Ron began diving in 1952, became interested in spearfishing and underwater photography and in 1965, he won the World Spearfishing Championship in Tahiti after winning the Australian Open Spearfishing Championships for four years in succession. Valerie was born in Sydney, started diving in 1956 and spearfishing in 1960, eventually winning several Australian championships for ladies in both spearfishing and scuba. The couple met while both were members of the St George Spearfishing Club in Sydney. They became champion spearfishers, but switched from killing sharks to filming them after becoming fascinated with marine life. They married in December 1963 at Hurstville, N.S.W., and had no children. They made their living in the 1960s by making wet suits and selling underwater cameras, plus doing artwork for magazines. They were credited with being pioneers in several areas — the first people to film great white sharkswithout the protection of a cage or anything else during the making of the (released on video) series Blue Wilderness, Episode,Shark Shocker in January 1992, a huge milestone in ocean exploration together with South Africans Theo Ferreira, Craig Ferreira, George Askew and Piet van der Walt, founders of the South African great white shark cage diving industry. They also filmed the shark sequences for the film Orca. They were also the first to film sharks by night.
1962: Ron's first major underwater film production,The Shark Hunters, made with diving and business partner Ben Cropp was filmed in 16 mm black/white, and was sold to Australian television.
1963: Shark Hunters was sold to American television. Shown on TCN9 in Sydney and repeated the following week due to popular demand.
1964: Slaughter at Saumarez first Australian diving adventure to The Coral Sea aboard professional fishing boat Riversong with free divers John Harding, Bob Grounds and Ron Zangari with Captain Wally Muller.
1965: Ron won the World Spearfishing Championship in Tahiti, after winning the Australian championship for four years in succession.
1965: A joint venture with surfing film producer Paul Witzig produces Surf Scene featuring top surfers Robert Conneeley, Russell Hughes, Kevin Brennan and Tanya Binning surfing new locations at Noosa Head and Double Island Point, Queensland.
1966: The Taylors sell their shark documentary Revenge of a Shark Victim to producer Robert Raymond who wins a Logie for his adaptation with new footage.
The Taylors filmed The Cave Divers in the area surrounding Mount Gambier, South Australia.
The Taylors, assisted by diver John Harding, film and photograph a large whale shark underwater off Sugarloaf Point, Seal Rocks, NSW.
Ron first devised an idea of a diver wearing a full length chain-mail suit over a wet suit as possible protection against shark bite. It was more than a decade before the suit was made and tested.
1969: Ron co-filmed Blue Water, White Death with Stan Waterman, Peter Lake and Peter Gimbel. It was released internationally by Cinema Centre Films, and later MGM on DVD.
1974: The Taylors, assisted by Rodney Fox (above water), filmed the live shark underwater sequences for Jaws.
1979: The suit of chain mail was made which Valerie tested with sharks, when it was found the suit was too small for Ron.
1979: The Taylors filmed the underwater scenes with the principal actors and Kathy Troutt the body-double for, The Blue Lagoon.
1981: While on a dive trip the Taylors discovered mining claims on several Coral Sea Islands. They brought this to the attention of the Australian Federal Government and saved these remote bird breeding islands.
Wreck of the Yongala, a TV documentary, was made, showcasing what was then the most spectacular of shipwrecks in shallow water. It was instrumental in having the wreck protected from fishing.
The Taylors, inspired by Cairns game fishing charter boat captain Peter Bristow, lobbied via the media, the Queensland Government and National Parks to have the potato cod of Cormorant Pass near Lizard Island protected.
The Taylors spent four months of 1982 in the Persian Gulf filming the underwater scenes for six educational films featuring marine life.
Valerie was invited to Sweden to finalize picture selection for a coffee table book, The Realm of the Shark, a biographical account of the Taylors' lives between the late 1950s, and the late 1980s.
The Taylors supplied some of their pictures to illustrate the Jacques Cousteau coffee table book entitled Great White Shark.
1992: January: The Taylors traveled to South Africa for filming on the Blue Wilderness TV series. They tested an electronic shark-repelling barrier there. With George Askew and Piet van der Walt (the founders of the South African Cage Diving industry), they became the first people to film great white sharks underwater without using a cage.
1993: Shadow over the Reef, an adventure swimming with whale sharks was filmed at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia. It was instrumental in preventing the test drilling for oil inside the Ningaloo Marine Park.
1999: Release of the film Shadow of the Shark, which reviews Ron and Valerie's long relationship with the sea, and particularly their and efforts to change public opinion of sharks as mindless predators. It was directed by Tina Dalton-Hagege.
Citation: For service to conservation and the environment through marine cinematography and photography, by raising awareness of endangered and potentially extinct marine species, and by contributing to the declaration of species and habitat protection.
1981 – NOGI award for Arts, Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences
Citation: For service to conservation and the environment as an advocate for the protection and preservation of marine wildlife and habitats, particularly the Great Barrier Reef and Ningaloo Reef, and as an underwater cinematographer and photographer.
^'The Cave Divers [motion picture] / narrated by Phil Haldeman and Valerie Taylor, , retrieved 2/10/2012
^Taylor, Valerie, 'An adventure filmed for television, Exploring the amazing wreck of the Yongala', The Australian Women's Weekly, Wednesday 24 November 1982, page 36, 37 and 38, , retrieved 26/09/2012.
Gilliam, Bret (2007). Diving pioneers and innovators : a series of in-depth interviews. Jacksonville, Florida: New World Publications. ISBN978-1-878348-42-5. (includes interview with Ron and Valerie Taylor)