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Rick grew up in the Florida Keys and has been an absolute ocean lover since childhood. Rick started capturing his adventures using a GoPro and a drone and we have loved the videos. We’ve known Rick for quite a few years, and when he started created amazing videos using his GoPro and drone we he’d be the right fit for our media team. He loves the ocean and loves to share stories of the animals that inhabit it and the adventure it holds. We are thrilled to have Rick on our team. Stay tuned for some JAWSOME shark videos coming this summer! Here is a sneak peak of what’s to come!
You can follow Rick’s adventures on Instagram
1. What is your favorite shark and why?
My favorite shark is the Great Hammerhead. Something about seeing one brings me back in time and reminds me just how long sharks have been around. They have sophisticated detection senses and a distinct head shape that is unlike any other creature on earth. It is a real privilege to see one in its natural environment.
2. What is one species of shark you would like to see in the wild?
It has always been a dream of mine to freedive with a Great White Shark. Many people would think of that dream as dangerous and unsafe, but in the right situation with the right shark it can be done. In my years diving I’ve observed that sharks have personalities and mood swings just as humans do. If I can find a shark in a good mood with the right personality, I think I’ll have my shot. Some things that intrigue me about Great White Sharks are their airborne attacks, large size, and intimidating looks. They are seldom seen in Caribbean waters, which is what drives me to travel further in search for the elusive, but friendly Great White Shark.
3. Growing up on the water, can you share a favorite shark moment?
The first time I saw a Great Hammerhead was when I was 13 years old conch diving with my best friend in Bimini, Bahamas. I remember it was a gorgeous day with clear and glassy water. While scanning a grass bed for conch a large Great Hammerhead emerged from the distance. It approached me and my friend so close that it caused us to split, so at one point the shark was between us both, separated by just a few feet. The shark then proceeded to do one more turn around us then slowly swam off into the clear water. At 13 years old, this was quite an experience for us both, but what I remember most was that I was in complete awe at how beautiful the shark was. I had never seen anything like it. That was the first time I gained a true understanding of sharks and started to seek them, instead of avoid them.
4. Why do you enjoy filming sharks? Is it challenging?
I enjoy filming sharks mainly because I want to share their beauty with others. It also provides perspective to audiences who haven’t spent a lot of time around them. It can be challenging filming sharks because subjects are always moving and you have to constantly find a balance between shot angles, distance, and lighting. You also have to be paying attention because if you’re not, there’s a chance you could miss something spectacular.
5. Why do think sharing shark videos is important?
I’m a firm believer that in order to want to protect something, you have to fall in love with it. Unfortunately, many people have busy lives and not everyone has had the opportunity to see sharks up close and it’s hard for them to care about something that doesn’t affect them. Sharing shark videos gives the public an opportunity to admire and respect these magnificent animals. And if they can admire them, they can and will help protect them.
6. You recently dove with great hammerheads for the first time, what was it like?
My recent dive with Great Hammerheads was the first time I’ve dove with them in a controlled environment and it was a great experience. My admiration for sharks only grew and it gave me an opportunity to prepare for the encounter in order to get the best images and videos possible.
7. What message do you hope people take away from your shark videos and photos?
I hope that people can see the beauty in sharks and become passionate about them. I don’t want the public to live in fear of sharks and hope to diminish negativity through shark videography and photography. If that happens it can lead to positive outcomes in shark ecotourism and shark conservation.