When I was younger, I would constantly dream that I could breathe under water. Sometimes it was at the bottom of the ocean, and sometimes it was the bottom of a pool, but it was always the same. I'd be sitting or laying calmly and staring upwards from the bottom, watching millions of tiny bubbles ascend up around me and bursting at the hypnotic wash of color and light of the surface. As someone that has never really been keen on sitting still or focusing my attention on less than about 50 things at one time, these dreams brought me peace (and plenty of concerned stares while pretending to be a mermaid at the beach). There's something about the peace that comes with dipping your head below the water, subduing the din of the every day into a faint whisper. I'm comfortable and happy in the water, and decided on a whim over the summer to see what the combination of two of my favorite things would bring. :-)
This is my very first attempt with underwater photography, but I'm very happy to report that a little spark has been ignited somewhere deep within my soul. It was one of the more challenging sessions I've ever done, despite having an incredible model (who also happens to be my sister in law, Chelsea). She was AWESOME (and it helps that she's a dancer and naturally graceful/gorgeous). The difficulty lies in diving down, staying submerged long enough to find her through my goggles/viewfinder, framing the shot, and locking focus while kicking downward like crazy. It was definitely harder than I anticipated.
I definitely have a lot to learn, but I am SO looking forward to doing much more of this kind of work. You'll notice that the colors/styles are all over the place in these images, and that's mostly because I enjoyed playing around with them WAY too much! I think that's part of the appeal of underwater photography to me. I don't feel like I have so many rules to follow and felt far more free to make the image look the way I wanted rather than trying to adhere to pre-conceived ideas of what they should look like. That being said, I hope to develop a distinct style with underwater portraits over time. For now I'm still playing. :-)
Thank you so much to Chelsea, who has agreed to another shoot coming up in December (yippee!), and Mike and Teresa Davis, who were gracious enough to invite us into their beautiful home (and into their kickass pool) to do this shoot. I had really, really, reheheheheheally great time with these and I can't wait for round two!!!