Amos Nachoum began making photographs as a young boy in his native Israel.
“In my family, children were seen and not heard,” he says. “I found my photographs prompted adults to speak with me and ask questions.”
He served in the Israeli military, where he learned scuba and saw combat in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. All the while, he continued honing his photographic talent.
Nachoum eventually made his way to the US, at first living in New York, initially driving a taxi.
“I then became successful at commercial photography, but there was no inspiration there,” he says. “I wasn’t learning anything about myself and wasn’t changing anything.”
Meanwhile, he put his diving skills to work, leading trips to the Red Sea and other diving Meccas.
“After I sold the business, I began taking photos of big animals,” he says. Nachoum founded BigAnimals Global Expeditions in 1990, leading small groups looking to observe specific animals.
Recently, Nachoum founded Ocean Giants Legacy Project, an endeavor to capture still and film images of endangered large animals around the world.
“Extinction is forever,” he says. “The purpose is to chronicle these magnificent animals and inform and inspire viewers to help save them. And, in a worst-case scenario, to have a record of them and their behaviors for future generations should efforts to save them fail.”
Nachoum’s photos and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications around the world, and his work has also been included in many books and magazines. His photography
has won Nikon, Communication Arts, and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.
Though his interest in conservation began with sharks, Nachoum looks to bring attention to the most fragile regions of the underwater realm with preservation of the environment foremost in his mind. His favorite way to raise awareness and stimulate passion for the ocean is to help guests experience it first-hand. For those unable to join him on his adventures, he brings the oceans to the world through his photography and public speaking engagements.
In October, Nachoum was honored by the International SeaKeepers Society as 2019 SeaKeeper of the Year. Past awardees include Walter Cronkite, Mikhail Gorbachev, Dr. Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau.
As one might imagine, Nachoum travels extensively, but he makes his home in Pacific Grove.