Born in Kenya, then still a colony of British East Africa; to an Italian father and a French mother, Mirella Ricciardi grew up on the shores of Lake Naivasha in a household that was both sophisticated and wild. She was married at twenty-five to the Italian adventurer Lorenzo Ricciardi, who swept her off her feet and hired her as the photographer on the film he was making in Kenya.
Mirella’s first book, Vanishing Africa, was published in 1971. An international bestseller, it made her reputation; one reviewer wrote that it was ‘a masterpiece of photographic excellence’. She has since published four other photographic books – African Saga, Voyage of the Mir-el-lah, Vanishing Amazon, African Rainbow and most recently, African Visions.
She is currently completing her “magnum opus’, which will include an up date of Vanishing Africa with still unseen images.
Having finally severed her umbilical tie to the African continent, she now lives in the East Sussex English countryside surrounded by her Archive.