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Whale Shark Fashion Shoot

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Published on Jan 8, 2013

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FEARLESS underwater models brought the worlds of fashion and the ocean together in the shoot of a lifetime by freediving with 30-foot-long whale sharks. Instead of flaunting their curves on the catwalk like other international models, Hannah Fraser, 36, and Roberta Mancino, 32, gamely dived up to 25-feet-deep into the ocean, complete with designer attire, for a one-of-a-kind photo-session posing in the wild with the 18-tonne world's largest fish. The sight of top-models perfectly mimicking the graceful poses of whale sharks as they swam through the tropical waters of the Philippines was the brainchild of US photographers Shawn Heinrichs, 41, and Kristian Schmidt, 35, who spent four-months planning the five-day photo-shoot. Shawn explained how the pair of photographers decided to join forces with models Roberta and Hannah to create images that would capture the hearts of the general public and raise awareness of the plight of the gentle giants that live in the world's oceans. Whale sharks are a classified as a harmless and vulnerable marine species that survive by consuming tiny sea creatures called plankton. However they continue to be the victims of poaching. Shawn described how they were able to take the incredible shots, by tapping into the knowledge of locals in the Philippine village of Oslob, where fishermen have developed a special bond with the whale sharks they share the ocean with.

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