• Matt McGee

Underwater Photo Shoot Finding Inspiration

When you start planning your underwater fashion photo shoot, you gotta figure out what you're trying to do. What's your goal? Find your inspiration.

If you've never done an underwater fashion photo shoot before, chances are you're going to be trying to reproduce what someone else has already done. Maybe not, but in my case, I saw images that other people had created, and I decided that I want to to do something similar (or the same.) Just try to start with a simple concept. Underwater fashion photography is pretty complex, so you're probably not going to do your first shoot in the ocean 30 feet down. Go out and find some simple ideas, and then collect them somewhere... make a Pinterest board.

Start a Pinterst board to collect ideas for your underwater photo shoot

Alternatively, you can just go straight to the source, and visit the websites of some established underwater fashion photographers. For me, it all began with Howard Schatz. When I first saw his images, I was simply blown away, and I immediately began trying to figure out how to create inspiring images like his. Howard Schatz was an ophthalmologist who took an interest in photography, and started shooting models underwater. This was back in the 90's, and 2 decades later he's still at it.

copyright Howard Schatz

Images like this one had a profound impact on me, and have been a major source of inspiration for my photography.

But there are lots of other talented underwater fashion photographers. Here's a few that I've followed and admired over the years...

Emerlee is an underwater photographer based out of Minnesota. She's crazy talented...

Ken Keiffer and has wife Kimber are an amazing team. They do underwater fashion photo shoots in a pool, but they've also shot in the ocean with sharks.

Lucie Drlikova is creating some amazing underwater photos over in the Czech Republic. Go check out her work here...

Christian Zink has also created a lot of great underwater fashion images. He's got the lighting thing figured out...

These are just a few that got me started. There are many more out there on Instagram, Facebook, 500 px, View Bug, and other social media websites. The point is to get some ideas collected so you can start planning your shoot. Not only does this help you organize your shots, but I have found that when you have something visual to show to potential models, they are likely to get excited about the project and be more likely to want to be a part of it.

While it may seem like common sense, I've found that having a good collection of ideas to reference will help keep you moving in the right direction. So many conversations about my underwater shoots begin with "let me send you a link to my Pinterest board." And then, the day of the shoot, I usually pull up the board to help with directing the models. So put a little time into organizing your thoughts and create an inspiration board to start your underwater fashion photo shoot. After you've done that, send me a link so I can see what images are inspiring you...

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