Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a French photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist. He is especially well known for his book Earth from Above and his film Home. Yann Arthus-Bertrand was born in Paris on 13 March 1946 in a renowned jewellers’ family founded in 1803 by Claude Arthus-Bertrand and Michel-Ange Marion. His sister Catherine is one of his closest collaborators. He has been interested in nature and wildlife from an early age.
He became a director assistant when he was 17 in 1963, then an actor in movies. He played alongside famous actors such as Michèle Morgan in Dis-moi qui tuer by Etienne Perier and in OSS 117 prend des vacances by Pierre Kalfon.
He gave up the movie industry in 1967 to run the Château de Saint Augustin wildlife park in Château-sur-Allier (centre of France). He then left the country with his wife Anne when he was 30 (1976) to live in Kenya in the Masai Mara National Reserve. He lived amongst the Maasai tribe for 3 years to study the behaviour of a lions’ family and took daily pictures of them during those years. He thus discovered a new passion for photography and the beauty of landscapes when observed from above in hot air balloons. He understood the power of a picture and how to communicate using this means.
He came back to France in 1981, published a photographs book Lions in 1983, and became an international journalist, reporter and photographer specialised in documentaries on sports, wildlife and aerial photography for French magazines such as Paris Match and GEO. He photographed ten Paris-Dakar rallies. Every year he published a book on Roland Garros, the tennis French open. He also took pictures every year at the Paris International Agricultural Show, and of ethologist Dian Fossey and gorillas in Rwanda.