Plus Size Modeling

Tips and Preparation for the Entirely Different World of Underwater Modeling

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There seems to be an underwater photo shoot trend going on, and the resulting shots are magical. Underwater modeling photo shoots are becoming increasingly popular for designers who make long, flowing dresses because the water works wonders on emphasizing the fabric details.

If you’re presented with an offer to do one, the preparation will be quite serious! You may be having high expectations, but the quality will largely depend on you as well. Here are important tips to be aware about.

The Whole New World of Underwater Modeling: How Does One Prepare for It?

Underwater Modeling
Holly Bissonnette | gigismeanderings

Your safety

Safety should be the number one concern of underwater models whenever they decide to take the challenge. Remember, you won’t be in your swimsuit. With clothing, accessories, and sometimes footwear to pull you down, make sure you’re getting enough oxygen in between takes! A lot of models will try to push themselves when they really need to take a break, and a good “safety person” will keep their eye out for signs you’re getting light-headed or in distress.

The key to staying underwater is not to hold your breath but rather to let all your air out. For some people, though, the thought of letting all their air out before diving down is just too much to take! Some photographers give their models a couple of weights to hold on to, making the conditions to swim up even harder. Always discuss everything with your photographer before jumping in. Should you use hand signals?


Holly Bissonnette | youtube

Do you even know how to swim? One of the best ways to make sure you’ll be safe in the water is by getting professional training such as SCUBA and Apnea. Practice treading water and swimming in clothes, and make sure you practice somewhere safe and under lifeguard supervision. Training will surely improve how you control your buoyancy, breathing, projection, and movement. This also prepares your eyes and face for the task! You don’t want to be squinting or looking like you’re struggling with your breath, right? 

Enough sleep and food

Note that swimming takes more energy than simply walking and standing above ground. Underwater photo shoots also tend to take much longer than land shoots, so you will need to be prepared for a much longer session. You will be going up and down and in and out of the water all day, so if you have an empty stomach, you could quickly become light-headed and unable to finish the job! Before an underwater modeling photo shoot, you must make sure you’ve had a solid night’s rest and have had a healthy meal that will help keep your energy up. If you’re very tired, this will translate to your photos and you wouldn’t be able to make the most out of the shoot.

Waterproof beauty products

Underwater Modeling
Holly Bissonnette | petapixel

If there is no department to take care of your hair and makeup, you’ll be solely responsible for your hair and face in the shots. You’re dealing with being submerged underwater for hours, so that means completely waterproof makeup is essential. You don’t want smeared eyeliner or cracked lipstick to ruin the shot, do you? Ask your photographer how you can work this out beforehand. Are there specific beauty products to avoid? Hairspray, for example, leaves a film on the water surface.

Eye drops

Do you remember having red, dry, blurry eyes as a kid after spending all day in the pool? Well, you’ll be spending the entire day underwater as well this time, so this won’t be any different. Your eyes are going to sting since you will often have to keep your eyes open when you’re below the surface. How do you stay beautiful in the photos? Bring eye drops with you to use between takes to help keep your eyes moisturized and you won’t have to fight dry, itchy eyes for days after! 

The water is a whole new world to adapt to. Expect this to be quite a difficult challenge. Good luck!

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