Art is my passion, conservation is my purpose, and for me the two are inseparable. I have found art is the most powerful tool I can contribute to help protect the ocean's most threatened species and habitats.


Shawn Heinrichs is an internationally-acclaimed photographer and Emmy Award-winning cinematographer. As a co-founder of SeaLegacy, he has become a major force in the global fight to protect threatened marine species and habitats. He serves on the International Board of WildAid, is a Director of Manta Trust, a Safina Fellow, and an International League of Conservation Photographers Fellow.

Fuelled by his passion for the ocean, his ground-breaking work fuses dramatic imagery with intimate and thought-provoking stories, to connect the global community to the beauty and vulnerability of threatened marine species and habitats. As an investigative photojournalist, Shawn has journeyed to the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth to shine a spotlight on some of the most pressing conservation issues of our time. Always off the beaten path, his work offers a rare view of the people, issues, and some of the more disturbing elements of global fisheries and the endangered species trade. His investigative imagery has been used as centrepieces for documentaries, news, editorials, and campaigns reaching hundreds of millions of people.
Shawn was one of the lead activists and cinematographers of the Emmy-nominated film, Racing Extinction, one of the most watched environmental documentaries of our time. As part of a global environmental activation campaign, his work was projected onto the Empire State Building, the United Nations and the Vatican. Most recently, he was featured in the award-winning Netflix series Tales by Light that showcased his innovative use of imagery to inspire and drive conservation of one of Earth’s crown jewels, West Papua.  A full gallery showing at the Southampton Arts Center in New York, Shawn’s latest exhibit, Light on Shadow, highlighted the struggle that sits at the very heart of his fine art practice, presenting an intimate journey through both the beauty of marine life and the reality that threatens their existence… a powerful warning against complacency. Over the past decades, Shawn’s ground-breaking photography has been featured in numerous media channels including National Geographic, BBC and the New York Times. Shawn is a founding Creative Counsel Member of SeaLegacy, serves on the International Board of WildAid, is a Director of Manta Trust, a SeaLegacy Collective member, a Safina Fellow, and an International League of Conservation Photographers Fellow.
For more information, follow @shawnheinrichs on Instagram.


The Ocean Photographer of the Year judging panel consists of six world-renowned photography experts. Discover more:

Andy Mann

SeaLegacy Co-founder & award-winning expedition director

About Andy

David Doubilet

Photographer & journalist

About David