Alex Mustard is an underwater photographer and marine biologist.
He took his first underwater photos when he was just 9 years old.
Alex has a Ph.D in marine ecology and worked as a marine scientist until 2004, when underwater photography became his career. He makes about 350 photographic dives per year all around the world.
He has been winning international photography awards since his teens, and his work is particularly well known from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest where it has featured in 14 different portfolio books of winning photographs over the last 20 years.
In 2013, he was named overall winner of the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year and is still the only underwater winner of that title. His book Reefs Revealed (2007) won the International Prize for Best Book of the Year at the World Festival of Underwater Pictures. He is a founder and chair of UPY: the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition.
He is especially known for sharing his knowledge - his best-selling book Underwater Photography Masterclass (2016) was reprinted just two weeks after being released. He runs highly popular underwater photography workshops all over the world. During lockdown, he has recorded more than 200 episodes on Wetpixel Live, an educational YouTube channel on underwater photography.
He has written over 500 illustrated articles for magazines around the world on underwater photography, marine life and scuba diving, and photographed more than 200 underwater covershots. He has contributed to more than 50 books, including those that accompany landmark documentary series, such as David Attenborough’s Life On Earth, Blue Planet and Our Planet.
In 2007, Nissan built a concept car version of the NV200 specifically designed around his needs as an underwater photographer, although he does not get to use it as it is now displayed in the Nissan museum in Tokyo!
Alex shoots with Nikon cameras in Subal housings, but also receives photographic gear support from Nauticam, Seacam, Retra, Inon and others. He is the inventor of the Magic Filter for underwater imaging and now helps major manufacturers developing photography equipment, particularly underwater optics and lighting.
He has been an Editor at Wetpixel.com since 2006, and a committee member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers since 2002. In 2016, he received the ADEX Award for his ‘Extraordinary Contribution to Underwater Photography” and in 2020 he was awarded the Golden Trident from the International Academy of Underwater Sciences.
In 2018, he received national recognition, receiving the title of MBE from Queen Elizabeth II (the same award the Queen gave to the Beatles in 1965) for ‘services to underwater photography’.
Fortunately, Alex’s family are all obsessed with water! His wife, Dr Eleonora Manca, did her Ph.D. on sea grass and works as a marine conservationist advising the UK government. Their sausage dog, Zena (named after Genova) freedives and their young daughter, Isabella, is getting ever more adventurous in the sea.