Photographing an Underwater Wedding

 

About 6 months ago I wrote a blog on photographing freedivers. I have now taken this to the next level with an underwater wedding shoot.

Two friends of mine who are both scuba diving instructors recently got married in South Sullawesi, Indonesia. As a wedding present I agreed to take some pictures of them swimming under the water in their wedding outfits.

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How did I do this?

The day after the wedding we headed down to the beach and made a plan; I would use scuba gear whilst the bride and groom would be freediving. Due to the weight of the clothes they were worried about being able to stay on the surface between dives, so we recruited a couple of family members to join us with floats as surface support.

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After changing we headed into the water, swimming out over the sand until the water was about 2 meters deep. After a final run-through of the plan I descended and waited for the couple to start diving. However, I was soon surrounded by a cloud of sand, I turned around to see the surface support constantly kicking.

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I had to surface and move everyone to a clearer area of water. This time when I descended it was a little more successful; the bride dived and I took a couple of pictures. Whilst waiting for the next dive I did a quick review and noticed that her face had a funny expression in every picture. This was going to be much harder than I had anticipated.

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Changing my camera mode to burst shooting I figured that taking a lot of pictures would hopefully allow me to get at leas one from each pose where they were smiling.

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We were in the water for over an hour and I took more than 300 pictures in total. I was not the only one who found the shoot harder than anticipated, both the bride and groom commented that opening their eyes and smiling whilst trying to hold their breathe was a challenge. But when I sent them the pictures a few weeks later they were happy with the results.

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