Fine art photography, African wildlife, Africa, alternative process, Chris Dei Photography

Early Work

Born in New York, Chris was originally trained in the field of classical music in the United States and Europe, so when she began photographing artists, it was with an insider’s knowledge of the arts. She became highly sought after for her intimate portraits of performing artists in the New York metropolitan area and in addition worked on digital projects for The Philadelphia Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and The JFK Center for the Performing Arts. Camera in hand, she spent the early years working in the studio and on location in and around New York.

In 2001, Chris booked her first trip to Africa. When she arrived, she knew she had found her true calling. She fell in love with its people, its astonishing wildlife, and its vast primordial beauty. She became increasingly less engaged in studio work as Africa became her passion and her life’s mission.


Today, Chris is an award-winning fine art photographer whose tribal and wildlife images echo the startling beauty of a disappearing world. Whether an intimate encounter with the wild eyes of a lion, or a sweeping shot of white wings and storm drenched skies, each work is a doorway into the simultaneous vitality and mystery of vast and magical lands. Her signature sepia tones and old world touch transport us into a time where nature’s balance and perfection were as yet unmarred.

One of the few fine art wildlife photographers in the world today, Chris’s work lifts the art of wildlife photography to new heights; she has created a portal back in time, a haunting entry point into the timelessness of nature. When standing before one of Chris’s limited edition handmade prints, it is virtually impossible to tell if it was shot at the turn of the century or in this modern age. Her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa, and is featured in the permanent art collection of The Bennington Center for the Arts, the Herlufsholm in Denmark, and can also be found in private collections on four continents. She consistently places in the most prestigious wildlife competition in the world, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, held annually in London. Her work in Kenya and Tanzania continues to receive international attention and wide critical acclaim.

Chris is an active member of the North American Nature Photography Association and a passionate advocate of environmental and wildlife conservation. Her photography is an act of conservation in itself, and has been acknowledged by the award of a signature membership in Artists for Conservation—a highly selective and prestigious group of some of the most renowned wildlife and nature artists in the world.


Deep immersion in Africa’s vast wilderness lends itself to introspection. Being both a witness to this unmatchable beauty, as well as an ongoing participant in it, Chris’s introspective journey manifested through the lens as a visual exploration of the great and mysterious journey we are all a part of. Her spiritual quest eventually led her to the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in India. Here she intensified her practice with an ancient meditation technique taught directly by one of the world’s rarest living Masters. Over time, a body of work aptly named Śhūnya began to take shape. Śhūnya means stillness, and these profound images, saturated with mystery and magic, are utterly still, and yet pulsate with unspeakable life. Chris has succeeded in opening a gateway for the viewer to move inward to the space of deep peace known only when the mind becomes indescribably still. Like her African images, this parallel work invites us into a world of radiating beauty and wonder. Chris brings decades of meditation and disciplined practice to Śhūnya, and thus the work is born not only through the lens of a master photographer, but also through the inner lens of the meditative experience.