When I finished my first SCUBA cert, taking (admittedly very shaky and blurry) photos and videos was my method for communicating my passion to my more land-based friends and family. As this passion developed (and my buoyancy control improved), I find myself in this same role as a scientist. I will gladly deliver endless facts and figures happily on the value of coral reefs, but at the end of the day, beautiful photos and videos just hit different. My hope is that my work inspires more people to conserve these endangered ecosystems.
At first glance, I think many people write corals off as just colorful rocks. What most don't realize is that those colorful rocks provide us with billions of dollars in tourism and coastal protection, house a quarter of all marine species, and support vital fisheries that feed millions of people. If those colorful rocks disappear, so will we.