About Maria, Licentiateship of the Royal Photographic Society
After being run over twice with multiple head injuries and 15 fractures , heavy internal bleeding and needing almost 30 operations at hospitals such as Great Ormond Street in London, Leeds in Yorkshire and Bromley Hospital, Kent, and despite being told she would not live or walk again, Maria followed her dream to learn how to walk again, picked up a camera and followed her passion to learn about sharks, whales, dolphins and our underwater realm. Most of the photos that you will see here have been taken with an everyday compact camera but she has also taken pictures with film, digital SLRs, bridge cameras as well as an iPhone 6 & 7.
Since 2001 she has encountered all kinds of wildlife both above and underwater and has launched Shark Conservation Campaigns with our Deputy Prime Minister, the late Peter Benchley, filmed Frank Gardner (BBC Correspondent), photographed Stacey Soloman when she learnt how to dive in London, taught editors of Wanderlust and Sport Diver UK Magazines underwater photography, written for Amateur Photographer, DIVE, Sport Diver and Thai Airways Magazine and has also been featured in her local papers in Kent as well as women's magazine "Real" and her work has been on the front cover of the Royal Photographic Magazine. She was also lucky enough to spent a day with the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol whilst they were filming blue whales in Monterey Bay, California, as well as spending time with Steve Leonard - TV Veterinary Surgeon "Vets in Practice" - "Extreme Animals."
Maria has been giving talks on photography since 2005 when she pioneered and launched the first ever courses in the world dedicated to help beginners take beautiful photographs with compact cameras at London's Excel. Since then she has regularly appeared on the Centre Stage both there and at Birmingham's NEC as well as giving talks for Calumet and many dive clubs around the country, raising money for charities such as the Scuba Trust, helping disabled people to dive, British Divers Marine Life Rescue, Biteback, the Shark Trust as well as the Whale & Dolphin Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd. She also funded herself to go undercover in a shark and manta ray fishery in Indonesia to contribute important information to try to get these species protected at a CITES Convention in Bangkok the following year.
She has also helped two children's orphanages, The School of Hope in Mabul Island, Malaysia and another one near to Sao Paulo in Brazil.
Since this time, 22 guests have won prizes here and in the USA as well as Maria herself winning the coveted British Sub-Aqua Club's Travel Photographer of the Year Award, Bronze Medal Winner in Underwater Photography twice, reaching the Final 100 in the Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award in 2012 as well as winning "Book of the Year" in the Dive Industry, as voted by Diver Magazine in 2011 at London's Excel Centre. She is now writing her second book.
Outside of all of this, she is incredibly passionate about her job as an Auxiliary Nurse at her local hospitals helping them through their staff shortages. She is very proud to have had her work featured on Headway's website (her head injury charity) and BCHA (who help to run the Wareham Retreat) for whom she has helped to cover staff shortages over the past 5 years.
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to give me a call on 07901 395807 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll always do my best to reply quickly, even when at work on shift.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to meeting you soon.