Tree hugger- a slightly derogatory term for someone annoying because of being too concerned about protecting trees and the natural world – I think I am this annoying creature! Firstly I am an environmentalist and secondly I am a photographer very much in love with these most graceful creations. I can’t remember literally hugging the tree, so no, you will not see me at dawn or dusk wearing a white dress and flowers in my hair dancing around the tree, but I do touch the bark of trees and familiarise myself with the texture, I admire trees’ amazing shapes, the variety of leaves shapes and colours, I analyse the seasonal changes and try to portrait the trees in all their beauty. Initially I was interested in recording nature in general; many years of hard work and I attained a postgraduate degree in botany. It seems that after university my professional career took a sudden twist and it was quite a few years after, that again, I took the camera into my hands. I have started taking pictures of landscapes, seascapes and even architecture but it seems that once a hugger, always a hugger and trees are continuously popping up here and there in my photos. Lately, after lengthy conversations with my friend about it, I have started to think, can I really use the word “environmentalist” to describe myself? After all, I am not in any government or environmental organization, I don’t actively campaign on a big scale, I don’t analyse the baseline data and with a mile long reports knock at the politician’s doors and I have very little influence on well known international environmental agreements. Very little doesn’t however mean not at all! My protection work is at the very base level; I understand how the ecosystem works, I practice protecting the natural environment, I am careful with the use of water, I recycle, my home is energy efficient, I make other people aware of the challenges and campaign for little projects that are close to my heart (look at my earlier blog “Save Salgados” here http://beatamoore.co.uk/?p=642). I also photograph the beauty of the natural world and if any of my images made someone stop and think: “wow, we need to keep this world intact”, it is a start, as there will be yet another individual that is going to choose to act in a responsible way and feel morally obliged for the tasks contributing to the environmental protection. So tree hugger, naturalist or environmentalist? It doesn’t matter, as long as I can somehow save even one tree in my lifetime!