DeepElite

Andy and Emma Casagrande, Scubapro Ambassador

Andy and Emma Casagrande

Andy and Emma Casagrande are as charming and delightful as they are adventurous and talented. The next generation of working couples, the two have explored and dove the planet together, all with the intent of making natural history films that not only captivate but motivate people to take actions to conserve and protect. With a special focus on predators, the two often find themselves in the water with sharks - and they turn to SCUBAPRO gear - because, as they put it, when you are in the water with a five meter great white, the last thing you want to do is worry about your equipment.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDY BRANDY & EMMA CASAGRANDE:

Tell us about yourself:

Andy: "I am a wildlife cameraman, I specialize in apex predators and I shoot both topside and underwater. Working as an underwater cameraman and just being a diver in general has changed our lives beyond what we could have imagined. We owe a lot to the oceans and capturing its amazing wildlife is how we give back."

Emma: "I have been diving since 2002 but definitely a lot more within the last five years since I met my wonderful husband. I am working with him - photos, editing and everything that comes with the company, and of course going on as many diving trips as possible.

Why did you decide to take the giant stride into the oceans?

Andy: "I started diving 15 years ago and the reason I started diving was that I wanted to see sharks. Since I was born, I had this innate fascination with Great Whites particularly. I realized that there was no way that I was going to see a Great White running around on dry land and so I started diving because I love sharks.

Emma: "I have always loved animals and being underwater, so I was certified in 2002 - before I met Andy. Though, if you told me then, I would never believe that I would be diving with the sharks and be doing everything this crazy lifestyle of being an underwater filmmaker entails. But I do love it. And I love the sharks, I'm amazed by the underwater, world and everything that comes with it. I'm just addicted. I never ever want to surface."

How has diving changed your life?

Andy: "Diving is our lifestyle, career, and even why we met. It has taken us all over the world and we feel really honored to live this type of lifestyle. We have tons of family friends, strangers and even fans that love what we do. That means a lot to us because we want to inspire people to care about the planet, particularly the underwater world. We hope we inspire other couples to go out and dive and experience the watery world because topside can be pretty boring, underwater is where it is at!

Emma: "And it is amazing how beautiful and peaceful it is underwater. Particularly the sharks - they are more peaceful than you would think and it is gorgeous."

Tell me what, if you had to pick one of the most amazing experiences underwater, what would it be?

Andy: "One of the most amazing moments underwater was in South Africa. We were diving out of the cage with Great White Sharks, which can be relatively dangerous. Sharks are not malicious, evil creatures but you have to be ready for anything. I was down on the bottom with seven White Sharks swimming around me with a couple of my good South African friends. It was just amazing because the last thing that you would think being in the water with seven Great Whites at the same time is that you'd have a great time. I was totally zenned out, the sharks were Zen, and it was peaceful and beautiful. I cherish that moment because I haven't had seven Great White Sharks swimming around me since. Maybe I'm shallow, but I just like the big predators that can eat you but they don't want to. And it sure is fun to venture into their world without a cage.

Emma: "Moments when you are able to free dive with the sharks and you don't have to be behind the bars or a cage... I love time at Tiger Beach swimming with the Tiger Sharks. They are so gorgeous, mellow, and they are just awesome sharks to film up close. It makes me very happy being there."

What is it like to work together?

Andy: "Emma and I have been working together ever since we met. We met in Africa where I was shooting a lion film and we fell in love. Since then, we have been diving all over the world. I think we make a great team. I mean, sometimes we butt heads, but she's an amazing still photographer and she handles everything that I hate to do. I like the action so she kind of balances me out really well.

Where are some of your favorite places underwater?

Both: "Anywhere there are big sharks!" Emma: "Tiger Beach, Bahamas"

Andy: "South Africa"

What is your advice to someone considering diving?

Andy: "I encourage people to just go out there and do it. You've got to surround yourself with people that do it already so that you can learn the tricks of the trade. I'm always willing to share my secrets and the hotspots we go to and recommend good gear and good cameras. I believe that the more people that are out there capturing content and filming the amazing underwater world, while it is still here, are critical for conservation and inspiration to keep this planet going. Ultimately, I tell everyone to live the life they dream. "

Emma: "My advice to everyone that is going to start diving is definitely have good gear that fits you well because it makes such a difference. Being comfortable in the water is critical to being a good diver. Dive with someone that is experienced, get as much training as you can. Enjoy the water - and the sharks. Be calm, breathe calm and stay with your buddy."

What is the favorite thing in your dive bag?

Andy: "My Xtec Harness."

Emma: "My great fitting Ever-flex suit. Way better than Andy's hand-me-downs."

Why SCUBAPRO?

Andy: "I've had a chance to try a lot of gear, because I work with big networks like National Geographic and Discovery. We do some pretty hardcore stuff so we need hardcore gear. With all the gear I have used, SCUBAPRO is by far the most robust, the most low profile, the most technical- I can rely on it and it looks good! It fits good, it feels good, it dives good and everything about it is cool. The last thing I need is any gear failures because first, it is my life support and second, because I have a job to do. I can't waste my time with gear that might fail. My SCUBAPRO gear never has. Their gear just keeps getting better every year so, it's great to dive with and I'm really proud to wear the "S".

Emma: "I was getting all Andy's hand-me-downs originally, including men's wetsuits. SCUBAPRO makes amazing gear; it looks great, it fits great and I am glad I am not wearing my husband's suits. Now I can breathe easy and stay warm. That's the philosophy of our diving! Breathe and you will be fine! But having real gear, really takes it to a different level."

What does diving mean to you?

Andy: "Diving has created who I am today. It is such an amazing opportunity to be one with the oceans, but also capturing that for the rest of the world to see. The reality is that there are a lot of people on this planet that will never experience the ocean from their own perspective. To be able to bring that experience to others is a huge honor and it has also jettisoned my career beyond what I could ever imagine. "

Emma: "My mom always asks me "so what is the plan for today?" because it is always changing and unpredictable. We've traveled to amazing places and seen amazing things, Patagonia, Killer Whales, Guadalupe, White sharks. We even lived on a tiny wooden boat for a month. It's just an adventure the whole time. I never know - one day I'm driving boats, the next diving with white sharks. It is always new experiences and new things. I love it, and what's more, thanks to diving, I truly am living the dream. "

Name: Andy Brandy Casagrande IV
Emma Casagrande Profession: Andy: Award winning underwater cameraman Emma: Stills photographer, editor, safety diver and all-around support team Diver Since: Andy: 1998 Emma: 2002 Learn More: http://www.abc4explore.com

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WARNING: When diving, you must follow the rules and apply the skills taught by a recognized scuba diving certification agency. Before taking part in any diving activity, it is mandatory to have successfully completed a scuba diving course. Information on this website does not replace a diving instruction course.