The second most common phobia in the world is ophidiophobia – the fear of snakes (arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, tops the list). Obviously, photographer Mark Laita isn’t crippled by this particular fear. The Los Angeles-based photographer took on the most venomous snakes from the USA and Central America as subjects for his book Serpentine. Taken against a black background, Laita captures the colors, patterns, shapes and movement of the deadliest snakes he could find – not without the help of trained snake handlers, of course. Still, during the course of the project Laita got bitten several times by non-poisonous snakes, and once by a Black Mamba. Below you’ll find just a few of the stunning snake shots in Laita’s book. Get your copy here.