SAFETY FOR UNDERWATER PHOTOSHOOT
As your underwater photographer, my first priority is you. Even more than giving you a memorable experience or creating a series of amazing underwater portraits. Your safety is paramount and it will always be my top priority! Here are some of the ways, I planned for your well-being.
In preparation for your underwater photoshoot, I am CPR and AED certified with the American Heart Association through our local Las Vegas EMS Training Center in Southern Nevada.
This half-day course is structured on current techniques and guidelines should you need immediate medical care. This certification is routinely taken every two years.
On various types of underwater photoshoots that have us swimming in unique bodies of water, I will always have a safety assistant, who is at the ready on a paddleboard with equipment, and floatation devices and they are also Lifeguard and CPR certified.
What is a unique body of water? Well, it’s anything outside of a pool, so if your session is taking place in a lake, river, or ocean, then we are in “open water” and this extra safety measure is taken.
not a great swimmer or anxious?
Don’t worry, not everyone loves the water, but they, like you, love the idea of creating such a unique underwater portrait for yourself, so for my more cautious or inexperienced swimmers, I offer you a pool experience, along with a safety assistant who will be on hand throughout your session. Additionally, our pool is 5 ½ feet deep, so depending on your height, we will stay in the shallow end. Keep in mind this does affect the variety of scenes and poses you can perform, resulting in a smaller number of images available for selection.
Whether in a pool or in open water, I practice free-breathing techniques vs using scuba diving gear. Although I am able to hold my breath longer than my clients, I am able to relatively be in sync with you, as you come up for air. By bobbing in and out of the water together, I am able to sense your energy and listen to how you are doing. Additionally, you are able to quickly receive guidance on how to “perfect” your next submersion. Many of the same techniques I use to hold my breath, I will share with you to help you relax, such as techniques to expel air from your lungs, so you can “sink” vs popping up to the surface, these tips help with you not feeling lightheaded, passing out and ultimately getting you comfortable, which makes your face look more natural. Our goal!
Before I shoot a single frame, we will spend the first few minutes reviewing: the gear, and props we will use, going through the various techniques for holding your breath, showing you what you can do to keep your tremendous energy going, also tips on looking natural, how to get great hair underwater, to experiencing what the fabric feels like wrapped around you or how to prevent the fabric from suctioning to your face. In addition, you will have goggles poolside, so when I ask for you to do a specific movement, I will first demonstrate it, while you view what it looks like underwater. After all this, my goal of getting you more comfortable and confident in easily executing the shots envisioned.
heated pool - competitive swimmers
My youngest son Wyatt was a competitive swimmer. Many of his teammates would constantly express “how cold” the pool was. I’m not sure if the early morning 5 am practice times played into this, but most competition pools run from 77-82 degrees. The colder temps help ensure your safety by not getting overheated, cramping, dehydrating, heat exhaustion, or worse, during the photoshoot, so I like to mimic your competitive swimming temps, as you will have lots of reps for your underwater session similar to your practice. The color of your fast suit and the season in which your photoshoot takes place will determine too, how I adjust to cooler or warmer temps. Our pool is outdoors, but we also shoot sessions, on location, at your club or team pool.
heated pool - maternity
Unlike the pool temp set for a competitive swimmer’s photoshoot, for your underwater maternity session, our mommies-to-be will experience a much warmer pool temp, as you will have very short episodes of activity. This also assists to help you maintain good oxygen levels and energy. As body temperatures drop quickly in this scenario, the pool temps can range from 79-92. We also offer poolside cider, beef/chicken/vegetable broth, or hot chocolate to keep you warm on the inside and maintain great energy throughout your session. Our hot tub is set for 101, for those days with cooler air temps and seasonally cooler desert months, just in case, the mommy-to-be needs a little extra quick soak to warm up.
Your session may safely be done during your 2-3 trimester. Although our pool guy is sensitive to our photoshoot session schedule, after your session, we do offer over-the-counter eye drops to help with any eye irritation and redness, as in some poses you will be asked to have your eyes open.
A pop-up tent for deck changing ensures you have a quick turn-around and less exposure to a wet floor. The entrance from the pool steps to the pop-up is lined with a rug runner for a non-slip environment. Additionally, should you need to use the bathroom, wait, who am I kidding, when I was pregnant with my 3 kids, I was going to the restroom all the time, so when you do need to go, our tile floors leading to the guest bathroom have rug runners too.
I’m a sucker for snacks – salty, healthy, chewy, chocolate, sweet, crunchy, cheesy, the list could go on and on! For all my underwater sessions, I provide some nibbles and beverages to keep your energy going! Snack breaks happen with the change in backdrops and wardrobe changes.
There are A LOT of little details that are taken into consideration for the safety of your photoshoot, so that when you are in the water with me, you feel secure. Before the session is over, it will have seemed like you played more than anything… as it should be!