Jasmine is a passionate underwater photographer documenting encounters with ocean giants with Darren Jew.
For many years I worked comfortably in the corporate sector. I was always active and keeping busy, being active outdoors – hiking, scuba diving, trying new hobbies. I have always taken photos but it was mostly with the attitude of “i’ll take the photos and lets see how they turn out”. The opportunity arose for me to attend a water-based photography workshop so I recruited my friend for company and we went to learn and to come away with more confidence, skills and purpose in the way we shot. It was such a great workshop and we made loads of friends and I just kept developing my technique, visions but wanted to become more purposeful. I could see the shots I wanted in my mind, I just wanted to be more sure of how to transfer the image I envisioned into the photograph I wanted. I constantly offered assistance to my mentors and volunteered my time to assist on shoots and to gain experience and more skills. I have also challenged them? with the WHY NOTs and WHY CAN’T WE? The opportunity soon came along to leave the corporate sector and pursue being in this evolving industry full time and I took it, and so my new chapter began.
Today the Orcas were really spread out doing their own thing. There were couple of Humpbacks around too. The landscape was absolutely stunning as usual. The light as it hit the snowy mountain tops and reflected down on to the calm waters, sprinkling through to the whales and fish. (Jasmine Carey)
As I was swimming with the Orcas today snowflakes started to fall ❄️ ever so delicately on me, my mask and my housing. They fell into the still ocean surface making the tiniest ripples. We were surrounded by Orcas and as their dorsals sliced the water right next to me I watched the snowflakes fall onto them and I just couldn’t believe the magic that was happening right before my eyes. (Jasmine Carey)
Since my career change, I have helped developed the photo travel company Whales Underwater with its expansion into new and exciting locations around the world. The photo travel business allows me to not only shoot and share the photos I capture, but also to share unique nature photography travel experiences in a personal way and watch people deepen their love for whales, the ocean and the broader environment. This aspect of my work is so rewarding for me as I get the chance to see people grow through the experiences. Since I took my leap of faith, I have been lucky to experience new adventures that I’ve been lucky to share like the Orcas in Norway and Hammerheads in Japan. We are on the hunt to find the most amazing wildlife experiences that we can share with the world, so that people can fall back in love with the planet, it’s animals and experience the natural beauty of how they intertwine. Then we will continue to see why we need to make the right choices for conservations and protection, the reasons and emotions will be infinite.
Baby Humpbacks learn a lot through mimicking. They are such a joy to watch while they practice twists, turns, slaps and breaching. The looks in their eyes when they surprise themselves with their own efforts is just hilarious.💙(Jasmine Carey)
How would you describe swimming with a humpback whale?
To look a humpback whale in the eye and feel it look right back into your naked soul, IS like no other wildlife or human experience on the planet - and is a real privilege. Your heart flutters, your soul deepens, you feel paralysed as time stands still. There is a rush of emotions and you feel vulnerable but you cannot and will not look away. You’re transfixed... mesmerised. And once that connection is broken there is an inner calmness, a peace deep within and for the first time in decades your whole entire self feels relaxed. Clean. You feel cleansed of the many day to day issues and life’s problems you had only just a few breaths ago. Reactively and instinctively those feelings are now so utterly insignificant. So minute in detail compared to the 14 meters of humpback and the infinite mass of the universe that contains you. You’re subconscious and consciousness are reunited as one. You can truly sense this immediate positive change about you, and you want more. A Humpback Whale is both commanding and so so welcoming at the same time and from the second you meet you’ll find yourself asking for answers to the big questions of the universe. With open arms, well pectoral fins, they will kindly greet you and acknowledge not only your presence but give assurance of your existence and your place the world.
In such a short time I have found that the purpose of my work has evolved into a multifaceted realm. I hope to offer not only a greater awareness of the ocean, the animals that call it home and the huge importance of conserving and protecting them. I would like my photos to support the documentation of the planet and add value by also creating a connection. I believe the more of a connection we feel towards something the more we will strive to save and protect. I am fascinated by the multiple personalities and feelings of the creatures below the water’s surface and I aim capture the moment in time reflect that in my photos. I want the viewer to be submerged with me.
Through feedback and messages I receive via social media I’ve found that my work inspires people of all ages. Ones that have really impacted me the most are the messages from young women and men who not necessarily ‘would like to do what I do” but who now have aspirations for a career in the Environment – to speak for and stand up for the ocean and its animals. To think that my photos have influenced them and showed them how wonderful the ocean is, is so inspiring to me. For these people to reach out and take the time to message me and thank me for bringing the Ocean to them is so so humbling, I pinch myself.
Well this beautiful girl, was up for a play early this morning as she kept rolling in front of her Mum to stop or slow down but her Mum was insistent on slowly cruising along and diving down for a nap. Then suddenly💥 they were on the move and they both started giving us a show with combinations of various forms of head lunging and breaching. It was spectacular, so we dropped in front and watched them swim in past. (Jasmine Carey)
I would like my work to inspire those to act and to do. To be proactive in the need to be involved in conservation, and this starts at home. Think Globally, Act Locally. Every little bit, from every single person, helps.