Elementary school teacher turned shark tour intern, Amanda Brewer, recently took a photo of a great white shark emerging from the depths with her GoPro. After sharing the image with GoPro on Instagram and it being published as their Photo of the Day, the image has received international press coverage, amassed over 360K likes, and already been commissioned for a billboard near the port at which it was taken. In this interview with Jared Polin, of Fro Knows Photo, Amanda tells the story of how the photo was taken and, in Jared's words, "What to do when your photo goes viral, real bleeping viral."
For anyone who doesn't want to sit through the interview here's the TL;DW version:
Amanda interned with an Eco-Tourism company in Mossel Bay, South Africa called White Shark Africa during the summer of ’14. Her work with the company involved work with scientists and conservation experts as well as helping on shark-spotting trips. During one such trip Amanda was in a shark cage with her GoPro. Everything happened pretty quickly, when they’d attracted a shark it all came down to good timing and luck. According to Amanda, “[a] shark popped out of the water, I caught it in a burst, and the rest is history.”
Following her epic capture, Amanda submitted the image to GoPro’s Photo of the Day page, after a week or so of waiting it was published on the GoPro's Instagram feed (see embed below) where it got an outrageous amount of attention.
Since then, Amanda has had the photo and story behind it run in publications such as Time and made the morning news circuit including the Today Show and Good Morning America.
Of course in cases of viral images, not all the news is positive. It sounds like Amanda has run up against several challenges with regards to image rights. As an employee at White Shark Africa, she signed a document giving the company (partial) rights to any images generated (though she seemed to be very unclear on the details). Furthermore, by submitting the image to GoPro she further reduced her rights to the image. She has since made a six-month arrangement with a media outlet who manages licensing and syndicating her image.
Amanda is using her newfound publicity to bring awareness to her passion, namely shark preservation, and bringing positive attention to White Shark Africa.
Below is the Raw Talk podcast that includes the interview which begins at 51:35.
Here's the image as run by GoPro on their Instagram.
Photo of the Day! Say cheese! Amazing image from @ab_roo, who is working to promote shark conservation in South Africa.