BBC Member Featured Photographer/Artist:
My name is Christopher Ciccone and I am thrilled to be the first to be chosen as the “BBC Member Featured Photographer/Artist.” Photography has been a part of my life since my early years in high school, working in camera stores in the early 80’s and then as a master printer in professional photo labs (I’ve often joked that I have bleach-fix running through my veins.)
My interest in birds and birding began soon after I moved from my home state of New York to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1997. I had first visited Mount Auburn Cemetery simply to enjoy walks at this beautiful and historic location, but after a few visits began to notice folks with binoculars which piqued my interest. On one occasion, I was meandering down a grassy path and (what I now know to be) a Red-tailed Hawk pounced on, and ate, a small rodent on the ground not 10’ away from me. After finishing his meal, rather than flying away, he took a few steps, spread his wings, and laid down in the grass to sun himself. I’d never had an encounter like this in my life, and was still shaking as I was walking away, looking for anyone to tell about this. A gentleman I ran into explained what the hawk was, that they nested in the cemetery, and offered to show me the nest (with chicks) in his scope. That same day, I went out and bought my first pair of binoculars and a field guide. Since that time, birds, birding, and research has become a part of my daily routine – affecting everything from where I’ve lived, the great friends I’ve made, vacation locations, and in fact even to meeting my wonderful wife, which happened on a Brookline Bird Club walk.
My primary goal in my photography is to capture those intense and breathtaking experiences to share with others in hopes that they, like me, would become enchanted with birds, and be inspired to help conserve wild spaces and preserve the wildlife of this planet. If there is one thing that I want people to know and remember about me and my work, it is that I approach my wildlife photography from a strong ethical standpoint of “first, do no harm” – I never bait animals for a photo (a very hot topic these days), and I strive to have little-to-no impact on their lives. I want others to enjoy my photos knowing that the welfare of the subject is always of the utmost importance.