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Underwater Fashion Shoot

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#1 matt215


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Posted 13 May 2018 - 09:46 AM

I want to do an underwater fashion shoot. Ive tried it once, but want to do a better job, and have some questions...

How do you trigger strobes from above the water?

What do you use for a backdrop?

Where do you find good wardrobe?

Where do you find good models who can do this type of thing?

Thanks for your input

Canon 5D mk2, Ikelite housing, Ikelite 125 strobes, 17-40 mm 4.0 L, 100 mm, 24-150 mm L, 100-400 mm 5.6 L


#2 Fruitographer



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Posted 23 May 2018 - 08:08 AM

I've been looking into this as well. I was looking at using a set of Profoto D1 studio strobes on the surface with a light modifier. To trigger them, I was going to set them for IR slave and use my Ikelite Ds161 although any strobe would work that would be just above the water surface using some kind of float and connected through sync cord. Set it to the lowest power that will still trigger the slaves to save battery and keep from overheating. I would be just underneath with the camera underwater. 


The other option is to do light painting with a long exposure and the camera on a tripod you don't mind putting in the water. there are a few images you can find through Google but not many. I think the best way would be to use a combination of strobes and light painting. That way the strobes will light the subject well and make them look sharp so movement from the long exposure doesn't create blur. Use a front curtain sync so the flash goes off as soon as the shutter is opened and then paint in what ever design you want. for the background. That would also take care of your question about what background to use. 


If you don't have the ability to use surface strobes then you need to remote trigger multiple strobes in different locations. I've been looking into strobes quite a bit lately and the Ikelite strobes are durable and seem to be one of the best for remote use. At least this is the option I've found to be the best and prefer, others may have different opinions or advice which I greatly welcome since I'm always trying to expand my knowledge base. In Florida there are many crystal clear water springs that are perfect for fashion underwater. that takes care of the background as well. This would require the set up I just described. 


As for a model, I've got a friend that's a mermaid in an underwater show that's completely comfortable underwater with her eyes open. She would be a perfect candidate if I can talk her into it. A free diver would be your best choice since they can hold there breath the longest allowing you to get the shot you need. They will also be the most comfortable in the water making it easier on you and resulting in a better shot. 


Ben Von Wong did some underwater fashion shoots that were absolutely incredible but he had a full team and lots of help. Not really possible for the average person but they're still amazing none the less. He's got some youtube videos of the shoot and how they did it. That would be worth looking at.

#3 troporobo


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Posted 23 May 2018 - 01:03 PM

UW fashion techniques have been covered here many times.  Search on the keyword "fashion" and you will find. Look especially for posts by user Loftus