Shawn Heinrichs (@shawnheinrichs) is an Emmy-award winning cinematographer, photographer and underwater diver. Since transitioning out of a career in the finance industry he has become a champion for the oceans. He has been involved in notable conservation successes, not least of which the listing of manta rays as a scheduled species under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species. His images and videos have featured in news and media outlets the world over. He has gone to extreme lengths, going undercover to document the illegal trade in marine species, and you can see this in the film Racing Extinction. while also creating incredibly beautiful underwater videos of dancers interacting with species like whale sharks that have gone viral. It really is worth checking out these videos here, here and here. Shawn is also the Founder of Blue Sphere Foundation (@bluespherefdn) which is working to safeguard the planet’s oceans. You can see more of his videos on his youtube channel.
In this conversation we talk about his childhood in South Africa where he developed his passion for wildlife, that transition from finance to becoming an ocean champion, the role that diet plays in his physical and mental health, depression, his engagement with local communities, and he recounts the amazing story of an intimate encounter with a baby humpback whale.
The Wild Voices Project podcast tells the stories of people saving nature. We are part of WILDVoices media, a global production team bridging emerging storytellers with aspiring environmental professionals. Find out more about us at wildvoicesproject.org. Learn more about the global community at wild-voices.org.