Free diving or holding your breath underwater, on compressed air, with sharks swimming around you, on a wreck, in a dress is really hard work!
That’s the assessment of this photoshoot, involving Brazilian television personality and animal activist Karina Oliani. Oliani talked about her experience in the Bahamas recently, of posing underwater with sharks circling around her, while wearing designer dresses and posing on an old wreck.
The photoshoot was more than just a stunt, however, as Oliani and crew were intent on sending a strong conservation message concerning the sharks. The project is intended to highlight the threat that sharks face, as somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million sharks are killed each year.
The dresses Oliani wore were created by Brazilian fashion designer Arthur Caliman. But as beautiful and elegant as they are, this shoot is about more than the dresses.
Oliani wanted to shine a light on the practice of finning. Finning is the practice of cutting off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the ocean, where it is usually eaten alive by other fish or drowns.
“They are not the assassins. We kill 11,000 sharks every hour, that’s insane,” says Oliani. “Sharks are extremely important animals, they have been around for more than 400 million years.”
“Sharks are intelligent and can be trained,” she continued. “And they can take hours or even days to die after being finned, so shark finning is unacceptable and it is such a cruel and cowardly thing.”
Photographer Alexandre Socci was enlisted to do the photoshoot. Socci relayed, “I got this invitation and soon thought it was rather strange, because it was a photoshoot with dresses, only underwater, at a reasonable depth, circled by sharks, in a shipwreck.”
“It’s the most extreme photoshoot I’ve done,” he said. “I took 2500 photos in one day.”