My afternoon shoot was amazing. I have long been fearful about my competency in regards to modeling under water, as my contact lenses and water do not mix well, but I am now completely over that concern. As a model, I never want to commit to a shoot that I am not confident I can do, and do well, so I have always been hesitant about doing underwater shoots. I am always interested in learning new skills and having new experiences with my modeling, but when it comes to someone hiring me for a shoot, I want to be certain we can achieve the goals of the shoot. I had tried underwater photos with a tiny black backdrop floated into the water about 4 years ago at a festival, and with a photographer who was new to underwater photography as well. That shoot lasted about fifteen minutes and gave me the impression I needed much practice before being able to market myself for this kind of shoot. But the other day I showed up at a shoot and was surprised with the pool idea, and I was going to jump headfirst into this project and show I could do this. By jump headfirst, I mean walk gradually into the water then submerge myself by bending my feet and thus lowering myself into the water. I had taken out my contact lenses beforehand, because contact lenses shrivel up like the wicked witch of the west when on my eyes and exposed to water. The day was a bit overcast, and the water certainly not warm, but my momentum with breathing, pushing myself under water, and swimming and posing with my eyes generally open, then returning to the surface for a breath of air once I was able to free my mouth from my hair, kept me going for a long time. The photographer, Perry Julien, used a GoPro with a waterproof casing, and a small weight belt to help keep him from floating to the surface. There was another model with us who joked about her inability to submerge herself and I countered that I could not float unless moving, and proved this to be true when the two of us did back-floats and she floated easily and I had to periodically kick my feet to keep from slipping under the surface. When I was much younger I loved swimming, but grew up and became pool adverse. Perhaps just the need for bikinis or swim suits was the real deterrent.
One more skill added to my repertoire - underwater modeling.
Photographed by Perry Julien
Models: Keira Grant and Michelle Honeywell