Move over George Clooney, this marine biologist is ready for his close-up.

“Explorers are the most important humans alive today,” says New York City-based portrait photographer Felix Kunze. We couldn’t agree more about the people who decipher the mysteries of the planet and are usually photographed while doing their dusty, dirty, decidedly unglamorous fieldwork. “I chose to photograph the attendees at the glitzy Explorers Club Annual Dinner in the same way I would a Hollywood A-lister.”

The 112th Explorers Club Annual Dinner took place on March 12, 2016, at the swanky Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan, attracting more than 1,100 attendees from across the world to toast this year’s award winners and contemplate the challenges facing the ocean, this year’s theme. The festivities included the tradition of serving “exotic” appetizers, featuring invasive species such as lionfish, iguana, feral goat, and tarantulas.

Kunze’s blue-hued portable photo booth documented the night’s most notable. “For the dinner they dress to the nines, often wearing curious artifacts and exotic rarities," says Kunze. "For one night they are a microcosm of sophisticated fashion. It is the perfect portrait project.”