Mermaids

little mermaid whispering secrets into a statue's ear underwater in Mexico

Let me tell you a Secret

If the ocean could talk, what would she say to us? What secrets does she hide deep down under miles of dark water? Photography is a wonderful tool when it comes to storytelling, and being able to bring a camera underwater and create in a world with no gravity adds a dimension to creativity allowing the viewer's imagination to really play with a story. And with that said, mermaids are the most fitting character to bring a message to the public’s attention. So, if she could speak, what would she say?

An advocate for ocean conservation

Giving the mermaid a role was simple and it made so much sense. Finding ways to give her a voice that spoke about every issue happening in the ocean was more challenging but so inspiring and as an underwater photographer I really got to push my own limits. Day in and day out thinking of concepts that were not just beautiful but also meaningful and working with incredible talents.

little mermaid with pink tail wrapped in plastic by the surface underwater in California
Briana Evigan as a little mermiad in a dolphin tail with a pet fish by her side in a fish bowl in California

This is how the photography series Trashed Beauty came to be in collaboration with Ten Morrow, one of the most creative women I've ever worked with. This collection represents the beauty and lives ruined by pollution daily in and around the ocean. To photograph this art series Ten Morrow and I collected trash from friends, family and neighbors over the weeks. Every piece was cleaned and sanitized and then divided by kind before adding it to the wet stage. Every photograph mimics what it would look like to be trapped in a garbage patch, or drowning in an oil spill.

Little mermaid Jayde Nicole in pink lighting posing for underwater portrait in los angeles

Lighting 101

Light changes everything and how fun is it to turn blues into pink and a mermaid into an elegant delight. Light brings life to everything in sight and the ability to see it move and create with it is what makes photography so beautiful. On the same line advanced underwater lighting can turn a blue, flat image into a deep photograph. Light adds dimension, color, it brings attention to form, and shapes every line. Playing with light underwater is for me one of the most interesting challenges. You need the right gear and a little bit of fantasy to overcome problems that you would never have out of water. 

Siren

The real legend of the seas, more monster than elegant beauty. More chaotic than peaceful. The siren is one of the many monsters the sailors feared while venturing into the unknown high seas. And if while diving you’d stumble upon one, what would she do? She’d probably retaliate and turn on divers for all the horrible things we are doing to the ocean. Silent. Efficient. On a technical level this photograph was a challenge. The model wasn't tied too deep but between equipment failure and the cold California water we didn't have much time to execute the underwater photoshoot. It took two different tries and a fun precaution trip to a hyperbaric chamber.  The post production on this photo came to the rescue where the real underwater lighting in murky water failed. 

siren stealing regulator and scuba mask from a scuba diver