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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Ron and Valerie Taylor

n.d.
an unknown artist

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 41.8 cm x 29.6 cm, image: 39.0 cm x 26.4 cm)

Valerie Taylor AM (b. 1935) and Ron Taylor AM (1934–2012) were marine conservationists and pioneers of underwater cinematography. A world and Australian spearfishing champion, Ron gave the sport away on realising that photographing sharks was a vastly more rewarding pursuit than killing them. He and Valerie, also a winner of several Australian spearfishing and scuba titles, met in the late 1950s and married in 1963, by which time their first major documentary The Shark Hunters had been sold to Australian and American television. They formed their own production company in 1969, the year they were consultants for the US feature film Blue Water, White Death. Throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s they created footage for numerous films and television programs, including the live shark underwater scenes for the Steven Spielberg blockbuster Jaws (1975). Vigorous and successful campaigners for marine conservation, they received many prestigious awards for their environmental work and underwater photography, their images appearing in magazines such as National Geographic and Time. Valerie's work continued following her husband's death from cancer in 2012.

This photograph is thought to have been taken near Norfolk Island by the skipper of the boat on which the couple is pictured.

Gift of Valerie Taylor and Ron Taylor AM 2006

Artist and subject

Ron Taylor

Valerie Taylor

Subject professions

Activism

Donated by

Valerie Taylor (1 portrait)

Ron Taylor (1 portrait)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency