Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Woman Camera Operator for Cousteau Family has the "Perfect Job"

It probably doesn't get much better than this for a photographer.

While studying French and political science at Wittenberg University, Carrie Vonderhaar wasn't sure how she'd ever use the degrees.

But after learning to scuba dive, and discovering a passion for photography, the Evendale native got a job with environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

"Every day, I use everything I learned in school," says Vonderhaar, 32, a 1995 Mount Notre Dame graduate.

She's the first woman camera operator for the Cousteau family's TV documentaries, although mostly she shoots still photos under and above water for TV show publicity, books and educational materials.

Most of last year, Vonderhaar photographed whales around the world for two PBS "Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures" specials: "Sea Ghosts" 8 p.m. Wednesday, and "Call of the Killer Whale" April 22.

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