Award-winning Belgian photographer Ellen Cuylaerts captures images of ocean wildlife that are serene, peaceful, and strikingly intimate. With a masterful understanding of composition and light, Cuylaerts creates works that are almost otherworldly, ushering her viewers into a realm still so foreign to the human collective. Cuylaerts’s objective with her work is twofold: she seeks to bridge a deeper connection between humanity and nature, and she also works to capture her own experience as the photographer, how it feels in those moments when she is behind the camera. As she explains, “You can either choose to document an encounter or express how you’ve experienced the encounter. I try to shoot from the heart.” In this way, she essentially draws the viewer into the natural world.
Ellen Cuylaerts travels the world as a researcher and freelance underwater and wildlife photographer, documenting animals in each region and the particular challenges they’re facing. She currently lives and works on Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, where she dedicates herself to forging a deeper understanding of animals and their habitats.