Canadian photographer Benjamin Von Wong captured stunning photos of a woman tied down underwater near sharks in Fiji to raise awareness on the misunderstood creatures.
“Sharks are almost always depicted as menacing and terrifying, yet it is humans that are responsible for killing them in the millions just to make soup,” Von Wong, 28, said.
Through the photos, Von Wong said he wanted to show that humans and sharks can co-exist together in harmony.
“As a photographer looking to create meaningful work, this was the perfect opportunity for me to create a series of images that would promote their beauty while advocating for their protection,” Von Wong said.
But it wasn’t an easy feat. The photo shoot took three days to complete and a crew of scuba divers. Von Wong also needed a model that could hold her breath for a long time underwater. Amber Bourke, a champion freediver, posed for the photos.
The white tipped reef sharks were quite shy, Von Wong said. “Though popular media would tell you that sharks come swarming at the slightest scent of blood, death and suffering, our experience with them was the complete opposite.”
The photographer has released a petition to advocate for the creation of more shark sanctuaries. So far, it has more than 5,000 signatures.
Watch a behind the scenes video of the photo shoot:
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