Dr Alex Mustard, 48, from the UK, has been widely regarded as one of the world’s leading underwater photographers for the last 20 years. He has been taking photographs underwater since he was 9 years old and has worked as a fulltime underwater photographer since 2004. He has a PhD in marine ecology and occasionally publishes peer-reviewed papers (most recently 2023). In 2018 he received national recognition being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for ‘services to underwater photography'.
Alex has been involved in the development and testing of many of Nauticam’s innovative optical products down the years, such as the SMC, WAPC and EMWL, and currently shoots with a Sony camera in a Nauticam NA-A1 housing.
His photographs have won many awards including regularly in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year - being awarded in 9 different categories and appearing in 15 different books of winning pictures in the last 20 years. These include the first mirrorless photo awarded in the contest (taken with the NA-EM5), as well as the first awarded images taken with the SMC and WACP lenses. He is also a six-time category winner in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and in 2013, he was named European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the first underwater photographer to win this prestigious award.
His photographs have been displayed in exhibitions around the world and a particular highlight was personally presenting his work to Queen Elizabeth II in 2005. He received the Visions In the Sea Award for Outstanding Contributions to Underwater Photography (2003), in the ADEX Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Underwater Photography (2016) and the Tridente D’Oro - Underwater Academy Award (2020).
He is a founder and chair of the jury for UPY, the Underwater Photographer of the Year competition, and has acted as a judge for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the CMAS World Championship of Underwater Photography, the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year, the British Wildlife Photography Awards and most other contests. He has been a committee member of the British Society of Underwater Photographers for the last 21 years and is Associate Editor of Wetpixel.com. Alex’s photography is represented by Nature Picture Library.
His images are regularly featured in magazines, newspapers and books around the world. He has published several books including The Art of Diving (2006), Secrets of the Seas (2016) and Diving The Thistlegorm (2020) and has contributed to more than 50, including many of the books that accompany David Attenborough’s landmark nature series (including Life On Earth, Blue Planet, Our Planet, Planet Earth, Wild Isles). His 2007 book Reefs Revealed, won the International Grand Prize for the best book of underwater photographs, while his 2016 instructional book Underwater Photography Masterclass remains the most sought after title on the subject and was reprinted just two weeks after its launch.
Alex is a regular contributor to many publications in the marine, wildlife, diving and photographic media, and to date has published more than 700 articles. In particular, he is a sought after writer on all aspects of underwater photography, especially technique articles. In addition to various features, he currently writes monthly columns on underwater photography for Scuba Diving Magazine (USA) and Scuba Diver Magazine (UK & Australasia).
One of the most unusual projects Alex has been involved in is Nissan's NV200 concept car built for the Tokyo Motor Show. The car was designed specifically around his needs as an underwater photographer working in the field.