Our next interview is with Aimee Jan. An underwater photographer originally from Nelson in New Zealand. Now based on the Ningaloo Reef in WA, Aimee spends most of her time below sea level swimming with and photographing all kinds of sea creatures including whale sharks. We were lucky enough to ask Aimee a few questions about her exciting career. Enjoy.
Hey Aimee! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. Much appreciated! First of all – where abouts are you originally from and when did you pick your first camera up?
Hey Michael, no worries and thank you for asking!
I am originally from Nelson in New Zealand and I can’t really remember when I got my first camera but I studied photography at high school and have always loved taking photos.
How did this evolve into the underwater photography that you are excelling at currently?
My very first under water camera was a little point and shoot Olympus which was perfect for holidays etc. When I moved to WA in 2011 and started working on the Whaleshark boats I got myself a Canon G12 which was perfect for starting out. When I started to work as one of the full time Photographers on the boat I upgraded my gear (always upgrading) and now use Nikon. I feel like my journey with under water photography has been natural and fun, I get to spend a lot of time in the ocean in all different scenarios, with lots of different marine life which I think has helped me a lot. The water clarity changes so frequently.
Your photography of underwater sea creatures is truly amazing. Have you had any dangerously close encounters with the big fish with sharp teeth?
Thank you and dangerous..no I wouldn’t say dangerous.
Which animals/fish are the most friendly when under the water?
In my experiences with sea creatures I have found that sea lions and seals are the most friendly by far! They seem to enjoy swimming with you as much as you with them :)
Do you have a favourite?
Where abouts are you based? And where is your favourite place to dive?
I am based on the Ningaloo Reef WA and I know it seems a little bias but it is my favourite place to dive.
Have you got any favourite female surfers or photographers that you draw inspiration from?
Favourite female surfer is Carissa Moore. She is not only a powerful and amazing surfer but she is also one of the most down to earth people I have ever met! I love that she helping the younger generation to get out there and enjoy life and the ocean.
What advice would you give to women starting out in the photography industry?
Take LOTS of photos and photos of things you love. Practice editing and don’t be afraid to share your work and try and I do mean try because its hard to not be to hard on yourself. Watch youtube videos to learn different things! follow photographers that inspire you and take an online course. These are all things that have helped me and still help me now.
Can you give us a little more info on what Coral Coast Creatives is?
It is a page I started so can share some of the other work that I have been doing. In the summer we don’t have Whalesharks here which means I am not working on the boat and have more time. I love going out and taking photos with friends and getting creative. It is a good way to make people feel good and have some fun at the same time. I have been working for a few different brands like @wearefeelgoodinc sunscreen, @duskysol jewellery and hope to keep building my client base.
What’s planned for 2020?
This year I have some fun things happening. Along with trying to grow our creatives page and me doing another Whaleshark/Humpback whale season here on the Ningaloo I am also going to Dominica in November to guide/photog 2 sperm whale trips for @cainedelacy I love Dominica and Sperm Whales so its a bit of a dream come true!
I have also teamed up with @worldtreasuredesigns in Hervey Bay to design my own jewellery which will be coming very soon starting with teeny tiny whale tail necklaces (100% recycled silver & made in Aus) which will be available through my Instagram handle @oceanaimee xx
Thanks for having me!