The Voices of Cayman’s Endless Summer
Introducing…Coral Tomascik, Photographer and Free Diver
When meeting Coral for the first time, you are struck by her natural and flawless beauty. But what wins us over as she sits down to have a coffee with us at our Beach House is her warm, approachable and easygoing vibe. Her story is such an interesting one that we were even more blown away by how grounded and balanced she is. Graduating high school early at the tender age of 15, she moved to New York City to pursue her modeling career. After a few years in the Big Apple, she migrated to Europe and lived in Portugal and Greece, soaking up the different cultures there. About 18 months ago, she moved back to Cayman to be closer to the ocean, her family and start an amazing career as a photographer. Oh, did I also mention that she is an accomplished free diver?! There is nothing this girl can’t do! And all with a beautiful smile on her face. Read on to learn more about this incredible individual.
When asked about why Coral loves living in Cayman, she described how she has always gravitated to her native country. She said: “I was born here. Cayman is my home. I feel a connection because my family is here and all the people I love the most are here, so there has always been this magnetic pull to come back to Cayman. Also the access to the ocean and the sun as I am always in the ocean. I am a free diver and I work with Jason Washington and the most amazing team for the last five years now. I was a swimmer before throughout school and then I eventually went into freediving so I already had the stamina, endurance and lung capacity. Therefore it was an easier transition but it also took a lot of training, which included breath holds and getting used to the pressure the deeper you dive. I can go around 120 feet deep and our breath hold is around five minutes. Jason and I do a lot of photos together – it is our passion and hobby. But it is also work too as we are making a career out of it. It’s amazing.”
When asked what she does for a living, Coral elaborated on her growing art and passion in photography: “I opened my business By Coral photography in the beginning of last year and it has been going really well. It is amazing – I do a lot of film photography as well with old school film. I taught myself old school film when I was living in Portugal. I have friends who introduced it to me and at the beginning I didn’t really know anything about it but I was interested. But then my friend handed me his camera and I never gave it back. Every time I travel I take my film camera. I have a few of them now. I feel like there is so much feeling and emotion in the photo. Also, if I am shooting you in film, I am not looking at you as I would be in the digitals and you are in the experience with that person. You really connect more. I think that film makes everyone look so beautiful. It is just very raw. Even when I am shooting digital, I am not really editing anything, only if there is a lighting issue but it is minimal. It is a lot about how you photograph the person. Once you make them feel comfortable and laugh, they look so beautiful when they are happy and confident because they are themselves. I think there is a movement of people feeling more comfortable in their own skin. Modeling in New York definitely required me to build a strong outer shell with all the criticism, which is why after three years I was done. But it is a beautiful and creative industry. Just seeing the photographer and the model come together – when you the see the final product of the campaign, it is a piece of art.”
When asked what was a recent fond memory of a summer’s day in Cayman, she described the most incredible experience: “Around four months ago, Jason, me and some other good friends went out on the boat one morning. We headed out at 4am and it was pitch black. We could just tell by how the boat felt and how it was gliding on top of the water – this is going to be incredible. When the sun started to come out, you could see the pinks of the sky and you could see the moon on the water from the boat. At this point we were outside of the Sound and in the deep blue. I have never seen the ocean like that in my life – it was so still that it looked like a mirror. We went free driving out there and we were about 30 miles out. We had so much fun. On the way back, we were cruising slowly; not wanting the morning to end. Then a pod of dolphins just appeared out of nowhere! The water was like glass and we were sitting at the front of the boat and these dolphins were just under us the whole time for hours, just following the boat. So we were playing around with them and swimming with them. We have the most amazing images. My iPhone photos look like I was in the water, it was that clear and so still. It was only seeing a fin break out of the water that reminded us that we weren’t in the water. It was surreal and so amazing. It was my best memory of a summer day here. And I was with people that I really loved, which is awesome.”
When asked to describe her current state of mind, she explained: “Trying to be present. A lot of times I find myself worrying about what happened or what is going to happen. It puts you in an unhappy and anxious state. I feel that the more that I focus on what I am doing and how I am going to execute what I am doing at the time, it helps me not worry about anything. It speaks for itself. It is so important to just stop worrying about things that you cannot control. When I was living in New York, which is such a fast-paced city, I was always worried about tomorrow. But who cares? It is all going to be the same at the end of the day. So stop worrying about things that you don’t have control of. It takes time but if you learn to do that, you would be much happier. It has made a huge difference. Just be happy and appreciate the people around you.”
When asked who is the greatest love of her life, she said fondly: “My family! I have a sister and she had a baby about a year and a half ago. I love my family, which includes my boyfriend. He is my family. We have been together a couple years now. We do everything for each other and that I believe is everything. Doing anything for each other without questioning it; that is the most important thing. Putting the ones that you love before yourself, that shows pure love. And that is how I feel about my family and my boyfriend.”
When asked what her most treasured possession is, she said: “My photographs. Because one photo can bring back a thousand memories and feelings. Especially my film photographs from my travels. I carry a special photo in my wallet.”
And her idea of perfect happiness? Her answer is short, sweet and simply perfect: “Knowing that I have everything I need and being in good health and in good company.” We couldn’t agree more!
Follow Coral on Instagram @filmbycoral and @coral.cay to see her incredible work.
In a Nutshell:
What is your motto? – Let it go!
Brand of sunscreen – Little Hands Hawaii
Sunset drink – A really cold beer
Summer scent – Si by Giorio Armani
Brand of sunglasses – Persol
Summer Book - Missing You by Harlan Coben
Song of the season – “I Revel In You” by Jordan
Flips flops or bare feet – Both