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In - water Studio

Fo porter american top model underwater portrait with flowers

Lighting Patterns

In water portrait photography can be challenging. Timing and comfort are to be mastered first, but after that the lighting concepts don't vary much from your studio photography. Using your photography and lighting knowledge to your advantage shows control and intention in a specialty that leaves plenty of room for happy accidents. Lighing pattens help you tell a story. And on your finished photos show consistency, control and intention. 

Jennifer Stone Underwater portrait in los angeles
Hannah Mermaid underwater for portrait shoot in pink Hawaii


Where photography is an art, underwater photography takes the kraft a little further allowing the execution of concepts that would be a lot harder to complete on land. A little bit light a painting, once you learn how to use light, colors, and editing, timing and good communication with your models will make any idea come to life. That's at the core of conceptual photography and commercial photography.

Unlike regular photography, in-water portrait photography is a slow dance filled with micro-adjustments. You are working to get the shot you planned for, and one breath at a time it will come together as a puzzle. You are telling a story that is different from documenting wildlife or freezing a moment on a fashion shoot. Whether the subject is a brand or a concept you are trying to explain. You are waiting for the moment instead of fire-shooting anything that happens. This kind of photography is as slow as the water you are working in, and fighting it will only hurt your final photos.

Ocean acidification awareness photoshoot with women holding dissolving shells
Diver discovers underwater greek statues
Underwater wedding photography trash the dress
The swing painting inspired underwater woman in recycled plastic dress

Be inspired

Where do you drive your inspiration from? Like many artists before us, nature and art history can really help your creative process. This photo was inspired by a Rococo painting called The Swing, by Jean-Honore Fragonard to tell a story of beauty covered by the contemporary issue of the plastic pandemic. Her dress is made of recycled plastic. There are different ways to tell the same story that seems to be around every corner nowadays, but I always find comfort in taking inspiration from the masters of the past. And especially learning from those artists that perfected the classical arts like painting and sculpting. 

Fashion editorials

Fashion editorial photography, in general, is focused on telling a story or highlighting a specific product through visual narratives. Underwater, this genre adds a unique dimension to the photos, playing with the challenges and opportunities come with the new environment.


In underwater fashion editorials, the goal is not only to highlight the beauty of the clothes and accessories but also to capture a narrative that taps into a world outside of the one we are used to. The models become aquatic muses, embodying a new elegance that can only be found in the water. 


Underwater fashion photography taught me how to push through the boundaries of conventional photography, inviting viewers to appreciate the mix between classic fashion and a hint of random. It's a visual journey where fashion becomes a fluid element, telling tales of elegance dipped in the underwater world.

How to play with the rules

Underwater photography is about taming an untamable environment the best you can. But what happens when your equipment fails? (And it will fail). Keep calm and remember you can create art with any kind of equipment.  

This photo was taken on a GoPro. I was on a shoot and my camera stopped responding completely a couple of shots into this editorial photoshoot. Luckily the dive shop I was working in had a GoPro and continuous lighting available and we made it happen anyway because underwater photography is 70% artistic skills and 30% problem-solving. If you know the rules of lighting and you have a plan in mind, you can take your photos on any camera and then edit them to become the art you are so used to sharing.

Know the rules, master them, and break them as needed because you are an artist, not a scientist.

Julia lescova in chanel and La fiori couture editorial underwater

Beauty one breath at a time

The beauty behind underwater portrait photography is the ability to connect and create something beautiful working with an element we technically don't belong in. And yes, we are land creatures, but there is nothing quite like helping your clients trust the water and their bodies enough to look like they belong nowhere else. That's where the artistic process starts, with an idea and simple human connection.

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