Underwater photography guide for beginners

I thought I’d write a little guide for photographers that want to dip into the world of underwater photography (I love puns).

When I started out wanting to do underwater photography, specifically photographing fashion and portrait underwater photography, I could NOT find any information about it. Most information was about diving, sea photography stuff.

Also I didn’t want to use underwater strobes and lighting, I didn’t have the money to get underwater strobes and still to this day haven’t ever used them!

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I’m hoping that photographers who want to try out underwater fashion or portrait photography will find this blog post and find it helpful.

Underwater Guide:

  • Housing. Check out this blog post going through housing step by step. I’d advise starting with an underwater bag personally.

  • Have a clear idea of what images you’re hoping to create. Having a definite idea helps in the planning. Not over packing into one shoot. I think the most I’ve had models change for underwater shoots is 4-5 outfits.

  • Get a model who you’re comfortable with and who is comfortable with being underwater. Ideally a friend more than anything.

  • Get poses down with your model BEFORE the shoot. Keep your model to the side, feet up towards the camera is a big NO NO.

  • Having a mood board is such a good thing to share with your model and have on shoot to refer too.

  • Find a local pool to hire ideally with the best amount of natural light as possible, shoot during the middle of the day, spring or summer is a good time to start!

  • Don’t shoot for longer than an hour or two maximum. You will be tired and so will your model. People underestimate how tiring being underwater is.

  • Don’t forget to get anti-fog inserts for your case.

  • Send your models to my blog post about tips on modelling underwater and tell them to practise in the bath or a sink if they can. Getting them used to relaxing their face underwater is essential.

  • If you want a black background, get a black king size sheet. Cheap, cheerful and works a treat.

  • I made a blog post on my own camera settings ideal for underwater photography you can see here.

I hope you found this helpful and feel free to navigate around the underwater section of my blog for further tips, ideas and general know-how. Also don’t forget comment away with questions and always happy to help whenever and however I can.