Cris Toala Olivares, Amsterdam based photographer was born in 1982 in Manta, Ecuador. He followed an education in medicines in The Netherlands, before he decided to change profession when he felt to many constraints in offering proper care to patients due to the red tape in medical organizations. This led him to sell his guitar to be able to buy his first camera. Since then he has been working worldwide as an independent self-taught photographer, including in conflict areas. International magazines, newspapers and press agencies such as Reuters and Associated Press have published his photographs.
Increasingly Cris has shifted his focus to documentary work, both in assignment as well as autonomously. The subjects of his picture stories are mostly nature as well as cities, and always include the human side of these stories. He takes a special interest to give a voice to people he meets that are not often heard.
Cris won with his projects several international photography awards. He contributes to internationally renowned magazines such as GEO and National Geographic and is the author of the photo book “The Amsterdam Canals”.
One of Cris’ projects is a series on volcanoes worldwide. Besides the overwhelming power of nature, he focuses in particular the many ways people are cohabiting with these primal forces. He explores religious meanings, symbols for national identity, touristic, agricultural and geothermal exploitation, as well as death and destruction.
Cris’ newest project is the World Natural Heritage listed “Wadden Sea”, an intertidal zone, part of the Dutch, German and Danish coast. The various and often conflicting interests behind human activities are offering an interesting story of this vulnerable nature reserve.
Cris is frequently making pictures from an aerial perspective. These photographs offer an important added value to his overall story.
The work of Cris Toala Olivares is characterized by a meticulous preparation of his subject, a deep and personal contact with the people he is photographing, a keen eye for lighting conditions, and a highly intuitive feeling to frame the right moment in his picture.