Feeling close to nature is food for the soul but inspiring people to protect it is food for the planet. When Matt Porteous launched Ocean Culture Life, he turned his passion for ocean storytelling into a veritable feast for the senses.

Jersey-born photographer Matt Porteous grew up surfing waves; amid the plunging breakers is where he learned a deep respect for the ocean. In 2015, his wanderlust took him to Hawaii for El Nino season, and the tropical islands’ progressive attitude towards ocean conservation led him to establish Ocean Culture Life; a global community of ocean storytellers whose mission is to effect change by creating engaging conversations around ocean conservation.

“We’ve been building a recognised storyteller platform for years, and now we’re opening it up to everyone,” says the accomplished freediver. “It’s only when you get enough people talking about a subject that society really starts to listen.”

Working with ‘ocean guardians’ – from Blue Marine Foundation to Six Senses in the Maldives – Porteous has created stories around sustainable fishing, sea grass protection and even the biggest marine park in Europe. With his trusted Fuji in hand when on land and his Canon when in water, Porteous captures and frames compelling stories within a single image.

He has spent over a decade honing his skill as a commercial photographer – Harpers Bazaar place him as one of the world’s best! – but below the breaking waves is where he feels comfort.

“On the surface it’s like a storm, but when you’re deep beneath the waves there’s a certain calm that most people never realise is there. That’s where I like to be.”

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Matt Porteous

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