As a photographer who travels the world capturing different cultures, I am inspired by other strong women who challenge our perception. This Bajau sea gypsy woman is fishing for her family in the warm waters of the Togian islands in Indonesia, where the basic need to survive supersedes the creation of gender stereotypes. In places where time seems to have stood still, hierarchy becomes irrelevant and both women and men forge ahead equally to take on the necessary roles to feed their families. When reflecting back on history it’s impossible to ignore the important role women have always played in sustaining our communities. Thanks @natgeo for including me in celebrating #womenofimpact here at @cannes_lions this week in France!
I have a vivid memory from when I was young. I was on vacation with my family in the Maldive Islands, snorkeling with my parents. I hadn't been in the ocean much, I remember putting on a mask and sticking my head under the water. It took my breath away. I saw a wall of technicolor wonder. I thought to myself, this is the most amazing aquarium I have ever seen. This experience was a harbinger of things to come in my life. When I began sailing around the world years later, that first memory became a reference point. Sadly, only a few places over 10 years ever met this high expectation but my fascination with the oceans has remained constant. I’m telling you this story not to depress you but to say that I believe we can restore our oceans to places of abundance and prosperity. I dream of the oceans teaming with life with healthy fish stocks and coral reef systems, of children being able to snorkel like I did, being able to experience all the magic the oceans have to offer. I do believe we can get there. The oceans are exceptionally resilient. Like all things, they do have a breaking point, but if each of us make small changes in our lives, we can have tremendous impact. Buying fewer plastic products, making safe, sustainable seafood choices, and supporting organizations like @sea_legacy, who are working to protect the oceans. Follow the link in my bio to see a full list of things you can all do to help save our oceans. #happyworldoceansday#turningthetide#everythingisconnected#climatechange@sea_legacy
Taken many moons ago, these eyes still haunt me.
Still processing the all consuming Rickshaw adventure I did last month. Traveling almost 2500kms the length of India from south to north. This adventure challenged me in the best of ways… an endless stream of constant problem solving, only trying to navigate using a 50 cent plastic compass to just “see where it would take us”, breakdowns, trying not to get hit or killed in the chaos of the traffic or hitting the many sacred cows that took up residence on the roads, language barriers, group dynamics in a small space, unpredictable weather, unpredictable diseases, few toilets, lack of sleep and never even knowing where we were going to sleep, constant fuel management, perpetually covered in a layer of sweat, dirt and diesel, tipping over, being the first people to literally shove the auto rickshaw on a train and so many more. To me, these are the experiences that shape us and imprint themselves in our memories forever. In my mind, what real adventures are made of. To learn through so much trial and error and failure in such a short amount of time was such a privilege and a fantastic reminder of what one can accomplish when you just dive off the deep and and figure it out as it comes. I think I will continue to reap the rewards of this experience for quite some time and will never forget the overwhelming kindness of so many curious Indians that helped us along the way. You can see some of the highlights on my Instagram stories. @gitzoinspires@natgeocreative@theadventurists#India#iloveindia
Hampi, India. A fantasy world of rocks and ruins that fill a surreal landscape. I have always heard about the wonders of Hampi and this past month I was finally able to visit. It did not disappoint. Heaps of giant boulders dot the terrain surrounded by lush paddy fields that lend to it’s magnificence. I hiked up to a high point to take it all in. I think the dog was in awe as well;) @natgeocreative@gitzoinspires#india#hampi#happyfriday
Video by @PaulNicklen, with @sea_legacy //When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. The biodiversity in this pristine ecosystem is unlike any other in the world and worth protecting. Yet, the Provincial and Federal Governments of Canada continue to put it at risk by allowing open-net Atlantic fish farms to operate across critical marine habitat. Diseases from these open-net containment pens spread to the local wild salmon, and their populations are declining. Salmon are a bio-rich nutrient delivery mechanism that feeds the entire ecosystem – from orcas and seals – to eagles and spirit bears. After these predators feast, the leftover fish carcasses, packed with nitrogen, act as a fertilizer for the rainforest, allowing the trees to grow to an impressive size. Nitrogen from these leftovers can be traced to the top of Sitka trees. Without wild Pacific salmon, this entire ecosystem will suffer.
My friends at @Sea-Legacy are working on a campaign to #GetFishFarmsOut, a call to the Provincial and Federal Governments of Canada to do the right thing. They campaigned on a promise to ensure the salmon farming industry does not endanger wild Pacific salmon. Yet, this is exactly what is happening. Check the link in at @Sea_Legacy to join us in the campaign to #GetFishFarmsOut.
Elephants are one of the most intelligent creatures on the planet and they are disappearing faster than they are reproducing. Globally, their population has declined by approximately 62% over the last decade. The loss of elephants gravely affects many species that depend on elephant-maintained ecosystems and weakens the diversity of nature itself. They are running out of space and time.
On behalf of my friend @AmiVitale: The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, in northern Kenya is the first ever community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa. The sanctuary provides a safe place for injured elephants to heal and later, be returned back to the wild. You can support this incredible place and the people who protect wildlife. Make a $10 contribution in support of Reteti for a chance to win a trip to Kenya, see Dave Matthews (@davemattewsband) in concert and take home a @rockbridgeguitar that features a custom inlay of an elephant hand-drawn by Dave @prizeo (Link in profile). Not only will you be helping care for orphaned baby elephants and strengthening community ties, you’ll also have a chance to win a life-changing trip to see the sanctuary in person. The first $10,000 in funds raised will be generously matched by Elephant Gems (@elephantgems). Reteti operates in partnership with Conservation International (@conservationorg) who provide critical operational support and work to scale the Reteti community-centered model to create lasting impacts worldwide. #protectelephants#saveelephants@sea_legacy
It’s good to be posting after being in the jungle for the last few weeks working on a project in West Bengal. Spending time with these giants always leaves me speechless. As overwhelming as it might be to want to photograph them as much as possible, I often have to force myself to put down my camera, slow down, be captivated by their grandeur and try to learn as much as I can from their infinite wisdom. They have much to teach and I have much to learn. @gitzoinspires@leica_camera@leicacamerausa@natgeocreative#leicaxu#westbengal#india
Video (Graphic): @sea_legacy@mercyforanimals@teamsharkwater // Marine mammals are being mercilessly killed off the coast of California by a fishing practice intended to catch swordfish, which is so high in mercury that it’s deemed unfit for human consumption. Instead it indiscriminately captures and kills other species, such as dolphins, sharks, titles and whales. It’s time to ban California’s driftnet fishery. Here’s how we help do it. (LINK IN BIO) I need your help by adding your signature and voice to a petition aimed to phase out the use of large scale drift nets by California commercial fishing industry. Please join us in this campaign to end this useless slaughter. . #Turningthetide with @sea_legacy#BanDeathNets