Swim with whales in Tonga and around the world
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Scott is the founder of Swimming with Gentle Giants, with 20 years of experience photographing humpback whales in Tonga. Based in Sydney, he has travelled the world extensively photographing in some of the most remote destinations, including The Arctic, Antarctica, Galapagos, Azores, Africa and the South Pacific. As a wildlife photographer he has spent hundreds of days in pursuit of different wildlife and has been privileged to be up close and personal with many creatures. He has spent the last decade working with Humpback whales photographing and filming their behaviour above and below the waves and has received a number of internationally acclaimed awards with works appearing in a multitude of magazines and publications including BBC’s ‘Life’ series book and various documentaries on Australian and New Zealand Television. Scott has a passion for the ocean and an affinity with whales and cetaceans. His connection with whales is not just taking photos and tours, but also working to protect them. Scott founded and runs the Tongan Fluke Database, collecting valuable data on the population and demographics of Tonga's humpback population. He also exhibited a collection of humpback photos to raise money to help in the fight to stop whaling in the southern ocean. By documenting and sharing these images he hopes to contribute to the awareness and conservation of the fragile creatures that inhabit this planet. Scott is passionate about all wildlife from the smallest to the largest and is always in pursuit of those unique one-on-one experiences.
Marine Biologist
Alice Forrest is a conservationist & marine biologist based in the hills of Byron Bay on Australia's east coast. Alice's passion for the natural world and the creatures who inhabit it has led to a range of incredible adventures, from studying blue whales in the Indian Ocean to seabirds and plastic on remote Henderson Island. She is happiest when interacting with wildlife, and passionate about protecting what she loves. Alongside degrees in Conservation and Marine Biology, Alice is a PADI Divemaster and SSI Freediver and has worked extensively in the marine tourism industry sharing her love of the ocean with others, winning several conservation awards for her work. Alice has spent much of the last few years in Tonga, enjoying time with the humpback whales alongside working on projects researching the impacts of plastic on our oceans, and helping communities to implement local solutions. Through her lifestyle, writing and public outreach she hopes to inspire a greater appreciation for the planet and its last wild places. She is currently working on Scott's social media as well as writing for various print and online publications, communicating the science and the solutions to help protect our ocean.
Wildlife Photographer
Angel Grimaldi is a photographer & wildlife veterinarian with extensive experience working in conservation programs around the globe. Growing up on the Canary Islands in close contact with the ocean he became a lover of the creatures that inhabit the deep blue. After several years working on conservation projects inland, he moved back near the ocean, surfing, freediving and photographing wildlife underwater, later winning several awards for his photographs. As a photographer, he loves to capture unique situations and share the beauty of the ocean to inspire a connection in his viewers. He's always happy to share his knowledge on photography tips and wildlife and loves to encourage everyone to get out there and explore.
Underwater Photographer
I learned to dive in 1999 and fell in love with the underwater world.  It is hard to describe the experience of going under the sea and the amazing creatures I meet there, but In 2009 I first took a camera underwater and found that underwater photography was the perfect way to express the beauty of what I was seeing to others.  I have rarely dived without a camera since then. I work as a dive guide in Manly, Australia, where I enjoy educating both tourists and locals about our marine life and sharing my passion for protecting the underwater world.  I also teach underwater photography courses for beginners.
Nature Photographer
I am based just south of Newcastle, with my passion for nature,  I travel to far off destinations to capture landscapes and wildlife in evocative photos. The beauty and bounty of life we experience in nature inspires me and makes me realise how special it is to be part of it all. We get given rare opportunities to glimpse into the heart of a wild animal as it graciously accepts us as part of their environment. It is truly a special moment when you make that connection with another living creature. The more time I spend in remote places with stillness and solitude, capturing the many hues and the play of light on the landscape, the more awe inspiring the experience has become. With my work I bring the viewer into the moment that I have experienced and to capture not just a record of the scene but to also reflect the mood and the ambience of the setting. My goal is to enhance the experience for the people I am with, so that it becomes the most rewarding journey for them into nature’s beauty and its amazing wildlife. Leave Only Footprints, take only photos.
Photography Lead
I have always had an attraction to the water and the tricks it plays on light for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of my brother and I snorkeling on family holidays to France and the Mediterranean Sea. I can clearly remember my first experience of watching shafts of sunlight weave and dance down into the deep blue, carved by the rippling ocean surface. I bought my first film SLR camera in my teens to try and capture what I loved to see and I used it to shoot the coastlines of my home country of the United Kingdom. It wasn’t long before my curiosity and appetite for shooting the ocean meant I would have to get in and shoot underwater, so I saved and bought a waterproof housing for my camera so I could explore further. As my photography skills grew I needed to travel more to get the images I imagined, so trips abroad to far off countries followed. Now residing in NSW Australia after emigrating from the UK in 2007 I have the worlds biggest playground at my feet, the Pacific Ocean….. And I have truly fallen in love with it.
Marine Biologist Tour Leader
Laura Wells is an Environmentalist, presenter and one of Australia’s top plus size models. Holding degrees in both Biology and Law, qualifications in Environmental management systems and currently studying a Diploma of Paramedical Science;  Laura’s passion for the environment, love for the ocean and interest in facilitating climate change action has led her to become a positive role model, advocate and ambassador for change. Laura believes in the importance of educating people not only on the issues, but focusing on solutions, to empower individuals to create change. Whether this be in their personal sphere around the relationship with their body and who they are, or the impact their actions have on the environment; fostering behavioural change can facilitate improvements in environmental and human health simultaneously. .
Photography Lead/Host
I’m a slightly obsessed underwater photographer based in Sydney, Australia. I grew up with a strong love of animals and nature, and spent many childhood hours looking under garden rocks and exploring tidal rock pools. Diving is a wonderful adventure, and the ocean is another world waiting to be explored. There is so much to see, learn and enjoy. The great thing about photography is that it enhances the experience by allowing me to re-live magic moments and share them with people like you. I want to create images that capture the beauty, diversity and magnificence of our world. If we appreciate something we will be motivated to protect it.
Wildlife Photographer
John has been an avid diver and passionate underwater photographer for the past 20 years. His first dive was on the Great Barrier Reef in 2002, at the age of 46. In no time John was hooked on diving and became a weekly regular at his local dive site – Julian Rocks, Byron Bay, less than an hour’s drive from his home on the Gold Coast, Australia. An award-winning photographer, John’s interest turned into a passion for travel and photographing the BIG animals of the oceans, namely humpback whales, manta rays and great white sharks. A chance encounter swimming with 3 humpback whales, lasting almost 2 hours, near Byron Bay in 2013 provoked a strong desire to travel to Tonga and swim with the whales again. His first visit to Tonga in 2014 was life changing and saw John return on a yearly basis. Having retired from an active business life in 2019, John now spends most of his time as a wildlife and underwater photographer. Over the years, he has developed extensive knowledge of humpback whales. With a deep-rooted interest in whale behaviour, John can be found working as a whale photographer on whale watching boats out of Brunswick Heads, NSW during the annual humpback whale migration season.
Underwater Photographer
Originally from Scotland, Grant  has always had a fascination with the natural world and in particular the ocean. After finishing a degree in Engineering he  took the opportunity to travel. This was the best decision he has  ever made, as it was traveling that really developed his passion for photography. He  was, and still very much is, dedicated to capturing the real beauty of the places he  visits. Soon after leaving Scotland Grant began working as a PADI Dive instructor and purchased his first underwater housing. Photography was no longer just a part of his life, it had become his life. He now works as a freelance photographer and expedition guide, leading a variety of tours and workshops to encounter and photograph animals such as humpback whales and orca. His work has taken him around the world from the warm tropical waters of Indonesia to the glacier covered landscape of the Arctic. Grant has always been absolutely mesmerised by the stories that a wide angle photograph can tell and his work emulates this. His unique over-under style imagery  creates a strong visual connection between the terrestrial world we all know and the more mysterious underwater world. Through his images he  aims to exhibit the incredible life we have on our planet in hope of inspiring more people to appreciate and care for it. Grant is  a brand ambassador for Ikelite Underwater systems who support him during his adventures.
Underwater Photographer
Brooke is an underwater photographer currently based on the Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. Her primary focus lies in capturing compelling portraits of marine life, aiming to inspire a passion for safeguarding our oceans for future generations. Her goal is to establish a connection between the viewer and the ocean's inhabitants through engaging and beautiful imagery, even for those who might not have direct contact with it.  Originally from growing up in Melbourne and studying graphic design, Brooke then spent several years working abroad as a dive instructor in Indonesia before returning to Australia and settling on the Ningaloo Reef. During her time abroad, she not only taught scuba diving but she self-taught herself the art of underwater photography. With her passion for the marine environment she then began contributing to manta ray conservation and research in Indonesia taking up a volunteer position with Marine Megafauna Foundation. Photography eventually became Brooke's main focus, and she ventured into professional work in 2021. Her dedication and talent have earned her various awards, notably the Female Fifty Fathoms award in the 2022 Ocean Photographer of the Year competition, which celebrates inspirational female photographers in the field.
Guide and Marine Biologist
Sophie is an avid science communicator, diver, and marine conservationist from Cairns, Australia. Growing up amongst the reef and rainforest of Far North Queensland, Sophie has been passionate about the marine world from a young age. However, it was witnessing the 2017 bleaching events on her local reefs that sparked her enthusiasm for marine conservation, and reconciling the interaction between people and planet. In 2023, Sophie was awarded the Australasian Scholarship of the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, where she spent a year intensively travelling and upskilling her research skills and diving capabilities. She has a background working in citizen science and conservation based not-for-profits, and will be a trained PADI Divemaster, Molchanovs freediver, and ADAS scientific diver. A keen photographer and videographer, she also loves educating people about our environment, and has won several awards for her presentation skills. Her goal is to continue her advocacy for our oceans, while inspiring people to protect our natural world. Sophie will be assisting through all parts of the operation, so feel free to ask her about anything ocean, photography, or logistics related.