Meet One Of The Best Photographers In The Maldives: Shampzz
Today is International Photography Day and to celebrate the occasion, we have interviewed one of the best Maldivian photographers, Shampzz, for some insight into the world of photography and what it takes to become a first-class photographer in the tropical country of The Maldives.
At Maldives Secrets, not only do we strive to promote The Maldives as an ideal holiday destination, but we also focus on promoting the wonderful local talents of The Maldives, by spreading the word and highlighting their incredible work.
What do you love to photograph the most in The Maldives?
I love photographing many things in The Maldives, aerials of the islands, the glamorous Resorts, the nature… However, my favourite thing to photograph is definitely the ocean. I absolutely love putting my mask and fins on and swimming out to the reef or hopping on an excursion boat and seeing the marvels of the underwater world. I’ve photographed turtles, manta rays, nurse sharks and many more marine species… I’m obsessed with how beautiful our underwater world is and I believe it should be documented and photographed to show the world how much we must care for our oceans.
What is your advice for people who want to start underwater photography?
Practise! I believe that practice makes perfect. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you won’t get anywhere without trying and practising over and over again. I started my photography journey with little knowledge and now I can say that I have reached a point in my career where I am a professional photographer and can work with international brands on amazing projects. It takes practise, but you just have to start!
Specifically to underwater photography, I would say that you should be a confident swimmer and not scared of the ocean haha. You should love the ocean and want to spend hours in it capturing different things. Good underwater equipment help too - you can start with a GoPro and then take it from there. Now, I am using my Canon 5D Mark IV with AquaTech Reflex Housing for my underwater camera gear which is truly amazing for capturing high-quality ocean moments.
Which islands / resorts do you recommend for going to take beautiful photographs?
I have been fortunate to travel to many resorts and islands… I would have to recommend the Cinnamon Resorts in The Maldives, they have great hospitality (Dhonveli, Velifushi, Hakura Huraa) and then for local islands, I would recommend Maafushi (great for excursions), Fuvamulah (in the South of Maldives - great for swimming with Tiger Sharks!) and Dharavandhoo which is located right next to Hanifaru Bay, the Manta Ray hotspot. Of course, my favourites are all ocean related!
Tell us about your photography journey and where you see yourself in the next 5 years.
As previously mentioned, I didn’t necessarily have much photography experience when I first started. I just wanted to explore photography as a hobby. Slowly, I became specialise in taking action and sports photography, and that’s where my career really took off. During that time, it was 2013, that’s when I signed a freelancer contract with Red Bull, being one of the company's official photographers based in The Maldives. That was definitely the milestone of my career so far, my biggest achievement! Since then, I have been fortunate to expand my photography into travel, hotels, underwater… I have been travelling around The Maldives, having fantastic experiences and making many new friendships.
What has been your favourite photography job in The Maldives so far?
One job that I was very excited about happened when I was invited to join a special event organised by Redbull. The event revolved around going to the “Sea of Stars” in The Maldives and documenting the spectacular, natural phenomenon of bioluminescent plankton washing up onto shore and creating a ‘sea of stars’ on the beach. Once you see this, you will never forget it, because it’s so magical and special… The fact that it’s quite rare to see and you have to be in the right place at the right time… There’s no experience quite like it. Redbull came up with the amazing concept of wakeboarding whilst the bioluminescent plankton was around… Can you imagine it? Unfortunately, the planktons were not as visible as we had hoped but it was still a great trip!
Tell us about your favourite photo and the story behind the shot.
My most recent, favourite shot has to be this one - this is a baby green sea turtle that we saw one day during turtle hatching season (March/ April time). It was the most humbling and amazing experience to see this fragile, tiny turtle go from its nest, across the beach and all the way to the turquoise lagoon… They are so cute!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from being a top photographer in The Maldives?
To always be grateful and to not be afraid to do things. Don’t be afraid to go after your dreams, that’s the only way you’ll ever find out what you want to do in life. Don’t be afraid to try new things, meet new people and go to new places… Life is short so you have to enjoy every moment. This is something I really try to apply every day, we should be grateful for what we have and the experiences we get to experience!
We hope you enjoyed this blog post, alongside discovering Shampzz and being inspired by his successful and impressive photography journey.
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