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  • Writer's pictureHelena Sergeant

Behind The Scenes Underwater

Updated: May 4, 2020

An underwater photoshoot sounds very glamorous doesn't it? Well compared to a regular photoshoot there are a few more things you need to think about to get the perfect shot. I thought I would take you behind the scenes of a recent shoot and give you an idea of the difficulties from makeup to models. It's not just a case of holding your breath and looking pretty, we're talking saline eye wash solutions and nipple pads.

As a makeup artist there are lots of great waterproof products on the market and today's matte lipsticks are great at staying on underneath the water. My go to product for this shoot was Illamasqua's Sealing Gel. It turns any powder into a colour intense, water resistant paste. Great for the eye popping coloured makeup designs I wanted to create There is always a certain amount of touch ups needed on a shoot but after twenty minutes in the pool with the models surfacing for breath every thirty seconds most looks do disappear into a blurry mess. Time for a new makeup look.

The talented Daniel Taylor and Maria Kjellen were the photographers for the day and came prepared with their underwater cameras, wet suits, gas cylinders and breathing equipment.

So cue issue one! On a regular shoot the photographer will direct the model to find the best shape, to show the garment or makeup off to it's best, find the right light, exposure and mood. With both model and photographer underwater they cannot hear or communicate, the model can barely see the photographer, just a blur. This can make getting the perfect shot much more time consuming.

I spoke to our models Aneta Kocisova, Julia Peixes, Kate Dellow and Gabriella Drake after the shoot and asked them what they found most challenging.

1. Reaching the correct depth in the water and positioning themselves in front of the camera.

2. Breath control and water pressure on the lungs

3. Water up the nose

4. Getting tangled in the heavy clothing

5. Holding a pose

6. Looking natural

7. Stinging eyes

8. Getting cold

9. Not being able to touch their face to protect the makeup.

10. Overcoming anxieties being weighted down

It sounds pretty horrific and I'm not sure I would have the courage to do it myself but every model enjoyed the challenge and said would be happy to shoot underwater again. Plus what would life be without challenge?

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