I’ve been photographing for Tourism Queensland for a number of years now, both on destination shoots and some of the more elaborate campaign productions.

During October 2010 we put together a team to produce library images featuring divers and snorkelers enjoying the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.  Sounds pretty straight forward, right? Well compared to every other shoot I have undertaken in my career, this was the most logistically challenging! Take all the usually components of a successful terrestrial shoot and add the following: boats; sea conditions; currents; visibility; buoyancy; fickle marine life; location scouting and photo session times limited by air supply and maximum daily dive limits; no verbal communication between photographer, assistant and talent… you get the picture!

Well the team performed way beyond expectations. My assistant Jennifer Prerau was fabulous at keeping things running smoothly with wardrobe, MARES dive equipment, camera prep and data wrangling. Talent Chris Hamilton and Leah Sindel were truly amazing – helping spot locations, getting into perfect position behind anemone fish and above coral bommies, interacting with schools of fish, turtles, Maori wrasse and even sea snakes… always ready to dive, looking fabulous, and putting up with repetitive swim-bys, for stills and video too.

Without Emily and Mark from Reef Connections in Port Douglas, the shoot would not have been the success it was. Introduced by John Rumney of Eye to Eye Marine Encounters, Em and Mark operate the beautiful 55ft dive vessel “Reef Connection”, perfect for small group live aboard charters. This was their first charter with the new vessel and they excelled in every way. With the help of Divemaster Brendan planning the best dives at the best times; 5 star meals keeping us going; and excellent hostess services from Veronica, everyone’s enthusiasm ensured we would be able to capture the best the Ribbon Reefs had on offer over that week.

And a thank you must go to Peter, Bill and Elaine; divers with whom we shared the week on Reef Connection… they put up with a schedule dictated by the photography crew and did amazing disappearing acts around the areas we were working. Hard to do with me shooting my Canon EOS 7D / Aquatica system with a 120-180 degree wide angle lens!

Images from the shoot are available in my Travel and Tourism Gallery.