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Zach Whalen

Underwater photographer and camera operator

Beneath the surface of the water lies an alien landscape that few people get to see. With a BA in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic and a professional certificate in visual storytelling from Maine Media, Zach Whalen understands the marine world from both a scientific and aesthetic perspective. Taking pictures, both stills and video, is a way to capture the intimate details of sea creatures at home in their natural environment. With stunning images, Zach tells the story of the vast array of creatures and plants whose hidden lives parallel our own.

Ocean exploration has been a lifelong pursuit for Zach starting with snorkeling in the waters off San Diego at age 11 and swimming with sharks for the first time at age 13. During college Zach earned his dive master certification, worked on a dive boat in Maine, and incorporated underwater photography into most of his school projects. In 2013, Zach earned his open-water instructor certification and has been teaching scuba diving ever since. As a diver, Zach is always learning new skills from closed circuit rebreather to cave diving. No frontier is out of reach.


While Zach’s primary focus is the underwater world, he got his start exploring on dry land. His keen skills of observation were honed during his tracking and wilderness survival training with Tom Brown’s Tracker School.

His close connection with the wilderness took him from mountain tops in the Appalachians, mesas in the American south west, to lost cities in the jungles of Central America. Seeing these amazing places fueled Zach’s desire to capture their beauty and share it with others. Whether on a salt marsh, in woodlands or in a desert, Zach takes pictures to capture the mystery and beauty of the natural world and its diverse life forms.

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