George Probst is an underwater photographer whose primary focus is natural light photography of the white sharks of Isla de Guadalupe, Mexico. He began photographing Guadalupe’s white sharks in 2006 on what was intended to be a one-time ‘bucket list’ trip. He was so entranced by the experience that he has continued to return there each year to document the numerous individual white sharks at the island. Starting out with merely an entry level point-and-shoot camera in an underwater housing and very little photography or diving experience, George has attempted to upgrade both his photography knowledge and gear over the years to (hopefully) better capture the unique characteristics of each individual white shark he photographs.
George has been fascinated with sharks ever since he can remember. His first memory of going to library, at age 4, involved going through books about sharks and dinosaurs. As a child, his family had a subscription to National Geographic, and he was always fascinated by the articles and photos that focused on sharks, especially white sharks. For years, he kept a copy of the August 1981 edition, which had a feature on sharks by Dr. Eugenie Clark and David Doubilet.
While George found sharks to be fascinating, he was also quite terrified of them. After seeing Jaws so many times, that negative stereotype was something that he bought into as a child, and it carried on even into adulthood. Despite those fears, George had long wished to see a white shark in the wild at some point in his life, and that wish came true in September of 2006.
Within a few minutes of being in the water with Guadalupe’s white sharks, George’s fear of sharks had dissipated completely and was replaced with a healthy respect of the animal that had been so inaccurately represented in the shark movies (and many of the documentaries) he watched as a child. Since then, he has spent a great deal of time learning more about sharks and marine conservation. In 2007, he created The Dorsal Fin, a conservation-minded shark news blog, which he routinely contributed to through 2015, and his personal white shark photography site SharkPix.com.
George continues to use his photography through social media as a form of outreach to help educate his audiences about sharks and promote marine conservation. He also periodically travels to schools to give presentations on sharks to students, which are some of the most rewarding experiences that have come out of his love for shark photography.