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The secret to shark photography

Updated: Aug 20, 2023

I might have a controversial opinion. Freediving with sharks is fun, but not the best way to get beautiful shark photos unless you are a professional. So, what to do if you want great photos of sharks but can’t dedicate your life to the craft? Working In Hawaii for the last few years I experienced firsthand what it takes to create underwater images and a way around some of the hard work.

When it comes to underwater photography whether it’s shooting white sharks in South Africa or freediving with tiger sharks and Galapagos sharks here in Hawaii, a good grasp of photo theory and lighting theory is very important. You have to understand how light works over and underwater, and know your gear, but that’s not the only challenge you will face. Some people become photographers first, and some are divers before they ever pick up a camera. Either path will come with its own set of strengths and skills but there are some secrets to shark photography specifically.

The secret of shark photography is simple: the best shots you can take with no shark safety training of any kind and experience will happen from inside a cage once you learn the technique. Experiencing sharks without boundaries is great and an amazing life experience but I can't even begin to tell you how long it took me to start getting decent shark photographs while freediving with these animals. It took months of constantly diving professionally and working alongside the sharks and that’s time that not everyone has at their disposal.

Cage diving gets rid of the problem. Sharks own the space around you and being curious by nature comes as close as they can get, delivering the best photo opportunity from nice close-ups to the most interesting behaviors. From here I can teach you all you need to know to get portfolio-quality work in one session. That’s why I’ve created an opportunity to show you how to create shark images you can be proud of.

These new shark photography workshops are available on the north shore of Oahu in Hawaii. Working with Haleiwa Shark Tours I will be able to lead the workshop this summer, for the best chance at amazing ocean conditions. Bookings are now available for workshop sessions and I can’t wait to see the images you will be able to create.

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