When fear becomes passion

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I grew up by a very dark, muddy river and not only did I not like it, I was scared of it. At the age of 12 just before going to the Bahamas, I saw on TV that the surrounding seas were some of the most populated by sharks, and I was scared. The first day I was snorkelling I saw a ray and some coral fish and got very excited, all this life underwater was something special. My brother decided that it was a good idea to go deeper, where all the fish are, and I was so overwhelmed that without thinking I carried on. The deeper I went, the bigger the fish, and more colourful the coral, and that’s when my brother told me he saw a very big fish near us, opening his arms to try to show me how big it was. I was sure it was a shark, so I climbed up the rocks to get above water, to get back to the beach, cutting my feet in the process. I was scared.

Years later I moved to the Mediterranean coast. Clear water, amazing visibility, and I got into snorkelling. I was then introduced to free diving, which in my head was something that could give me a chance to spend more time in the water and to become more confident in interacting with marine animals. 

Soon I realised that I wanted to see more, at this point my fear became my passion. I had the need to understand how all these fish and mammals live and behave. So I got my first compact camera and started to research and to travel to the places in which I could see more underwater life. 

I became obsessed with sharks and couldn’t understand why. I tried to get people to understand that sharks are not bad, but they wouldn’t listen. So I thought that I could show the beauty of sharks in my pictures and see how I can interact with them and still be alive. 

Since then I’ve been searching for stories to shoot, to show people that there is so much more than just water, that we are connected to the oceans and it’s so fulfilling to see what a wonderful place we live in.