Freediver - Instructor - Creator
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.
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
Andy B. Casagrande IV
Award Winning Cinematographer - Producer - Presenter
Andy B. Casagrande IV
Andy Brandy Casagrande IV is a 2 x Emmy award-winning wildlife cinematographer, producer & on-camera presenter, specializing in wildlife & adventure documentaries around the world. From king cobras & killer whales to great white sharks & polar bears, Andy's innovative cinematography & unorthodox camera techniques are helping revolutionize the way the world sees & perceives wildlife. With more than 150 wildlife film credits to his name, Andy has filmed, produced & presented films for the world's top networks including National Geographic, Discovery, Disney, and BBC. Andy's life-long mission is to inspire people to protect our fragile planet.
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.
Freediver - Creator - Blogger - Instructor - Speaker
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.
Freediver - Instructor - Creator
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.
Marine Biologist - Scuba Diver - Freediver - Underwater Photographer - Spearo
Freediver - Captain - Scuba Diver
Sava is a freediver, scuba instructor, and boat captain. His romance with the ocean began when he moved to Hawaii in 2007 and began working on the water at 19 years old. One day, he watched his captain throw on a pair of long fins and disappear underwater for what seemed like an hour on one breath and resurface holding an octopus. After a few minutes of dancing with it, he let it free. Witnessing this feat captivated him and lured him into the underwater world. Each day working on and under the water since has been a chance to learn something new about boats, seamanship, knots, scuba diving, free diving, sailing, and all the fascinating intricacies of being a waterman. He sees the ocean as a chance to learn more about himself, push his limits, practice discipline, and connect with wild animals. Currently, he works on the north shore of Oahu as a captain and shark safety diver, and does private custom charters and ocean adventures. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, diving with sharks, and doing boat deliveries across oceans. Line diving plays an immense role in his diving as it sharpens his ability to perform underwater, whether he is taking photos, diving wrecks, or redirecting sharks. As a huge fan of Alchemy, he has been wearing their high-quality gear long before being a part of Team Alchemy, he is incredibly honored to be sponsored by the best.
USCG 100-ton Master
Sailed 10,000+ miles open ocean
Freediver - Creator
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.
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.
Freediver - Instructor - Creator - Honorary President Of AIDA Hellas
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.
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.
Freediver - Instructor - Creator - Spearo
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.
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.
Freediver - Creator
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.”
2nd Place in National Static Discipline 2009, Venezuela
1st Place AIDA International Bonaire Deepsea Challenge 2017
Freediver - Creator
Livio Fakeye is an artist and conservationist at heart. Traveling constantly, his aim is to create & educate. He creates art along with his other half, Diana Garcia Benito, showcasing the beauty of the ocean as well as the problems it faces. Fakeye was brought to life by combining fake and eye, which represent the third eye of a photographer, his camera. His work, all done on a single breath, is showcased in magazines, websites, exhibitions, advertising and in teaching material for freediving and conservation work.
Freediver - Climber - Creator
Pema is a Tibetan photographer and videographer who was born in the landlocked Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. Despite not touching the ocean for the first 18 years of her life, she settled by the sea in Southern California. There, her love for the water became a love for the ocean - one that took her to Oahu to pursue freediving. Similar to climbing, freediving brings her a sense of stillness and presence of mind. It provides both a meditative space, as well as a way to test her potential. In this regard, she hopes to grow both as a diver and person in her pursuit of depth. Pema now splits her time between trekking remote peaks and exploring the underwater world. Training for hypoxia in both environments has been a rewarding challenge and one that will hopefully take her to the highest point on earth, as well as further down the line into competitive freediving.
Freediver - Creator
Andrii Pletiuk is a fashion, brand, and underwater photographer based in Dubai since 2018. For the past 12 years, his passion for photography has been reflected in every piece of his work, finding it a great vessel for telling stories and creating memories. Moreover, underwater photography has given Andrii a new perspective about the mind-body connection, allowing him to explore new aspects of human nature in each dive.
Andrii is a content creator for The Giving Movement – a UAE based brand with a sustainable essence – and a GoPro Middle East Ambassador, platform where he showcases epic underwater stories.
Freediver - Content Creator
Freediver - Explorer
Bingqian is an award-winning data leader currently working in the Technology and Artificial Intelligence space. She broke into freediving in the summer of 2021 and has fallen in love with it since. Born and raised in China, Bingqian now calls London home, but you can find her exploring the underwater world and traveling through warmer countries while working remotely. She is passionate about data story-telling, mental well-being, diversity and inclusion, and supporting the next generation of talent. She enjoys having artistic outlets such as oil painting, poetry reading, and creating underwater videos. She picks up random challenges such as freediving, Krav Maga, plant propagation, and entrepreneurship to name a few. They help her appreciate the width and depth of life and give her space to experiment, explore her personal limits, learn and grow.
Freediver - Creator - YouTuber
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.
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
Instructor - Freediver - Spearo
Christian is an avid freediver and Spearo. He is originally from Texas, far from the ocean, but moved to Florida to attend Palm Beach Atlantic University. From there he became hooked on freediving. During Christian’s sophomore year of college, he got a job as a speargun smith at his local dive shop, Florida Freedivers. Today you can find Christian and his dive buddies in the waters off Palm beach. Whether he is spearing, line diving, or teaching Level 1 PFI courses he always enjoys being submerged in water.