Mike Coots photo of hammerhead shark

Mike Coots: Surfer, photographer, shark advocate

When Mike Coots was just out of high school, he went out with his buddies on a surfing session that, like the sunny Hawaii day, was full of promise.

It ended by changing his life. That morning Coots was attacked by a tiger shark, the rows of ferocious teeth clamping around his leg so that he had to pummel the shark’s nose and reach inside its mouth to free it. Luckily, he escaped with his life – which he then dedicated to changing people’s perception of sharks via his stunning photography.

“I know that strong visual storytelling can change people,” says Coots, now a professional photographer and Instagram sensation.

You can immerse yourself in Coots’ crystalline, closer-than-life shots of sharks in his Ocean Fest show “Kuleana,” which means “deep responsibility.” Accompanying the photos will be shark biofacts from Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and glass art from the Museum of Glass.

There’ll also be Ocean Actions on how you can help stop the cruel industry of shark finning.

But you can watch Coots’ story right here.

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