female underwater photographer taking photo of mom and baby humpback whales

TAYLOR CUNNINGHAM

@taylork.sea

Photographer, Videographer, Ocean Guide, Shark Diver, Freediver, Divemaster, Marine Biologist, and Conservationist.

taylor cunningham is an underwater and wildlife photographer

Underwater Photography

I’m so excited you’re here. I love all things ocean-related and can’t wait to share with you!

I hope that through my images you feel more connected to the ocean even if you can’t access it for yourself.

Over the last couple of years I have been lucky enough to experience the ocean in ways I never knew possible. The ocean not only transformed my life, but me as a person. I am lucky enough to both work and play in the place I love most. I’ve seen rewards in all aspects of my life from the lessons I have been taught by being in the water and I want to share that with you.

A little bit about me…

I grew up in Florida where the coast was never more than an hour or so drive away. As a competitive swimmer I often felt more at home in the water than I did on land.

As a kid I always loved underwater photo and video. Back then I was shooting on a GoPro thinking every photo that came out was the coolest thing you’d ever seen. It is crazy to look back on those pictures compared to the images I’ve taken more recently.

My experiences in and around the ocean from a young age shaped me into the freediver and photographer that I am today. I was instilled with valuable insights about interacting with wildlife and ocean safety when I was younger that I carried with me throughout my career.

girl with freckles looking through palm tree in hawaii
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freediver swims next to tiger shark in the bahamas

Starting in Marine Biology

I decided to pursue a career in the marine sciences and received a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a Bachelors of Science in Marine Science from the University of Tampa. Through my studies I was able to specialize on the biological processes of the ocean focusing on animal behavior, physiology, and evolution.

 

While at university I assisted in research on hammerhead sharks. Our research focused primarily on the morphology of the cephalofoil. We looked specifically at the hydrodynamics and physiological consequences associated with increased drag due to the shape of the head. From an evolutionary perspective we were able to determine possible causes for the devolution of the cephalofoil in more recent species over ancestral species. 

Tired of being stuck in the lab I decided I wanted to work with sharks in the field. I got involved with One Ocean Diving in Haleiwa, Hawaii early on in my shark diving career. I worked with the organization as a volunteer and eventually as a safety diver and marine biologist where I gained valuable knowledge on interacting with sharks and working as an in-water guide. However, in 2021 I decided it was time for a change of pace.

Photography & Videography

My passion for photography and desire to travel and experience sharks around the world led me to further my career behind the camera. After years of diving with sharks and observing their behavior I have been able to find ways to photograph and video sharks up close without compromising the animals' or my own safety.

 

I've been incredibly lucky to freedive all around the world in incredible locations like French Polynesia, Mexico, The Bahamas, US Virgin Islands, Florida, and Hawaii. My passions for marine life grew the more wildlife I started to encounter through my travels. The obsession with sharks never ended but I've added quite a few more species to my list of favorites!

 

Now my goal is to travel the globe in search of wildlife experiences and conservation efforts to photograph and document why our ocean deserves protection.

female underwater photographer holding canon camera

Currently....

I am working as an underwater photographer, safety diver, and ocean guide for hire. It has been wonderful having the freedom to travel more and document the ocean in as many parts of the world as possible!

 

If you want to work together, get in touch!

woman freediver with camera swimming over coral reef

PADI Divemaster Certified

DAN Oxygen Provider

DAN liability insured

cPR & First Aid certified

40m freediver

female underwater videographer in blue ocean

photo credits: @x__e__l__a, @graceseas.photos, @taylorrwalstonphoto, @joshmunoz, @connerhumann