Lawrence Scheele Profile Shot

‘Cephalotography’ Of The Week: Lawrence Scheele

Howdy Nation! In today’s post, we are going to be featuring some of our favorite cephalotography by underwater diver: Lawrence Scheele. Lawrence is a well-known and respected photographer who specializes in cephalopod portraiture. His work captures the uniqueness and personality of these amazing creatures. Let’s take a look!

Meet Lawrence Scheele!

If you’ve been a part of OctoNation for a while now, you might have come to know Lawrence’s work! We have shared many of his octopus photography and videos from his underwater explorations.

We are so excited to take a deep dive into his photography process and how he is able to capture all of this amazing art!

As an underwater photographer and marine biologist from Australia, Lawrence likes to take all of his photos and videos while snorkeling and free-diving.

He has a HUGE passion for cephalopods and aspires to educate and raise awareness of Australia’s diverse and unique marine life.

Let’s find out more!

Red-Spot Night Octopus (Callistoctopus dierythraeus) Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Red-Spot Night Octopus (Callistoctopus dierythraeus) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

How long have you been an underwater photographer? 

“I’ve been taking underwater photos for around 7 years now. It all started towards the end of high school after my first snorkel and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Striped Pyjama Squid (Sepioloidea lineolata) Sydney Harbour, Australia
Striped Pyjama Squid (Sepioloidea lineolata) in Sydney Harbour, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Where do you mainly dive and take underwater photos? How often do you go? 

“I grew up in Sydney and now currently based on the beautiful Great Barrier Reef. I try and get in the water as much as I can and constantly keeping an eye on the wind & tide reports. Personally, I really enjoy being in the ocean at night or the early hours of the morning because that is when cephalopods are most active!”

Two-Toned Pygmy Squid (Idiosepius pygmaeus) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

How long do you dive for? Do you normally go alone? 

“Typically, I snorkel for 3-4 hours. I often go out with a partner or group for safety, especially when I’m diving in unfamiliar places.

What I love about snorkeling/free-diving is there’s no time limit – so you can stay in the water for as long as you want!”

Bigfin Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Are you known for having a certain type of style when it comes to your photos? How do you capture the creature that is in front of the camera just the way you want? 

“I think my photos are known for their vibrant colour and close ups. I take all my photos free-diving so there’s a-lot of natural light present (the deeper you go the more light/colour is lost).

Whenever I go diving, I make an effort to become aware of the habitat, behaviour & mood of the animals I photograph to capture intimate close ups of the individuals.”

Southern Star-eye Octopus (Amphioctopus cf. kagoshimensis) New South Wales, Australia
Southern Star-Eye Octopus (Amphioctopus cf. kagoshimensis) in New South Wales, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

What do you like most about being an underwater photographer? 

“I truly feel at home under the ocean. There’s a certain feeling of peace and fulfilment to it especially, when you’re hanging out with cephalopod friends who I call ” my sons”.

I love sharing underwater stories with people who are interested or love the ocean. People are often surprised as to what’s actually out there.”

Gloomy Octopus (Octopus tetricus) Sydney Harbour, Australia
Gloomy Octopus (Octopus tetricus) in Sydney Harbour, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Who (or what) are your biggest influences?

“Octopus! Cuttlefish! Squid! Nautilus! They are my biggest influences!”

Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) Sydney Harbour, Australia 2
Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) in Sydney Harbour, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Have you received any awards or recognition?

“My photos and videos have been published in global news publications, online articles and on television. My dream is to create underwater films/documentaries and music!”

Reaper Cuttlefish (Sepia mestus) Sydney Harbour, Australia
Reaper Cuttlefish (Sepia mestus) in Sydney Harbour, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Do you have a favorite species you like to take pictures of?

“I love photographing any of the Blue-Ringed Octopus species! Luckily, here in Australia, we have a few! They are such characters and are extremely docile. They are relatively small and can be quite rare so It’s really exciting when you find one.

Also, photographing Australian Giant Cuttlefish is beyond epic!”

Greater Blue Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) Okinawa, Japan
Greater Blue-Ringed Octopus (Hapalochlaena lunulata) in Okinawa, Japan By: Lawrence Scheele

How do you know where to find an octopus or cephalopod to take pictures of?

“I am constantly exploring my local beaches, reading marine field guides, scientific papers and online sightings!

Also, the second question I ask people when I’m in a new place “Have you ever seen an octopus here?””

Algae Octopus (Abdopus aculeatus) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

What draws you in or fascinates you the most about cephalopods? When did this start for you?

“It sounds cliché but since as long as I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated by octopus.

The tidal pools were quite literally a gateway to the ocean for me and my fascination only grew as I discovered snorkeling, free diving and scuba diving & studied Marine Biology. It embarked a journey to encounter more & more cephalopods locally and across the world.”

Banded String-arm Octopus (Ameloctopus litoralis) Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Banded String-Arm Octopus (Ameloctopus litoralis) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

What’s your most memorable underwater photoshoot? 

“There’s too many!

However, photographing Australian Giant Cuttlefish during their spawning season is wild. They either become very indifferent to humans or very inquisitive – it really makes for spectacular photo opportunities! They can display colours you never even knew existed.”

Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) Sydney Harbour, Australia
Australian Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia apama) in Sydney Harbour, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

What’s the best place for people to discover your work? 

“You can check out my website and Youtube channel to check out some of my latest work. To keep up with my day to day diving explorations, take a look at my Instagram page!”

Algae Octopus (Abdopus aculeatus) Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Algae Octopus (Abdopus aculeatus) in Great Barrier Reef, Australia By: Lawrence Scheele

Thank You For Joining Us For Photographer Spotlight!

First, we want to give a big thank you to Lawrence Scheele for allowing us to showcase their amazing photos on OctoNation. To continue supporting Lawrence and his underwater photography, make sure to follow them on Instagram @snorkeldownunder and on Youtube. If you are interested in commissioning a piece from them, make sure to fill out this contact form.

If you want to educate yourself some more about all sorts of different cephalopods, take a look at our encyclopedia. Or, what we call it, our Octopedia!

Connect with other octopus lovers via the OctoNation Facebook group,! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the conservation, education, and ongoing research of cephalopods.

More Posts To Read:

Similar Posts