Canon Ambassador Pie Aerts is fascinated by the relationship between humans, animals and their natural environments. Whether documenting the lives of Buddhist monks in Nepal or photographing elephants in Kenya, the gifted storyteller has earned praise for both his portraiture and wildlife imagery. "I see my camera as a magnifying glass, drawing attention to smaller narratives," he says.
The Dutchman's path to becoming a full-time professional photographer, however, was anything but conventional. Born in Maastricht in the Netherlands, Pie's early ambitions lay in the hospitality industry. After completing degrees in hotel management, he set about climbing the corporate ladder, working for one of the country's largest food retailers. "I was making good money and my career was moving fast," he says. "I was in the middle of the rat race."