Vincent Munier

Vincent Munier was born in Épinal, in the Vosges, in 1976. His childhood was spent building blinds, bivouacking in the forest, canoeing down rivers, climbing walls... His father, Michel, an early environmentalist, revealed his camping tricks to him and passed on to him the visceral need to "tiptoe into the forest". Vincent was 12 years old when, hidden under a camouflage cloth and trembling with emotion, he took his first shot of a deer. After high school, his travels took him first to the primary forests of Eastern Europe to meet bears, lynxes and wolves, then to Scandinavia to follow the migratory journey of the grey cranes. In 1999, he published his first book, The Ballet of the Cranes.

As a horticultural worker, bricklayer and photojournalist, he did a number of odd jobs to finance the purchase of equipment. Encouraged by several successes in the "Wildlife Photographer of the Year" competition organised by the BBC, he decided in 2000 to devote himself exclusively to wildlife photography. With the help of a grant, he spent three months on the island of Hokkaido photographing Japanese cranes and whooper swans in the snow. This led to the publication of the book Tancho (2004), personal and poetic.

Vincent is known for his unique photographic style, inspired by Japanese prints and minimalist art: mist, rain, snow and blizzard clothe landscapes and animals, whose silhouettes can sometimes only be distinguished. His images are the result of increasingly distant quests and long periods of patience in order to be forgotten by the legitimate inhabitants of nature: wolves in Ethiopia, brown bears in Kamchatka, white wolves and musk oxen in the Arctic, snow leopards on the Tibetan plateau, emperor penguins in the Antarctic...

In 2013, he spent a month alone and unassisted on the icy island of Ellesmere, in the Canadian Arctic, at 80° north latitude. A pack of nine white wolves came to meet him: these "ghosts of the tundra" will be featured in his book Arctic (2015).

The snow leopard, another elusive predator that he photographed for the first time in the spring of 2016 on the Tibetan high plateau, will be the subject of two books in 2018, including Tibet, mineral animal with travel writer Sylvain Tesson. In 2021, the film La panthère des neiges (The velvet queen)which he co-directs with Marie Amiguet.

Vincent now exhibits in art galleries in Europe and the United States and publishes his images in the international press. Author of a dozen books, he founded the Kobalann publishing house in 2010 and supports several wildlife protection associations. His base camp is still established in his native Vosges.

Biography taken from the album Reporters Without Borders, 100 photos for press freedom, 2018.