Hi! My name is Riccardo Mattea, and I am a conservationist and wildlife photographer based in Central Italy, where I am from.
My passion for wildlife started when I was young, as I imagine it did for many of you, when I was living in the island of Puerto Rico. Being surrounded by iguanas, coquìs, tropical birds, and plants, my eyes could not resist but stare at them all day long. This part of my life, was a big influence in who I am today.
Being so passionate about wildlife, I started pursuing a career in it, and completed a BSc in Zoology (Anglia Ruskin University), and an MSc in Global Biodiversity Conservation (University of Sussex).
I began wildlife photography during my first trip to the tropics, in 2015, when I visited the rainforest of Kibale National Park in Uganda. Here, I remember being so excited about every insect or frog I would come across – it was an eye opening experience.
Although Uganda was a big part of the beginning of my career as a photographer, the love for this art really started in Ecuador, when I lived there for two months, during my thesis studies looking at amphibian species assemblages in the Chocó rainforest. Since that moment, I never took my hands off the camera, and strived to learned about this field.
As a zoologist, passionate about food webs, behavior, and ecology, my main focus has been to capture and show the world the most unique animals and behaviors, especially of the lesser known groups: reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.
Nowadays, I work as an environmental guide and photographer, with the aim of teaching people about the value of nature. Although my job takes me to remote places, I am a big fond of shooting locally, because you never know what you will find.
I also collaborate with NGO’s such as Alliance for a Sustainable Amazon, and ACEER foundation, of which I am a fellow.
Ethics is also one of my strongest values. One should always portray the animal in its natural environment, and especially behaving normally, without manipulation, feeding or heavy disturbance.