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Award-winning photographer’s work recognised globally again

Monday 21 August 2023 | Written by Losirene Lacanivalu | Published in Art, Entertainment, Features


Award-winning photographer’s work recognised globally again
Paris Photographer of the Year. CHARLOTTE PIHO/23081815

Award-winning photographer and turtle tour operator Charlotte Piho has had her work recognised globally again.

The 2021 New York Photography Award winner, won bronze in the 2023 Paris Photographer of the Year Award for Nature: Underwater.

It was her image of the famous turtle Aria, whose video went viral globally, that was featured in many of the awards.

On Thursday night, she learned that she had won gold and the overall category in the European Photography Awards.

Piho also said that she was named a finalist this month in New Zealand’s most popular, prestigious, and richest photography competition, the New Zealand Geo Photographer of the Year. She will be attending the awards ceremony in Auckland on October 27.

She explained that Aria, the beautiful green sea turtle in the Cook Islands that blows bubbles from her mouth, has become one of the most beloved turtles in the world.

“The video of her which I posted back in April 2022 was shared on CBS in six different countries and across media and social channels (social pages were getting around 62 million views),” Piho said.

She said that moments like these make her feel truly blessed.

“Aria’s behaviour helps to close boundaries between humans and animals. She shows that animals just like humans are vulnerable, can be playful and also have their own distinct personalities.

“By raising awareness of how special they are, it encourages people to protect them by not polluting our oceans. For instance, by participating in coastal clean-ups and reducing plastic use.”

Piho said she was humbled by the awards and nominations.

“I love how when you follow your passion and do what you love, beautiful things happen.

An image of one of Charlotte Piho’s winning entries. CHARLOTTE PIHO/23081816

“It’s just nice and humbling to have positive news and have my work from the Cook Islands shared globally.”

Meanwhile, Piho has also been nominated by one of her photography idols, Craig Parry, to sit alongside him as the female representative for Oceania at the Global Focus Project in Dubai.

She said that the Global Focus Project seeks to identify and select an outstanding male and female photographer from each of the six continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania.

“If I am selected, I will be one of 12 photographers invited to Sharjah and awarded for my work and contributions to the field of photography,” she added.