This Tahitian model dives naked with dangerous marine creatures to create stunning underwater photographs.
Rava Ray, also known as the ‘Stingray Queen,’ grew up on the small South Pacific Island of Mo’orea and learnt to ‘share the water’ with sharks, whales, turtles and dolphins.
After she learnt to dive and became familiar with underwater photography, Ray’s family moved to Hawaii – and she began taking some pretty incredible photos.
The 27-year-old told Daily Mail Australia she was left completely ‘starstruck’ after diving with a tiger shark for the first time and urges those who are afraid of marine creatures to get close themselves.
She said: “If I could help them change their perspective, I’d tell them to go experience the creatures themselves instead of relying on the things they’ve heard or seen in the movies.”
Despite constantly being in the water with stingrays, Ray says she has never been attacked by their barb. But if one of the animals were to become aggressive, she admits she does not have a safety protocol in place – but there is a hospital on the island.
Ray said there are only three photographers she trusts to capture the ‘magic’ of her swimming naked with the stingrays.
She said: “In my perfect world, I would dive nude every time, but it takes a special type of photographer to capture it in a way I find tasteful.”
She said there is something ‘timeless’ about being naked in the water, adding: “Beauty is about being vulnerable.”
But capturing the essence of diving with marine animals doesn’t always come easy, and Ray says the camera sometimes struggles to reveal the ‘real magic’.
She added: “With whales in particular, there are things the pictures can’t capture – like what they sound like and what they move like.”
Ray, who has since left Hawaii to study fashion in New York, shares the photos with her 42,000 followers on Instagram.