Stefano Unterthiner

Growing up in a small mountain village in northwest Italy, Stefano spent his early years photographing in the Gran Paradiso National Park and trekking around the beautiful mountains of the Aosta Valley region. He began serious photography at the age of 17, went on to study zoology and, in the fall of 2000, obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. After completing his studies, Stefano returned to Italy and began his career as a zoologist. But his camera was always at his side, and it was not long before his hobby turned into an all-consuming lifestyle and profession.

His first award was in 2000, when Stefano won the prestigious Mario Pastore prize for best young environmental journalist. Stefano Unterthiner now travels regularly around the world in search of new subjects for his photo stories. He specializes in telling the life stories of animals, living in close contact with his chosen species for long periods. He also has a strong commitment to wildlife conservation and environmental issues, with a particular interest in the interactions between people and animals.

Stefano Unterthiner has published four stories for National Geographic Magazine; for his first assignment for the Magazine, he spent five months in the archipelago of Crozet shooting penguins for the story “Every Bird a King” (September 2009). Widely published in magazines worldwide, he is the author of six photography books.

Stefano is a regular prizewinner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and he recently won a second Prize (Nature stories) at World Press Photo 2011. He lives, with his wife Stéphanie, in the Aosta Valley, Italy.