Gaining your PADI certification card is rewarding. You unlock more and more of the underwater world each time you complete another one of PADI’s courses and specialities. In 2024, PADI certification cards have been expanded to include breathtaking underwater images from award-winning photographers with important messages to share with the world. Each chosen to inspire, motivate, and represent you, PADI divers.

Explore our 2024 PADI certification cards below, and decide which one is you!

Underwater Illumination by Tom St. George

a scuba diver exploring the cenotes

Enchanting. Majestic. Serene. The Cenotes of Mexico.

Near Tulum, Mexico, renowned professional photographer and cave diver, Tom St. George, skillfully photographed the beauty of Cenote Pit in this stunning composition. Tom remembers the dive site as, “a majestic location – a gigantic sinkhole in the jungle, with crystal clear waters and amazing light beams.”

The cenotes of Mexico beckon divers down into their enchanting, mystical world, reminding us of the incredible beauty of the underwater landscapes, and how crucial they are to preserve.

The photographer shares a key message with fellow ocean enthusiasts, “As scuba divers, I think we have a responsibility to help protect our oceans and freshwater ecosystems. Support PADI AWARE or Coral Reef Alliance initiatives, advocate for reducing plastic waste, support sustainable seafood choices, and promote the use of reef-safe sunscreen.”

Orcas in Motion by Andreas Schmid

The PADI orcas in motion card

Ruminative. Tranquil. Dedicated. A Pod of Orcas.

Freediver, scuba diver, and acclaimed underwater photographer, Andreas Schmid, captured this serene moment with orcas near the village of Skjervøy in Northern Norway. A pod of orcas gracefully glides through the tranquil waters of the Norwegian fjord. They were likely enticed into the fjord by the abundance of herring where they are often joined by humpback whales into the winter season.

Andreas shared that he wants “to let nature’s beauty speak for itself” in his photography. He continued, “By portraying our ocean’s inhabitants and presenting our planet’s hidden treasures through photography, I am aiming to create awareness for what’s at stake“. Each purchase of the Orcas in Motion card triggers a USD $10 donation to the PADI AWARE Foundation™, a publicly funded charitable nonprofit supporting global ocean conservation and marine animal protection.

Wonder Seal by Matt Testoni

the wonder seal padi card

Playful. Eager. Lively. The Australian Fur Seal.

Just off the coast of Tasmania, Australia, an inquisitive Australian Fur Seal captured photographer Matt Testoni’s attention. Testoni steadied his camera, patiently awaiting the perfect moment to capture this endearing shot. As the seal gazes on with curiosity, the bond between human and marine life unfolds in this striking image. So inquisitive, yet keeping ample distance. 

Testoni shares more about the moment, “The unique part about this photo for me is not only the seal’s expression but the breaking waves in the background. I got thrown around in the surf a fair bit in my attempts to get one of my favorite seal photos.” He encourages other lovers of the ocean with his message, “You may not be able to change big things easily but there are definitely small changes we can all make to help our ocean animal friends.”

Blue-Ringed Octopus Crawl by Sam Glenn-Smith (eCard Only)

blue-ringed octopus walking on sandy bottom ecard image

Mysterious. Bewitching. Lethal. The Blue-Ringed Octopus.

Sam Glenn Smith is an underwater photographer, Master Scuba Diver Trainer, and dive guide based in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Through his work at The Scuba Doctor Dive Shop in Rye, Sam has been able to share his passion for the underwater world and introduce local and international guests to the area’s rich and biodiverse waters. Thanks to his fascination and regular encounters with blue-ringed octopuses, Sam has been able to establish a brand through his eye-catching portfolio of blue-ringed octopus photos.

This particular image of a blue-ringed octopus was taken at one of his favorite local dive sites, Rye Pier. It beautifully showcases and focuses on the elegance of a creature whose physical and behavioral attributes are often seconded to the creature’s potentially life-threatening bite. Sam remarks, “It is still one of my favorite, all-time images as the image shows so much movement and beauty in a creature that is often considered deadly – almost like an underwater ballet.

Want to learn more about octopuses or see one for yourself? Check out:

Sam Glenn-Smith is also the photographer behind the Weedy Seadragon Nursery Card (see below).

Manta Enchantment by Jay Clue

New certification card - manta enchantment

Graceful. Elegant. Mystical. The Manta Ray.

Jay Clue is an acclaimed underwater photographer, PADI Master Instructor, Tec Trimix Instructor, Cave Diver, and Closed Circuit Rebreather Diver who has captured the hearts of ocean lovers all over the world with his inspiring approach to photography, cinematography, and storytelling.

The manta in this photo is “Bula Blue” (M467), and she was captured on camera in Fiji. This manta had only been spotted four times and only at Wakaya Island. Her first sighting ever was in June 2023, only a few months before the photo was taken. In addition, the diver in the background is Julie Andersen, founder of Shark Angels and PADI Global Director. For Jay, being able to capture this shot of a curious young manta with a passionate conservationist was everything he could have ever wanted in one package.

Early on, Jay says that he realized something incredibly important, “Beautiful images and stories can do a lot more than just be pretty. They have this incredible power to make humans who have never been to the ocean before – fall in love with it and maybe even want to protect it.” This realization became ingrained in Jay’s work as he continued learning and growing as a photographer. He no longer only wanted to just capture the beauty he saw in the ocean but instead, Jay wanted to use his photos to inspire others to hopefully feel that same passion that he has for our oceans.

PADI AWARE Sea Turtle Legend by Stan Moniz

Sea turtle PADI Aware new certification card

Ancient. Serene. Distinguished. The Sea Turtle.

In Chinese culture, the sea turtle represents wisdom and knowledge. Some of these ancient sea creatures have seen the oceans change around them for almost a century – what secrets they must hold!

This sea turtle image was taken by Stan Moniz immediately after he completed his PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course off the west coast of Maui. Stan’s inspiration to pick up a camera came from years of experience freediving and surfing the North Shore on Oahu, Hawaii. Sharing stories and empowering people to explore the world through his lens, Stan raises awareness about the beauty and fragility of the ocean and inspires others to protect it. He is also an adventure seeker and stargazer who explores and captures the beauty of the night sky through astrophotography.

Weedy Sea Dragon Nursery by Sam Glenn-Smith

new weedy seadragon certification card

Magical. Cryptic. Enigmatic. The Weedy Seadragon.

These two weedy seadragon males were captured on camera while clutching the eggs of their future offspring at Flinders Pier in Victoria, Australia. When asked about the image, photographer Sam Glenn-Smith commented, “This image was taken at one of my favorite local dive sites, Flinders Pier in Victoria, Australia. It is not unusual to see males with eggs hanging out together but trying to capture an image of that always proved difficult.”

Sea Turtle Sunset by Aleksandr Jeldosev (eCard Only)

The digital and physical versions of the sea turtle sunset padi card

Curious. Bright Eyed. Innocent. The Juvenile Sea Turtle.

Sea turtles are gentle, docile reptiles. The seven species are found across the entire globe, from hawksbill sea turtles in the Red Sea to green turtles in the Pacific. Marine turtles are highly migratory creatures, with females coming ashore to lay their eggs. Unfortunately, these gentle beings suffer from human activity in search of their meat, shells, eggs, and habitats.

On the “southern side of Heron Island during the hatchling season in 2021“, Estonian underwater photographer, Aleksandr Jeldosev captured this juvenile sea turtle. He described it as a “magical time of year here, when every night is full of new life. The photo is unique in a sense that it’s pretty difficult to catch focus on these incredibly fast moving turtles as well as to get some beautiful sunset light“. He also shared that as underwater enthusiasts, “we need to appreciate the significance of the ocean more,” and that, “we can’t ignore how essential it is for a sustainable future.”

You can remind yourself of the beauty and importance of sea turtles every day by collecting the Sea Turtle Sunset certification card available in eCard format only.

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Great Hammerhead Shark PADI AWARE Foundation Card by Jay Clue

padi aware hammerhead shark card

Energetic. Sharp-Witted. Distinctive. The Great Hammerhead Shark.

From Baja California, Mexico, photographer, cinematographer, and storyteller, Jay Clue, has shot the 30th anniversary PADI AWARE Foundation Hammerhead Shark Certification Card design. Although it may not seem functional, the hammer-like shape of this species’ head and eye placement allows them to be extremely sharp-witted, scanning large areas of ocean at one time. Special sensors are also located on their heads to detect prey!

The photo is of Gaia, one of the most famous Great Hammerheads that visit Bimini every winter,” Jay explains. “Shark Lab has been studying Gaia’s visits for 10 years now. She’s kind of a local celebrity and has become a bit of a special symbol in my eyes over the years. For one, she’s massive at roughly 4 meters (13 feet) long, making her easily distinguishable from the other sharks

Jay wants to share with the community that we all should, “Work to inspire others… Take the time to help them learn and understand things. Humans tend to only want to protect things they love, and find it hard to get behind protecting something they don’t quite understand. So show them why you love the ocean. Let them see it through your eyes. You never know when you will be that spark for someone else“.

The Great Hammerhead design includes a USD $10 donation to the PADI AWARE Foundation to support ocean conservation.

Flight of the Whales by PADI AWARE Foundation

an image showing the PADI AWARE Flight of the Whales eCard

Gentle. Inquisitive. Loyal. The Humpback Whale.

Humpback whales are gentle, curious beings who can live for up to 80 or 90 years. Their lives involve long migrations with their pods and their young. Due to commercial whaling, this species almost went extinct before 1966, but luckily have recovered well thanks to global conservation movements. But it takes work to stay this way and to let these beings live peacefully in their homes.

Photographer Shawn Heinrichs remembers, “In that moment when I looked into the eyes of this mother and calf humpback whale, I felt both a deep connection, but also a somber reflection that we had pushed their species to the brink through commercial whaling. Perhaps more than anything, it reminded me, that we can and must show up now in unwavering defense of not only their species, but all the animals and habitats that make up our oceans”.

When purchasing one of these PADI certification cards, you can include a tax-deductable USD $10 donation to the PADI AWARE Foundation™, a nonprofit that pushes for global ocean conservation and advocates for marine animal protection. We have a mission to involve locals around the world in ocean conservation and create a balance between humanity and the ocean for a better present, and a better future.

So, Which Design Are You?

You may be bold and fearless, passionate about extreme cold diving conditions or tech-level depths and relate to the qualities of Great White Shark. Or, you may be more gentle and inquisitive, just like Humpback Whales. Whatever your qualities are, we can all relate to these species of marine life. These are sentient, crucial beings that, as divers, we are lucky enough to meet in their world. It’s our mission to protect their environments and encourage others to do so for their future.

Pssst….Members of PADI Club receive one free eCard per year featuring one of three members-only designs. They also get 25% off a new, physical PADI certification card or replacement card once a year. Plus, members can take advantage of a plethora of other perks, including PADI Gear discounts, 20% off eLearning and a Free DAN Prepared Diver course.

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