Today we have something a little different for you. This beautiful underwater photography session was captured by Rosie Anderson and it really caught our eye. The inspiration behind the shoot was Marc Chagall and the fluidity of abstract painting. We were so intrigued with the look of this exquisite session we asked Rosie if she would answer a few questions about the logistics of having an underwater shoot for readers who like the idea, for a fun and unique couple’s portrait for an engagement, trash the dress, or just because!

Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson Underwater Photography Session with Rosie Anderson

What is the ideal type of location for an underwater shoot?

The ocean landscape is unique but of course unpredictable. A great place for an underwater shoot would be a large outdoor pool. This way you can take advantage of natural light without having to contend with currents, visibility and weather. Ambient light is so natural and particularly towards the end of the day when the light “blades” the effects can be wonderful. The type of water makes a difference in terms of comfort for the couple- probably un-chlorinated fresh water is the most relaxing. Salt water can sting eyes, as can chlorinated.

Will the weather conditions on the day affect the shoot? 

Again it depends whether you are in the ocean or in the pool. An outdoor pool is weather dependant so if the weather conditions are to be overcast I would backup with a small set of studio flash. Sometimes an underwater torch is also useful – I use the Orcalight A2260 – It’s really powerful. Of course if there is a chance of rain it’s probably best to head to an indoor pool and use an artificial lighting setup.

Does the photographer need special equipment?

For underwater shoots you definitely need specialized equipment. For my shoots I have been using a Nauticam D7100 housing with a Tokina 10-17 fish eye zoom lens behind a Zen 200mm dome. I use an Inon 240 flash to fire the studio flashes.

Do you have recommendations for what sort of clothing couples should wear on the day?

I would suggest really light clothing. Materials float upwards so discreet small weights can be clipped onto skirts. Being in the water can also make some materials transparent – so a set of nude colored underwear is really essential.

How long should a couple set aside for one of these sessions?

In any one session I wouldn’t keep the couple in the water for more than 20 minutes without a break. I might do this two or three times. So perhaps a couple should set aside about 2 hours for a shoot. However the photographer will probably need to set up a few hours in advance (in an indoor swimming pool and in certain humid conditions the cameras can take two hours to de-mist and acclimatize!) Realistically it is a day’s work setting up and executing an underwater shoot.

Is there anything else that couples should keep in mind if thinking of an underwater session?

I think confidence in the water is quite essential although it doesn’t have to be deep. I’ve have had great results in the shallow end of a pool. One of the tricky aspects can be getting under the water and staying there – often a small discreet weight hidden in a pocket can really help.

The great thing about shooting underwater is that because you are so distracted staying down you forget about the camera – also couples really have to work together and help each other in the water. I think it can be quite a bonding experience for couples and they come out of it with really unique and beautiful photos.

Thanks so much to Rosie for sharing her experience and tips with us, we love this fresh take on a photography session!

Photography: Rosie Anderson | Assistant: Jessica Reid | Venue: Ham Farm | Lighting: Orca Light | Camera Systems: Underwater Visions | Model: Gemma Luxton

6 Responses

  1. Katie Condon

    This is such a cool idea! I think it would be awesome to incorporate these beautiful underwater pictures into a save the date, like this couple did: … Talk about taking a plunge!


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