Just Be Good...
What had originally been just a strong passion and fascination turned into something much greater...
Andy Casagrande IV was born in NYC. He grew up on the east coast, which eventually fueled his love for "outdoors, camping, biking, hiking, anything else."
His love for sharks was sprinkled in there as well, and soon, sharks became a large part of his life.
Early in his career, Andy started out as "an amateur stills photographer with wanderlust." Filmmaking was never something he considered. His passion for sharks, however, led him to become a two-time Emmy award winner for his cinematography.
Andy's first encounter with sharks was actually through a television screen. But since the first time he saw them, he "couldn't stop thinking and dreaming about them."
In 2002, Andy was in Cape Town, collecting video data of the Great Whites for the White Sharks Trust. He was on the cage diving eco-tourism boat, filming and playing his Great White Shark Song. Eventually, he sold these videos to the cage diving eco-tourists. After this experience, Andy realized he could turn his love of sharks into a full time job.
Since then, Andy has won multiple cinematography awards, appeared in, directed, and produced hundreds of shark-related shows or specials, and has traveled to over fifty countries. He has shared his knowledge and kept people aware of the true nature of Great White Sharks. Yep, we're all thinking it: Shark Week.
If you are a Shark Week fanatic, chances are, you have seen Andy appear in many episodes. He has received incredible feedback from people all over the world, praising the work he does and the information he shares.
"It’s truly a dream and supreme honor to inspire people to care about the planet through my imagery and my stories," Andy explains. "I consider it my responsibility, my duty, to allow people around the world to vicariously experience what I get to see in real life, and help motivate and inspire them to make this world a better place - for both humans and wildlife...for the entire planet."
Being a photographer and cinematographer isn't actually Andy's full-time gig. He's a father and husband, too. His family always comes first, no matter how decorated people see him from the outside world.
"Being a public figure, photographer, filmmaker, Emmy winner doesn’t matter to me," says Andy. "It’s not about how famous you are, or what awards you have won, it’s about what you do with you life to make a positive impact on this planet and the legacy you leave behind to empower others to do the same."
When asked about nerves before or while filming with sharks, Andy's response was, to say the least, fitting with his passion. When Andy is around sharks, he is in his calmest state. It's people that make him nervous, not sharks. "I find some humans to be extremely malicious and manipulative (but, of course, not all of them), yet I find sharks, for the most part, to be incredibly polite and respectful, and absolutely incredible!"
Of course being in constantly close proximity with a large mackerel shark could be terrifying for most. Not Andy. As a hyper alert person, Andy has found himself to be more cautious around humans. Whether it be driving, walking in the city, or even just mundane interactions, Andy feels as though his life may be in potential danger. He is always "accessing and anticipating everything and everyone" around him.
Simple put: "I trust sharks way more than I trust people."
When it comes to photography, Andy's favorite pictures are of his wife, Emma, and his son and daughter, Ace and Nova, respectively. As a father, Andy is constantly teaching his children "the truth about sharks and helping them understand the essence of omni-coexistence." It's a top priority for him. Ace and Nova have fallen in love with sharks, too! In Andy's words: "they will most certainly grow up to be passionate conservationists, inspiring future generations and continuing to help change our world for the better.
But when it comes to his favorite animal? The Great White Sharks around the world are his undeniably favorite muse.
Andy is a man who lives in the moment, is always the best version of himself he can possibly be, and will continue to educate anyone who will listen about the beautifully vast ocean.
Words of wisdom from Andy Casagrande IV: "Live the life you dream and just be good."
You can learn all about Andy and his adventures here: