Photographing the Great Barrier Reef – profiling @islandjems

There’s lots of great pictures of the Great Barrier Reef on Instagram, and many of them come from Green Island resident and underwater photographer, Jemma Craig or as the ‘grammers caller her; @islandjems.

Jemma grew up on Green Island; the granddaughter of crocodile expert who established Crocodile and Marine life zoo on the island. She’s spent a lifetime exploring the Great Barrier Reef.


“Some of the best parts growing up would be when the whole family would get together for a special snorkeling trip off the boat or to some of the secret sand cays at sunset. On school days we would make time to go greet the boats in the morning and play a round of beach cricket before it got too hot. One of my favourite parts was being able to explore on my own, relying on my own instincts and knowledge of the reef,” Jemma tells Oz Experience in a recent interview.

@Islandjems Clownfish

Jemma says her favourite thing to photograph on the reef is the Anemone Clown Fish (affectionately referred to as Nemo. “They are so cute!  The anemones are beautiful and colourful and something I’ve noticed through posting my images on social media is that everyone loves nemo!”

islandjem montage

When it comes to seeing the Great Barrier Reef, Jemma has some good tips.

  1. The Reef is in charge and it will show you many things; if you have the eyes to see it.
  2. Be patient. Be calm. Be quiet.  Be slow.
  3. When you relax in the water, the wildlife don’t feel threatened and will come out to play.
  4. Appreciate the little things – see that colourful anemone down there? It’s hiding a clown fish.
  5. If you appreciate the little things, it makes it even more special when the big things come along.

Follow Jemma on Instagram @islandjems

Previous articleCamping on the Great Barrier Reef
Next articleSix Best Great Barrier Reef Dive Sites