Daan Verhoeven

Freediver - Instructor - Creator

Daan Verhoeven


You wouldn't necessarily have thought that a kid who's afraid of water, and later tried to get into photography college and failed, would become a professional freediving cameraman, yet that is what happened to Daan Verhoeven. As the child of two teachers who had no natural affinity for water, he was phobic for anything deeper than a half-filled bath tub. It wasn't till his step-father took him on his back and pushed off the side of the pool that Daan understood the thrill of water rushing by. Soon, he spent most of his vacations in and below the water. He took up competitive swimming for a brief while, but laps on the surface were not really his thing; he'd rather play underneath it.

After high school, when it became clear he wouldn't become a professional basketball player due to two busted knees and one lack of talent, Daan tried to get into photography college, thinking he'd learn how to shape the ideas he had, and how to capture the beauty he saw everywhere around him. Problem was, his talent for doing so was, again, limited, and his portfolio rather shambolic. The kind advisor at the college gently told him he'd probably be better off elsewhere. So he worked for a year and then had a dream about New York, so he went there to study communication arts. He did well enough to get a scholarship, and got a bachelor degree in 3 years.

He then worked in publishing for a while, overseeing his philosopher father's legacy of over 3700 written publications, when the underwater world caught up with him again on a scuba trip in Egypt in 2004. He snorkelled quite a bit deeper than the divemasters were comfortable with. Turns out this was a sport called freediving, and it rekindled Daan's love for water. Soon he started freediving competitively and traveling, and needed a way to tell his worried mother he was alright, so he got a cellphone. The little thing had a tiny camera, and playing with it, Daan remembered how fun that was. So he borrowed a slightly better compact camera. Then a somewhat better one still. Then a friend let him use her professional camera, and convinced him to get one. He did not put that camera down much the next 3 years, and started selling his photography after a while.

It wasn't till 2011 that both passions combined, when a friend lend him a DSLR in an aluminium housing and he took his first real underwater photo – the moment that camera clicked, so did something inside him, and he knew he was an underwater photographer. So he worked hard, saving up for half a year to buy a camera, and borrowed the rest to get a housing. It took 2 years of doing as many gigs as he could while working his regular job at the same time, to become a full time underwater cameraman in 2014. Since 2012, he's covered most major freediving competitions, and has been published in the New York Times, Bild, Paris Match, The Guardian and many other publications. His films have appeared on Red Bull, World Sport, ITV, BBC, and his youtube videos have had millions of views.

Achievements:

AIDA/PADI/SSI instructor
AIDA judge
Competitive freediver, set National Records in 5 disciplines
2nd favourite human to 2 dogs, Beans and Charlie
Claims the world deepest tutu, superman pants, and bite taken out of an apple


Jacques de Vos

Freediver - Creator

Jacques de Vos


Jacques de Vos is an award winning Underwater Photographer, Cameraman and Filmmaker who started his journey by following his passions for the ocean and diving by exploring both the Atlantic and Indian Oceans of the Cape Peninsula in Southern Africa. He has always lived close to the ocean and has been freediving for over 15 years capturing stunning images of everything from kelp forests to freedivers and large marine life such as orcas, humpback whales, dolphins and sharks. While he has received several prestigious awards along the way for both his media work and films, he has also contributes his time year round to research and conservation efforts linked to orcas, and also runs orca expeditions in the Norwegian Arctic as the founder and co-owner of Arctic Freediving.

Jacques work has been published in magazines and books throughout the world and he has worked as a cameraman for companies like the BBC, Epic TV and Red Bull. His own films - for example the orca short film 'From The Shadows' has won several international accolades and have been featured in multiple international film festivals. In addition to a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering, Jacques is also a SCUBA Instructor, Commercial Diver as well as Freediving Instructor Trainer. As a freediving instructor Jacques spent nearly 5 years living and working in Dahab (Red Sea), teaching courses and assisting with competitions and world record attempts while working with Freedive International. 


André Musgrove

Freediver - Creator - Dive Guide

André Musgrove


André Musgrove is an Underwater Photographer & Filmmaker, professional freediver, certified PADI Scuba Diving Instructor, Spearfisherman, Private Dive Guide & Underwater Stuntman born & based in The Bahamas. Growing up diving in The Bahamas gives him invaluable knowledge of the best underwater locations across the country. From shipwrecks to sharks, coral reefs to blue holes, plane wrecks to marine wildlife hot spots, André has dove and shot in a variety of underwater locations across the globe including Indonesia, South Africa and Mexico.

André is best known for his unique style of shooting creative concepts underwater with freedivers/ divers as the subjects, interacting with marine wildlife and exploring the underwater environment. He specializes in shooting while freediving (on breath hold), allowing closer, less invasive encounters and one-of-a-kind interactions with sharks, rays, fish, turtles, dolphins and other marine animals. With over 1,000 logged scuba dives and more than a decade of freediving & spearfishing experience, he has a distinctive edge for capturing a variety of underwater scenarios. He has had the opportunity to work with a variety of international brands including National Geographic, Gopro, Canon, Rolex. AirBNB, WWF, Red Lobster to name a few.

André believes that the human body is a person's greatest asset and takes his fitness life very seriously. This enables him to easily work in the water for hours, following animals and functioning at the highest level in physically demanding situations doing whatever it takes to get the shot. Andre's unique, multitalented skillset includes him being as talented in front of the camera as he is behind. On screen underwater talent, underwater modeling or underwater stunts are a few things Andre uses his unique comfort underwater and freediving skills to be proficient in these roles.

 

Achievements:

Clients:
National Geographic
Gopro
Canon
Rolex
Red Lobster
WWF
Ministry of Tourism and Aviation of The Bahamas

Awards:
New York No Limits Film Series, Child Of The Cenote, Official Selection, 2020
Water Docs Film Festival, Child Of The Cenote, Official Selections, 2020
The Bahamas 18TH Annual Cacique Awards, Nominee, 2020
Gopro Million Dollar Challenge, Official Selection, 2020
Natgeo Your Shot Photographer, Official Selection, 2019
Bahamas International Film Festival, Child Of The Cenote, Official Selection, 2019
The Island house Film Festival, Freediver’s Life For Me, Official Selection, 2019
Underwater Photographer of the Year Photo Competition, Portrait, Commended, 2018
The Island House Film Festival, Bahamas Below, Official Selection, 2018


Timo Niessner

Freediver - Creator - Blogger - Instructor - Speaker

Timo Niessner


Since he left his former job as an Automotive-Event-Manager, Timo Niessner turned his life upside down.Switching from scuba to freedive instructor, he managed to widen his for the beauty of melting into the blue in just one breath.
This experienced pushed him forward to combine the mental challenge under water with his practice as personal and business coach.

For the past years Timo Niessner supports Premier League Clubs, international companies and people who want to master their limits with freediving. His new journey lets him travel all over the world to work, get inspired, freedive and create high-end content with his team for multiple Companies.

In 2017 he launched the video project in cooperation with Alchemy to show another more spiritual and philosophical site of freediving. His goal was to break down freediving to its pure core. Naked, blue, deep and one with the world around us. One year later he released two more video projects.Upside Down, a documentary about how he turned his life upside down with freediving. Later in the year the Mercedes-Benz spot for the new X-Class Beyond The Beaten Path went viral via all international Mercedes-Benz channels and reached more than 35M views.

Till now he is always up for new challenges, inspirations wherever he travels and the pure bliss of melting into the blue.


James Ferrara

Freediver - Creator

James Ferrara


James, 37 years old, is an underwater photographer based in South Florida. Living in a tropical paradise has given him access to a life centered around the ocean. Growing up as a spearfisherman, has led him into his journey as an underwater photographer for the past 5 years. He inherited a passion for art and an eye for composition from his mother, who is a very accomplished artist. All of his photographs are taken while freediving and he specializes in photographing large predatory marine life. Besides marine life, James also enjoys slow shutter landscapes, waves, and milky way photography. He continues traveling in search of new adventure, sea life, and experiences, in order to keep his art fresh and exciting. He is inspired by the beauty and power of the ocean, which will always be the foundation of his work.

James’s primary career is a firefighter/paramedic with Martin County Fire Rescue. His schedule allows him time off to travel the world in pursuit of his true passion, which is photography. James’s primary equipment is Sony Cameras, Nauticam Housings, and One UW Strobes. When not in the water, you will find him in the kitchen whipping up some delicious meals or going rock climbing.

Achievements:

Cover Shots for Tauchen Magazine and Spearing Magazine
Shot Magazine article featuring shark photography
Multiple published photos in National Geographic
Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest - Highly Commended 2019 and 2020

 

 


Alex Voyer

Freediver - Instructor - Creator

Alex Voyer


Alex Voyer is an UW photographer mainly based between France and my sailboat Diatomée. 

He has been a freediving instructor for a dozen years and an avid swimmer, and these passions led him to take photos underwater without using air tanks, exploring the oceans from the poles to the tropics. Far from being an ecological model, but living mostly on board and as a freediver, he tries to be as respectful as possible to the marine environment. 

 

 


Carlos Negrete

Freediver - Instructor - Creator

Carlos Negrete





Freediving since 2015, Carlos Negrete dedicates his life to water, hopping around the world providing high quality freediving education, training and capturing unique places, animals and people through his lens.

 Carlos grew up in Guanajuato, a hilly and far from water state, located in the middle of México, where he first practiced Korean martial arts since the age of 3 from his father, eventually dedicating his life to international competitions and martial art education, injuries found their way and after university, moved into the entertainment & communication business working with the native music industry, after overcoming fighting related injuries, by chance, he found freediving in the cenotes of the Yucatán Peninsula in México, immediately rewiring his energy, focus and will, plus this meant pain-free movement and progress. His former land photography hobby transformed into an UW photographic passion.



In 2017 he became a freediving instructor in the world class school Freedive Dahab, Egypt.

 With his first passion being teaching and coaching, this allowed him to teach and share the underwater bliss in iconic locations like Japanese/Okinawan hidden islands, the Egyptian Red Sea, Indonesian waters, Philippine sea-lakes and of course the Mexican Cenotes.

With a usual sense of adventure and geographical expansion, he is constantly sharing and spreading the freediving culture with hundreds of students from around the world. Alongside his teaching passion he finds UW Photography a powerful tool to promote and admire the world’s underwater treasures.






Lee Jongkee

Freediver - Creator

Lee Jongkee


Lee Jongkee started freediving in 2012 and while steadily receiving freediving training, he began to take an interest in underwater photography. He was already working as a magazine editor, something which got him around a lot of brand and event photographers,  so he started getting more interested, resulting at his first silver award at the RX photo exhibition organized by Sony in 2016.

After visiting Philippines, Dahab, Okinawa, Saipan and Guam to upgrade his underwater photography skills, he won the grand prize at the RX Photo Exhibition in 2017 and became a Special Prize Winner at the Sony Global Photo Awards that year. A couple of years down the line, he won the 2020 Gmaster Photo Exhibition in Korea.

Achievements:

2016 SONY RX silver prize
2017 SONY RX grand prize
2017 SONY Global Special prize winner
2020 SONY Gmaster photo award winner

 


Morgan Dias Simao

Freediver - Creator

Morgan Dias Simao


Morgan is involved in several wildlife conservation initiatives with a focus on how can modern technology support nature preservation. Native from the French coast of Brittany where he grew his passion for marine life, he accidentally fell in love with Africa and its wildlife few years ago. After volunteering in different programs, he quickly discovered the gaps between the land and marine conservation worlds. This was the seed of Hearts of Giants documentary.


Nicholas Kouvaras

Freediver - Instructor - Creator - Honorary President Of AIDA Hellas

Nicholas Kouvaras


Nicholas Kouvaras started freediving at an early age. In the early years he divided his time underwater between photography and spearfishing. Later he discovered freediving and dedicated his life to the sport. He now has more than 40 years of freediving experience. The last 20 as a full time instructor and trainer. He has been involved, in one way or the other in all aspects and forms of freediving. Even this deep in his career he will always teach Level ones. Sharing his passion was always his motivation. He loves carbon fibers and he has found his home in the Alchemy R&D department. He is also a part time YouTuber and never gets in the water without his V330s and his camera.

Achievements:

1969 He was born in Athens in Greece and spent most of his childhood in the island of Paros swimming and sailing for the local Nautical Club.
1978 He was accepted at Athens College and continued swimming and sailing for the Nautical Club of Vouliagmeni. Every summer he would go back to the island where he started freediving and taking UW pictures.
1990 He decided to put more into his freediving and started training.
1996 He started sharing his knowledge with a close circle of Friends.
1997 He competed for the first time in a freediving competition. A 2nd place in CWT and 3rd in static earned him a place in the 1st Greek National team.
1998 He participated in the 1st Major World Championship in Sardegna with the National team.
1998 He attended the Apnea Academy Instructor course.

1999 He designed for the first time carbon fins for M-Technique.

1999 He became the President of the newly founded AIDA Hellas. 

2000 He is nominated Captain of the Greek National team.

2002 & 2003 He became a CMAS Freediving Instructor and a CMAS Freediving Instructor Trainer.
2004 With Dimitris Kollias he published “Deep Magazine”. A monthly magazine for Spearfishing and Freediving.
2009 He retired from the magazine and worked with “Ethnos” Newspaper.

2010 He publishes in YouTube one of the most viewed videos in Freediving with 67 million views.

2011 & 2013 He provided the video coverage of the Individual World Championships and trained the safety teams.
2012 He joined the Alchemy R&D department helping to bring the V3 to life.

2015 He worked for the Freediving Club Greece that moved permanently in Kalamata.

2015 He trained Stavros Kastrinakis and organized his World Record in VWT.

2016 He became a Pure Apnea Instructor and worked for Fusion Freediving in Bali.

2017 He became a Pure Apnea Master Instructor Trainer and the Manager of Fusion Freediving.

2018 & 2019 He managed Freediving Club Greece in Kalamata.
2019 He moved to Jakarta where he is still working for Freediving Society and Jakarta Mermaid School.


Kostas Kalamaras

Freediver - Instructor - Creator - Spearo

Kostas Kalamaras


Kostas grew up in Athens, Greece and spent most of his childhood summers on the island of Mykonos, in his parents' house next to the sea. He is best known for his unique style of underwater filmmaking on a single breath of air and on hands-free equalization technique which makes him one of the very few freedivers being able to make underwater videos of an outstanding quality. For years he collaborated with many fishing and freediving magazines, such as ''Deep Magazine'' and ''Boat and Fishing''. In 2012, he cooperated with Discovery Channel shooting underwater videos for the show What happens next''. His work has been published in various outlets since then.

Achievements:

2005 International Freediving Advanced Dive Response Clinic in Sweden
2006 1st place in Greek National Championship (CNF)
2007 International Scientific Conference for the Apnea Training under the auspices of Apnea Academy in Lignano Sabbiadoro
2009 He cooperated with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science of the University of Athens about a research on apnea utility as part of a training plan for different sports
2009 2nd place in CWT discipline in AIDA Cyprus Depth Games
2010 He became a freedive instructor of Apnea Academy in Sharm-el-Sheik having Umberto Pelizzari as his tutor. Feeling the necessity of continuous improvement, in March 2010 Enrolled in the Medic First Aid International School for freedive instructors.
2011 2nd place in FIM discipline in AIDA Hellas Summer Apnea Games
2013 3rd place in STA discipline in AIDA Hellas Pool Championship
2016 Became an Aida International Judge.


Israel Gil

Freediver - Creator

Israel Gil


Born in Caracas, Venezuela. He started off as a swimmer from a very young age. Always being in touch with the ocean and related to Watersports. By the time he was 12 years old, his step dad Carlos Coste had broken off the first man to surpass the 100m bar in freediving. This made a huge impact on him and motivated him to continue maximizing as a Surfer and Waterpolo athlete. By 19 years old, I had felt a huge desire to entertain visually by making extreme sport videos. And an equal desire to join the family sport: Freediving. Shortly after, I had placed 2nd in a National Dynamic/Static Competition.

By the age of 20, Israel moved to the Netherlands to pursue a career in Media & Entertainment Management. Which developed his passion for Cameras and Storytelling. At age 24, after finishing his degree, he decided to resume his freediving training. As well as, help build a brand with Deepsea Freediving School in Bonaire, Dutch Caribbean. Giving basic courses, creating stunning underwater imagery and assisting in large AIDA/PADI Certifications. During the same period, he took part in many freelance cinematic projects in the Netherlands to pursue his career dream in Director of Photography.

By the age of 27, Israel managed the entire media coverage of Bonaire Deepsea Challenge 2017. As well as particiapte as an athlete for the event. With a remarkable consistency across disciplines, he finishes 1st in the Male Category and sets him on a promising path in Freediving and Underwater Visual Arts.

Today, Israel works creating commercials and high-end video production for Watersport Brands, as well as, Travel Agencies and Hotels. In addition to, freelance fashion photographer.

“My dream continues on to achieve bigger freediving Depths and time. I feel super honored to be part of the Alchemy Family, and I’m thankful to be supported on this exciting freediving and content creation voyage.”

Achievements:

2nd Place in National Static Discipline 2009, Venezuela
1st Place AIDA International Bonaire Deepsea Challenge 2017



Finn Snow

Freediver - Creator - YouTuber

Finn Snow


Adventure explorer from the land of the north Reykjavik Iceland. Learned swimming and skiing before walking and hiking mountains as a young kid. From 31 countries to over 200 islands explored at the age of 32. Finnur, known as 'Finn' grew up surrounded by nature which his parents used every opportunity to explore. It's safe to say he got his adventurous spirit from them. He played multiple sports at the same time throughout all his childhood. Until a devastating injury which forced him to stop all sports for the next 10 years.

In 2016 that all came back when he rediscovered the love of sports through the ocean, diving. With a successful social media career he took a meaningful route for conservation. Documenting multiple reefs and islands to bring awareness to dying reefs in the Philippines. Which lead to local Government units to form fisheries unions, protecting areas and funding for reef conservation. Partnered with CURE Foundation in 2017. Using his social media presence he raised funds to build a school for very young girls saved from trafficking all over the Philippines.Today he focuses on creating and exploring beautiful locations through his lens. As well ocean conservation and humanitarian efforts.

Achievements:

First Successful Icelandic Travel Vlogger, 2018
First Documenting Multiple Islands and Communities in Philippines
Building School for CURE Foundation, 2017
Reef Restoration Mantiquin Antique Philippines, 2018
Over 500+ Travel Videos With Over 80 Million Views, 2020
Representing Philippines in New York Times Travel Show, 2019