You might not know the name Ocean Ramsey, but if you Google "girl dives with sharks" you'll quickly know her face. You'll see videos of her swimming with great whites and images of her up close and personal with all kinds of marine life.
But there's more to Ramsey than a few eye-catching photos. She lives in the ocean, working as a professional freediver, scuba instructor, marine biologist and model.
She’s also keen to share her passion for shark conservation and knows how to use her eye for imagery and Internet know-how to do it..
Ramsey swims with all marine animals
Ramsey's freediving accomplishments include an impressive 6.5 minute-underwater dive. She's also started her own marine research and conservation company.
She is a model and former professional freediver
But her greatest passion is for sharks. Her move into the spotlight came after she was filmed swimming alongside a great white shark, holding onto its fin.
She's also a professional scuba instructor and marine biologist
For her, swimming with a great white was nothing unusual, but for the public it was an impressive and extreme feat.
Changing the perception that great white sharks are dangerous is what really drives Ramsey.
Her nonprofit venture Water Inspired uses amazing images to promote conservation
In her professional life as a marine biologist she studies shark behavior, which gives her the opportunity to have intimate interactions with the creatures.
“Sharks don’t have many people speaking up for them," she says. "I’m lucky to have spent my life studying and interacting with them. Because of my specific field of study I am able to look at the body language of sharks, and get that close interaction we need to understand them.”
I show that sharks are not going to eat you.
Along with her scientific work, she set up a nonprofit called Water Inspired, which uses underwater photography to promote shark conservation and increase society's awareness of all marine issues.
She travels around the world diving
She’s created quite a buzz, with over 100,000 Instagram followers.
Her images stand out, she believes, by showing someone swimming with a creature that most consider dangerous. Her level of comfort around the sharks stands out.
Ramsey has been diving since she was a child in Hawaii
"By swimming with these sharks we are able to show we can co-exist and that they are not going to eat you," she says.
Sharks don’t have many people speaking up for them.
“One of our primary goals is utilizing beautiful imagery to inspire people to take interest and care about the marine environment," Ramsey says. "I think the images definitely inspire people to take a second look at marine life through the eyes of someone that has spent their life in the water."
See Ramsey in action
Ramsey believes the striking images and her passion for marine conservation have fueled her huge social media following.
“It is my hope and personal observation that the number of people who care about marine conservation is growing," she says. "It's refreshing to see how many people are jumping on board and taking interest and an active role in daily conservation and larger organized projects."