Paul Spielvogel lives a double life. By day, he is a typical real estate attorney, dressed professionally in a white, button-down shirt and slacks. On his off days, however, this Woodland’s adventurer trades his suit and tie for scuba gear, swimming fins and a day of adventure. That’s because Paul is one of the most renowned underwater photographers in the world. Believe it or not, he also specializes in taking glamour shots of sharks.
Most people would tremble at the thought of befriending a shark, but Paul obviously has a weak spot for the animal and a unadulterated love for adventure. In fact, his photo shoots are specifically designed to challenge the idea that sharks are dangerous monsters – to him, they are just misunderstood, creatures.
(But I don’t blame you for thinking what you do. We’ve all seen the 1975 movie, “Jaws.” It ain’t pretty. I still shudder at the thought of multiple teeth rows.)
Paul also argues that most shark attacks occur when humans get mixed up in schools of fish. (contrary to popular belief…they aren’t very interested in eating us). As such, Paul’s photographs often show divers coming face to face with sharks. His most famous picture, for example, went viral around the world and depicts Eli Martinez, editor of Shark Diver Magazine, high-fiving a lemon shark off the coast of the Bahamas.
Want to hear more about this adventure? In celebration of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”, you can now bid for a chance to meet him to hear more of his stories and learn about his lifestyle. He plans to donate the money he raises from this auction to the New Jersey-based Shark Research Institute, an organization that specializes in shark conservation and protection. Because 73 million – 100 million sharks are fished each year for food, it’s important for Paul to raise awareness about this issue.
So why not bid? You might not want to travel around the world on a shark searching adventure like Paul, but talking to him will teach you how to sit through Jaws without biting your fingernails.