For Nanaimo’s Shane Gross, the ocean has always been a fascination.
“I kind of was known in school as the shark guy,” says Gross.
“If we had an open presentation on anything we wanted I was always into sharks.”
While he grew up on the prairies, the Saskatchewan native took an unconventional journey to a career working in the water.
“Surprisingly there wasn’t a marine biology program in Regina, Saskatchewan, so it was either head out to one of the coasts in Canada, or go abroad,” says Gross.
“[I] just decided it was better financially to stay in Canada, get a business degree, hopefully make some money and be able to travel to the ocean.”
Moving to the Bahamas was the first step, with Gross honing his underwater photography skills. Soon he was capturing photos of the animals he dreamed of seeing throughout his childhood.
“Then I started entering competitions, at first [with] no successes and then slowly you build up a success here and a success there,” says Gross
“After 12 years or so of grinding out, now this is my full-time job.”
Recently Gross’ talents were recognized internationally when he was announced as one of the recipients of the Ocean Storytelling Grant presented by the Save Our Seas Foundation.
It’s the culmination of years of work.
“I know that it’s going to make me a better storyteller,” says Gross.
“I want to become the best storyteller that I can to help with the conservation of our oceans.”
To check out more of Gross’ photography, visit his website.