8,7 million

this is the last prediction count of eukaryotic species on our planet today.

480 years

the time needed to ideally complete all species cataloging by scientists.

1 field studio

to catch them all in photo!

Meet Your Neighbours

A photographic exhibition of Emanuele Biggi, in collaboration with the Meet Your Neighbours™ international project

I’m among the photographers collaborating into the project Meet Your Neighbours, that aims to promote the knowledge and curiosity in people about the world around us!

As the MYN creators say:

Founded in 2009, Meet Your Neighbours™ is a worldwide photographic initiative created by Niall Benvie and Clay Bolt. The project is dedicated to reconnecting people with the wildlife on their own doorsteps – and enriching their lives in the process. These creatures and plants are vital to people: they represent the first, and for some, the only contact with wild nature we have. Yet too often they are overlooked, undervalued.

How does Meet Your Neighbours make this reconnection? Through producing inspiring imagery – the sort of pictures that make the viewer think, ‘I’ve got to see this for myself!” And then we encourage people to “meet their neighbours” through their own cameras.

Meet Your Neighbours images have an instantly recognizable look. Each subject is photographed on location in a field studio. A brilliantly-lit white background removes the context, encouraging appreciation of the subject as an individual rather than a species. Their own form constitutes the composition. Seen this way, animals and plants we thought we knew reveal another side of themselves, encourage a second glance, perhaps even renewed interest.

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Scorpions don’t only inhabit deserts and tropical forests, but they’re also here around us. The ones in the image belong to one of the small Italian species (Euscorpius sicanus) which also live inside our cities and backyards. In the image you can see a one week young scorpion (upper side), still whitish and fragile.

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Southern smooth snake (Coronella girondica)

Mostly a night hunter, this Coronella girondica is a harmless snake that mainly hunts lizards and geckoes. It remains mostly undetected by many people, even living very close to human settlements.

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tarentola

They live among us, sometimes inside our houses, in search of tiny insects, mosquitoes or spiders to hunt. Geckoes populate the world with hundreds of species and this Moorish gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) is almost certainly a “familiar face” of Mediterranean summer evenings.

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Common hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) can be found around small cultivated patches, gardens and even inside big cities

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Helix

Snails (like this Helix lucorum) and slugs are all around our gardens and cultivations, they silently walk on their “foot” and chew vegetables after vegetables.

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Mirror orchid (Ophrys speculum), blooming plant, Pompeiana (Italy)

This beautiful mirror orchid (Ophrys speculum) is a real rarity, but when it’s present, it can even be present very close to human settlements, in sunny places. Orchids can be sometimes found even along very crowdy roads and even with their bright colors, they can go unnoticed by most people.

The initiative engages photographers from around the world to celebrate these animals and ask people in their communities to “go meet your neighbours”. Some have partnered with local conservation NGO’s who support their work and, by using it as part of their outreach effort, ensure that it is seen. Others shoot independently and contribute their work on a profit-sharing basis to the branded Meet Your Neighbours collection with Bristol, UK, -based Nature Picture Library. New photographers join the initiative every month and we are especially keen to hear from photographers working in the tropics and “under-exposed” regions. Our aim? – to build coverage of neighbourhood” wildlife, especially overlooked plants and animals, from around the world, allshot to the Meet Your Neighbours standard.

This is conservation photography at the grass roots level, asking people to care about their own natural heritage, where they live and showing them how extraordinary it is in a novel way.

If you are tempted to ask “Well, why do we need orchids or salamanders, woodlice or bullfrogs anyway?” you may as well ask, “why do we need children, friends, community?” We can live without all these things but our lives are much the poorer if we do so.

Here below you can find a selection of my pictures belonging to this project, this is just a very small part of the images I’ve got to share in my exhibition for this project.