It’s great when the hubbies get involved in a maternity shoot. It makes sense really as you’re in it together. These two had a lovely chemistry and although not entirely comfortable underwater, we managed to get some cool shots.
When I decided to specialise in Underwater Portraits, one of the first things I did was research other underwater photographers and look at their work. Some of the first that I came across are still big inspirations to me today and interestingly most are women. Interesting because photography, especially fashion tends to be dominated by men. A big generalisation yes but I loved the fact that some of the best in the field were women.
Zena Holloway: Multi-talented, Award winning, British underwater photographer. Zena has mastered babies, fashion, beauty, commercial, ocean, video and worked with many celebrities. A huge inspiration and I was pretty chuffed when she recently liked some of my work on Instagram ; )
Jenna Martin: Super talented and super lovely, as I had the pleasure of taking part in some online workshops with Jenna. She has become a mentor and offered so much helpful advise on the technical and business side of underwater photography. Jenna is based in Montana, US which has some heavy winters so fortunately she is just as accomplished at land photography in the off season as well.
Lucie Drlikova: A very artistic and conceptual underwater photographer, Lucie’s work has a surreal, fairy tale quality to it and she even creates some of the incredible props and backdrops used in the shots, herself. Based in the Czech Republic, Lucie is a big inspiration as I really enjoy the conceptual work myself and using backdrops and props to create a scene and occasionally Photoshop to create an artistic montage. A long way to go to her level but I can dream.
Elena Kalis: Based in the Bahamas, my dream destination to shoot and where many of the incredible photographers I follow on Instagram are based. Elena has some stunning ocean portraits, often featuring her model daughter and has also done some very recognisable pool work, such as the Alice in Wonderland series.
Adam Opris: his dramatic work, especially weddings, blows my mind. One of the best!
Ken Kiefer: Does a lot of cool ocean work with animals and people interacting.
Christi Curtis: Beautiful portraits of mainly kids in pool. Founder of Underwater Kids.
Stephen Binke: A successful Aussie photographer, creating artworks you want to display on the wall.
I think underwater portraits are especially condusive to maternity portraits as you can be weightless and graceful in the water unlike on land, while keeping cool and comfortable. It’s certainly a great way to make your portraits stand out from the rest and even create art pieces that you will display proudly on your wall. I wish i’d discovered underwater portraits when I went through my three pregnancys!
Dewi was a pleasure to work with and as she knew she was having a girl, we played around with pink fabrics. The challenge here was emphasising the bump so she looked pregnant. I usually advise to do the shoot towards the end of the third trimester (which she was) but it was a very neat little bump ; )
How cute are these two? They are swim school besties and have been learning swimming together for almost 3 years. I was super excited for this project as I hadn’t had a chance to explore the video function much on my Canon 5D mark iii, but the quality is amazing!
I have worked for and at Swish Swimming school before, for one of my first underwater photo shoots, doing some of their earlier marketing shots, shooting at a pool party event and using their fab pool for some of my personal work. They have now expanded and have a fabulous new pool venue nearby called Laguna so this became our theme. I also adopted their colour scheme of yellow and turquoise and sourced some props and costumes, including pineapple swim shorts, straw skirt, sunglasses and flowers.
I put together a storyboard which included the kids demonstrating different skills in a fun way, such as diving in, picking up an object from the bottom, blowing bubbles, floating and climbing out of the pool. These two were such superstars and seemed to really enjoy the experience, which makes my job much easier! The main challenge was the clarity of the water which was very cloudy because they had lessons all morning. It is normally very clear so this was a shame and detracted a bit from the final product.
I did my best using the Wondershare Filmora video editing software, which I loved and it was so easy to trim the clips, add transitions, text, special effects and audio. The final Swish Video is a 30 second clip.
It’s probably appropriate that my first ever blog post is about another first for me… freediving! Just like when I discovered underwater photography, I thought, why didn’t I do this sooner?!
I first heard of freediving when I feel in love with the movie (and lead actor) The Big Blue, which I must have seen over 50 times (yes slightly obsessed). I never thought of it as a recreational sport though until recently when I came across a company in Singapore that teaches the AIDA level freediving courses… and so I dived in
Since I was a kid I had a strange interest in holding my breathe in the water, be it the swimming pool, bath or ocean, I just loved the sensation of it. I must have been about 8 years old when I wanted to beat my PB of 3 laps of our 10m swimming pool and nearly passed out!
I have enjoyed scuba diving over the years but this is something quite different and i’m looking forward to exploring it more, although finding the time for pool training and boat dives might be tricky with 3 young kids!