Firstly, can you start with a little bit about yourself?
My name is Aimee Jan, and I am originally from New Zealand. I moved to Australia 12 years ago and never left, I love the warm ocean!
I have been fascinated with whales and the ocean for as long as I can remember and never imagined that I would one day be able to swim with them for a job! I have to pinch myself sometimes.
What equipment do you use to create your images and why did you select it?
I use the Nikon D810, and for underwater, I use an 8-15mm Nikon lens and Aquatech Housing. My boyfriend was using Nikon, and I loved the photos he was getting so decided to stick with Nikon. I love the Aquatech housing because it is easy to swim with and light for travel ! I always have my go pro 6 attached to my housing just in case there is an opportunity to film something as well !
Which photographers have inspired you and why?
Oh wow, there are so many! I think the first photographer I remember looking up to is Sean Scott from the Gold Coast. He takes amazing photos and is such a nice and down to earth person. I am surrounded by photographers that I look up to and have taught me so much.
You work in a remarkable and isolated part of the world what do you love about where you live?
I love the community and how most everyone in it has the same love for the ocean and nature.
What inspires your creative vision?
Whenever I have a fantastic experience I want to keep it with me and capturing it with photos lets me relive precious moments :)
Sharing images of the things I love is important to me because I want everyone to see the beauty that I see.
How have you developed your imagery over the years?
I have always loved taking photos to have memories to look back on, and I guess over the years it has been fun to play around with different editing and explore that side of photography. Now I have started to do some portrait photography as well and am enjoying trying new things.
What advice do you have for achieving the best images in the ocean?
Always shoot your photos in RAW so that you can edit them without losing photos too much of the quality. Get close to the subject you are taking images of especially if the visibility of the water isn’t right. Try to keep the sun behind you. If you are taking photos of wildlife, try to remember that they could be shy so don’t chase them. You will get better pictures if you stay calm.
Have you ever had any experiences in the ocean that really scared you?
I guess so, maybe not so much scared but in ore of the size of some of the animals we see for example humpback whales can grow up to 16 meters long, and it can be an adrenaline rush being in the water with them!
What would be your message to the world about the ocean?
It is incredible and full of beautiful and weird creatures, and we absolutely have to look after it, It takes up 70% of our planet. Don’t buy unsustainable seafood. Avoid plastic where you can, 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year, and our marine life is swallowing more plastic than ever, and it is killing them :(
Leave dolphins and whales in the wild, it’s not fair to take them from their families, go and see them in their natural habitats or if you want to teach your children about them, there are heaps of great documentaries can watch.
Finally, do you have any advice for aspiring ocean photographers?
Try new things! Take LOTS of photos and don’t be scared to share what you love!