Photographer Takes A Shark Selfie
Would you dare to take a selfie with dozens of sharks swimming and feeding inches away from you? Underwater photographer Aaron Gekoski said ‘Yeah, why not?’
Underwater photographer Aaron Gekoski and filmmaker Chris Scarffe headed to the Aliwal Shoal off Umkomaas, South Africa to work on a project for EpicTV when they came up with an ingenious idea to raise awareness for shark conservation: taking selfies with sharks.
The video shows Gekoski surrounded by dozens of blacktips and captures the moment a shark bites the buoy line just above Gekoski’s head and another nibbling at his camera.
‘Being in the midst of all those blacktips was one hell of a rush,’ Gekoski tells DIVE. ‘Despite a couple of close calls, I never really felt threatened. Through this video and the subsequent press exposure, we ultimately wanted to show that it’s not me that’s in danger, but actually the sharks themselves.’
The idea, concocted at the last minute after Gekoski and Scarffe were unable to find the sardine migration they were hoping to document, has spawned a future project to ‘travel the world encountering some of the most feared and endangered animals, taking a selfie and highlighting some of the conservation issues surrounding each species’.
Gekoski explains why taking a #SharkSelfie isn’t an ill-conceived publicity stint, ‘Chris Scarffe and I have spent years trying to raise awareness of endangered wildlife through film, photography and writing. Whilst we’ve enjoyed some success, we needed to reach larger and new audiences.
‘After seeing videos of cats with their heads in bread that had millions of views, we decided social media was the way to do this. Our idea was to harness the power of one social media craze – selfies – to get important messages out there in an accessible, fun way.’