Underwater Portrait Photography

January 06, 2016

 

If there is one thing that is a niche in the photography community, it's underwater photography.  I have been taking photos and video underwater for years with relatively cheap gear whenever I went scuba diving.  I took the photos and video just for fun and could never bring myself to taking my professional gear underwater.  For some reason, I never really gave it any serious thought.  All of that changed.

Underwater Portraits Fort LauderdaleUnderwater Portraits Fort Lauderdale

Sometimes the obvious is right under our nose which is often the best hiding space.  It finally dawned on me.  Hey, I'm a scuba diving instructor with years of experience diving and I am a professional photographer with years of experience, especially in the commercial industry.  Why not combine the two?  Well, that's exactly what I did.  Already having experience taking photos underwater was a big bonus because I was already aware of many of the pitfalls and little nuances. As an experienced diver, I had the steadiness and comfort level to deal with many different conditions.  It really came down to getting accustom to using my professional gear underwater and communicating with models.  I could not wait to work on those two items.

Like any photo shoot, it takes a lot of planning, except with underwater photography, it takes just a bit more.  Location, model ability, lighting, assistants, weather, etc.  It's just that now, I have a lot more planning and gear checking to do with the underwater equipment.  One small leak could cause thousands of dollars in damage in an instant.  A checklist is a must.  There is no room for complacency.  Just like all shoots, model and staff safety is of the utmost importance.  After all, this is suppose to be a fun style of shooting.  The results, however are really exciting.

Underwater Portraits Florida KeysUnderwater Portraits Florida Keys

 

What I found out was that you need more assistance than you do on a regular shoot.  The model must be qualified in advance and be able to open his/her eyes in both fresh and salt water.  Swimming ability and the comfort level of the model can make or break shoot.  There is a lot to think of with outfit color, type of fabric, model hair color, lipstick, makeup, hair length, water clarity and so on and so on.  I am sure you would agree that the results are definitely worth all the work that must be put in.  It may be fun for the model and photographer but there is one more major benefit enjoyed by someone else.

Clothing companies, designers and even retail establishments can really stand out if they do an underwater shoot rather than the same old boring studio sat and this is a much larger production.  The clothing company involved will certainly have some great marketing material to make them stand out from their competition.  Maybe you should think about doing the same.

Underwater Portraits Sunny IslesUnderwater Portraits Sunny Isles

 

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