents with sticky tentacles. Nothing makes me happier than to be in the company of animals. This Christmas I am grateful to all of you who have tried to do better by our planet. Those who struggle with how to help and those who refuse to give up. I am grateful for those who contribute in big and small ways, like picking up plastic from a beach or donating to conservation efforts. More than anything, I am grateful to those who share a message of hope and beauty in the preservation of our planet. This is our home; a wonderful blue marble full of fascinating animals, people and landscapes. I look forward to a new year where we change our relationship to nature, to one of appreciation and harmony.

Check out my #12DreamsofChristmas
On the link in my bio.
#turningthetide with @Sea_Legacy #nature #ocean #nature #follow #picoftheday #gratitude #Christmas #Hannukah


We woke up to a very White Christmas! I hope that wherever you are, you too have a lovely and warm holiday!

#christmas #whitechristmas #holiday #family #peace #enoughness


I loved watching Hawaiian surfers share the waves on Makaha Beach. “Ohana”, or family is the most important thing and as we head into this Christmas Eve, we have an opportunity to share with our our friends and family the values that are important to us. Love, kindness, tolerance, inclusion, protection for the weak and voiceless. If we want to live on a healthy planet, we must speak loudly and passionately about that dream. Treat all people with understanding, intelligence, patience and empathy and have a safe and Happy Holiday.
#ohana #christmas #family #enoughness #love #melekalikimaka


Like miniature Christmas trees, these tube fanworms have made their home on a brain coral. They poke their gills out of their burrow to find food and perhaps to remind us of how beautiful and important our ocean is. If you have not yet found gifts for all your loved ones, consider making a monthly donation to @Sea_Legacy on their behalf. As part of our monthly giving program, the recipient of your gift will receive exclusive behind the scenes media, early access to expeditions and campaigns, and the opportunity to participate in events, raffles, and even expeditions. Click on the link on my bio to learn more about the important work we are doing on behalf of the ocean and all its creatures.

#TurningtheTide #gratitude #Christmas #love #hope #oceans


Traveling by dogsled is like traveling on a magic carpet from which the majestic Arctic landscape is best be enjoyed. As we traveled, I couldn't help thinking that as the ice caps of Greenland continue to melt at an alarming rate, the fate of the last tribes of the north and perhaps of all humanity will become increasingly linked to the disappearing sea ice in the polar regions.
*⠀ #turningthetide wit @SeaLegacy. @paulnicklen @natgeo, @enricsala @natgeopristineseas #LastIce #husky, #dogs, #dogsled, #nature, #animals #love, #culture, #tradition, #enoughness, #gratitude, #ice, #climatechange


We are almost done our #12DreamsofChristmas, the wish list for the oceans that @PaulNicklen and I curated for @Sea_Legacy. For today’s dream, we want to see the world “draw down carbon.” By helping facilitate kelp reforestation and green ocean farming (like this farm in Tofino, Canada), we can draw down unprecedented amounts of carbon from our atmosphere and eventually reverse global warming. The solutions already exist. We just need to implement them. Click the link in my bio, settle down for a good read, and explore more stunning images from The @Sea_Legacy Collective, while learning more about the sustainable ocean solutions we are focusing on in our 2017 Impact Report. Happy holidays, friends.