Wouter van Brenk (1984), born and raised in the Netherlands, grew up with love for nature and wildlife.
Encouraged by his father, Wouter was only a little boy when he already learned to find wildlife in the local forests around his hometown (province of Utrecht) and at the majestic 'Veluwe'. In the years that followed he kept his wildlife interest and developed a major passion for herpetology.
Finding reptiles and amphibians in the wild (field herping) soon became more than a hobby. It turned into a life goal. A period of intensive study and learning about this fascinating world began and actually never stopped.
Nowadays Wouter is active in the field for RAVON, the organization that protects Dutch reptiles and amphibians. In one of the study areas he analyzes the occurrence of four of our seven native reptile species. Since May 2020 Wouter is member of RAVON's WAN (Working group Adder research Netherlands). This small and dedicated team is specialized in researching and conserving European Adder (Vipera berus) populations in the Netherlands.
Wouter is convinced of the fact that photography is a powerful tool to contribute to awareness and especially when it comes to reptiles.
Unfortunately snakes can be considered as one of the most feared and misunderstood animals on the planet. By occasionally showing photos and adding a few facts (e.g. about behaviour), the way these amazing animals are seen by many people hopefully changes at least a little bit in their favor.
Photographing herpetofauna in the wild is preferably done, and during certain moments even strictly required, 'in situ' (untouched and as found). Working with the least possible disturbance for the subject should always be the first and top priority. In Wouter's personal situation, photography is rarely a goal in itself. His herpetological work all the more. He often enters the field for research, without even putting his DSLR camera in his backpack.
Wouter with a secretive Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca), Netherlands