Interview With Gillian Shark From Switzerland

Shannon Family of Wines Brand Anthem | Affinity Creative Group
The Shannon Family of Wines Is Giving Back To Nature With Project OVIS
February 24, 2023
Sun Jian | MUSE Design Awards
Interview With Sun Jian From China
February 28, 2023

Gillian Shark

Gillian Shark wants to change the people’s perception of sharks and raise awareness through photography.

Interview With The 2022 European Photography Awards Platinum Winner – Gillian Shark

1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?

My name is Gillian and I’m very passionate about sharks.

The aim of my photography is to portray sharks in an aesthetically beautiful way and thus trying to change people’s perception of these utterly misunderstood animals. In doing so, I hope to raise awareness.

2Where did you study photography?

I’m a self-taught photographer who learned photography by reading about photography techniques and then trying everything out in a trial and error process.

3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?

I don’t remember it exactly but I believe it was either a picture of flowers, landscape or my pet.

4What equipment do you use?

I’ve just recently changed my Olympus camera set up to a Sony. In addition to the camera I use an underwater housing but no strobes as I prefer using natural light.

5What do you hope to achieve?

The aim of my photography is to offer people access to a different world they might not have been able to dive into (quite literally). Also, I would like to clear up some of the many misconceptions that exist about these amazing animals and educate people about the importance of sharks for our ecosystem.

6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?

For me the most beautiful compliment I’ve received was that a couple of people told me that thanks to my photography they have overcome their fear of sharks and that it has sparked an interest.

7What inspires your unique storytelling?

First of all the incredible animals I’m fortunate enough to photograph: sharks. But also how many people are afraid of sharks just because of the way how the media portrays them and that in fact sharks are rather shy, interesting and simply amazing animals. I wish more people could recognise that and maybe see them through my eyes.

8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?

Calm, expressive, immersive.

9Congratulations! As the winner of the European Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?

Thank you! It means so much to me and I’m incredibly honoured to have received the platinum award.

10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 European Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

I chose to submit the picture “Caribbean Reef Shark Blending In” because even though there is a lot going on with the school of fish on the side, this picture somehow emanates some kind of calmness.

11How has winning an award developed your career?

After having received the jury prize for my picture “Lemon Shark Yin and Yang” at the Swiss Photo Club photography competition in March 2021, a popular Swiss magazine, a newspaper and even Swiss national TV wanted to interview me and know more about my shark photography and my passion. This was incredible and so unexpected! Later that year National Geographic Germany featured me online as one of the newcomers in underwater photography.

This year I’ve decided to submit my pictures to several photography competitions and I’m super excited and grateful for what has happened so far!

12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.

Matt Draper, Mike Coots, Alex Kydd.

13What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?

Just give it a try and don’t be discouraged if sometimes pictures don’t work out the way you imagined them to. Also, you don’t need an expensive camera to start your photography journey either. Have fun playing around with different settings and don’t forget to enjoy the moment.

I often put the camera down when I’m diving in order to just enjoy the incredible nature and animals that surround me.

14What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

I’m just very passionate about sharks and raising awareness through my photography and luckily some people find that interesting and have reached out to me because of that. I love spreading my message and hope I can help sharks and inspire other people by doing so.

15How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?

I really enjoy learning new things and expanding my knowledge.

16Which THREE (3) friends/peers would you nominate to participate in the next European Photography Awards?

John Garza, Ashlee Jansen, Adrian James Cox.

17Anything else you would like to add to the interview?

Thank you for this opportunity!

Winning Entry

A Caribbean Reef Shark Blending In | 2022


This picture was taken during one of many dives at Tiger Beach, Bahamas. The water is crystal clear …
(Read more at European Photography Awards)

Gillian Shark

Gillian Shark wants to change the people’s perception of sharks and raise awareness through photography.

Read about this article with Mahmud Tareq Hassan Khan from Norway, Platinum Winner of the 2022 European Photography Awards.