Though Michael Blake and Kevin Costner may have had some luck with the wolves, it generally is against the doctor’s orders to choose a man-eating beast as a dance partner. In this case though, it looks like the doctor was wrong again.
This photo shoot by Shawn Heinrichs and Kristian Schmidt captures two models frolicking with whale sharks and imitating their movements, all in the style of dance.
The photos, with the ethereal floating fabrics and sparkling color palette, certainly stand alone for their artistic merit, but the photographers also aimed to raise awareness for the protection of the whale shark. Despite it’s name or it’s size, the whale shark is not a man-eating beast, yet it is still hunted by poachers.
Heinrichs and Schmidt aimed to keep the shoot as natural as possible and enlisted the help of local fisherman to feed shrimpy snacks to the sharks while the models floated and posed underwater. The pair made sure that they were not disruptive to the habitat of the sharks and further assert that the photos have not been altered. The emphasis remains on the natural beauty of these creatures, and their positive interaction with the human realm.
Though we have been assured that no models were harmed in the making of these images, we would still recommend keeping the rattlesnake rumba and the tiger tango to a minimum.
RYOT NOTE: The topic of sharks often seems to turn on the background music inside our heads to the most terrifying use of two musical notes ever: the Jaws theme song. However, sharks are not the vicious man-killers depicted in that movie and are, in fact, a vital part of our ocean ecosystems. You can help make sure sharks are respected and protected by donating to Oceana, or by sharing this story.