Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier was born in Mexico City in 1966 and grew up in nearby Cuernavaca, in the sunny state of Morelos. She graduated from the ITESM University in Mexico with a degree in Biochemical Engineering in Marine Sciences and later attended the Fine Art Photography program at the Corcoran College for the Arts in Washington, D.C.
As a conservation photographer, Mittermeier dedicates her life to creating images to help the world understand why we must protect wild places. She first discovered her passion for the natural world as a marine biologist working in the Gulf of California and Yucatan Peninsula. It didn’t take long to realise she could have more impact on how people view the planet and connect to it through the lens of her camera rather than data spreadsheets. Her images focus the relationship between human cultures, especially indigenous people and biodiversity.
Mittermeier is co-founder and president of Sea Legacy, a Sony Artisan of Imagery, A National Geographic photographer, and the editor of 24 fine art books on conservation issues. She is sought-after keynote speaker and presenter. Conservation is a puzzle says Mittermeier. Many pieces have to fit together to make things work. For me, the choice to be a photographer is to become a piece of the puzzle. In the absence of that, for me, photography means nothing.