Have you ever wondered about taking portraits underwater? We interview underwater photographer Brittney Butler from Texas, See what it takes to make portraits underwater, it takes practice and the right equipment.
We realize that photographers come in all skill levels but we all have the desire to better our skills. Our goal is to provide the best learning environment for every skill level. We do this by offering the most unique opportunities available today. Whether you are looking to start learning the basics of your camera or the most advanced techniques we have you covered. From wedding photography workshops, lighting workshops, senior portrait workshops all the way to drone photography. If it has to do with photography, we do it.
well hey there everybody we are here in Schertz Texas today now it is a pretty chilly day here for Texas but we're at a brand new Aquatic Center in fact the grand opening is coming up in just a few days now we are fortunate enough to get early access to this pool and we're gonna be sharing with you a story about Brittney Butler and Brittney Butler is a renowned photographer in this area and she does an extremely unique type of photography that I think you're going to be interested in let's take a walk inside you know let's go see what she's doing hey Brittney come on over so everybody this is Brittany Butler like I said she's a renowned photographer in this area here in in Schertz Texas and Brittany does something that's very very unique now she's not just a photographer extraordinaire but she is an underwater swimming pool photographer what I mean by that is she does underwater portraits so right now she's preparing for a senior portrait session that's actually gonna be featured on shirts magazine it's their community magazine but she's got the cover spot for that so it's pretty exciting she's excited we've got a whole slew of seniors that she's been shooting in the pool here in a few minutes we're putting on her wetsuit ready to go but Brittany how did you get started and doing underwater photography actually it was a combination of all different things but the biggest thing was is I actually attended an Imaging USA class a workshop and it was all about seniors and marketing I tried how I couldn't do that in my own community how how can I make it unique and personal and really what I came up with was a pool setting our community at the time was looking to build a new pool and I said well how could I incorporate that into my senior work and the community in the area and myself we came up with a project and we kind of just started with underwater photography and that's it and I've been doing it ever since it's been about three years now and I love it so that's awesome in fact the name of her photography business is vintage Creek so being vintage Creek fits well with the underwater photography but what do you find are the biggest challenges and shooting underwater the biggest challenge actually is working with the models underwater for me I'm used to it now it it's a big struggle when you're not used to opening your eyes and smiling and getting someone to look really natural it's very uncomfortable and it shows up really easy on camera actually so I usually spend a good 45 minutes to an hour just practicing with the model we do a lot of meetings before we even get in the pool on what to expect how how I can prepare them for what they're about to experience and then a lot of communication while we're in the pool we only shoot about 15 seconds at a time and each we come up for air I give them a little bit more tips on on how to relax how to feel more comfortable do they need anything is the chlorine hurting their eyes too much we're kind of just work from there so now you use a lot of different types of crops under the water with what kind of props do you use we've done everything from musical instruments to today we'll be using balloon everything I find I get at their stores garage sale discount stores just because I'm expecting it to be ruined when I put it in a pool so most of the the items that you'll see in my images actually are broken or already discarded items but they work perfect for this setting so it's it's a great opportunity to pick up really cheap items at a discount just because I know that they're broken I'm not going to use them but they look awesome cool yeah the people that you're taking pictures are do they have to be incredible swimmers or can anybody I think anybody can do it as long as you're comfortable opening your eyes and that's the biggest part and so I always have my models practice in a home in the bathtub out in their home pools their dunk in their head they're ducking their head in the water opening their eyes smiling and and one of the the most uncomfortable things is is you're yo like your tendency is to actually inhale as you go underwater but I actually might be to swallow yes you want to catch as much air before you submerge and actually for underwater photography that's a big no-no I need you to actually exhale before you submerge your air is going to trap a lot of lines it's actually gonna make you buoyant so that's another thing I tell people to practices is when you're playing when you're sticking your face of water I need to do that exhale as much air as you can and then submerge so usually when we're photographing them we're in the deep end of the pool and we're only about 15 seconds 20 seconds at a time so it's really manageable we have lifeguards on deck at all times I have full noodles floating around so we try to make it as safe as possible but lots of practice practice before we get in right do me a favor go run and just grab your camera real quick I'm doing that one see the housing all right so check out this contraption here so my baby like are you nervous when you put this in the water I mean here this is your baby your camera is actually inside this housing but it's completely waterproof it's completely waterproof I mean this is my normal everyday camera this isn't just a camera that I'm using for this it's actually the camera that I would use for any land that I feel how heavy that is man I mean it's kind of weightless in the water right it's a little heavy but it is much more manageable in the water it's like 10 pounds it's very heavy yeah so all of these buttons and contraptions on here you can control I just well any section on the camera and that's why I specifically picked this this camera housing this is an isolate helping for a Canon 7d and then we have a 10 to 22 lens on on it as well but it's all custom setup so the housing in the camera the lens case everything is custom tailored to this and you can go on the Isolite website and you can find it any of these setups for whatever camera that you so you can focus through this I mean you can actually look I can focus I can adjust my focus I can change my ISO my shutter speed any any of those functions are available to me and and that's why I chose this one as opposed to any other underwater housing system they have back and an a variation of all in between but this one gives you the most range to actually access your camera in the water where a lot of other systems you have to take it out dry it off adjust the setting put it back in so from shooting underwater is quite a bit different than shooting on land I mean you've got your settings are different it's probably darker when you're looking inside the pool it's the water still that's a ladle so you lose you lose about a third of the light just why I like going three feet under and then you lose about most of your Reds when you're about 5 cm so you'll lose all the Reds so editing is a big deal color correction but the biggest thing is just understanding your camera before you get and you have to be a really confident photographer before you even attempt to take this underwater kids probably a lot of trial and error so much trial and error and then even in your post-processing that's a whole different way of post-processing right I mean it is like so different you can do your stuff where you've got that color if you're talking about taking out the Reds like you have to try the Nikon please I have to replace a lot of that and and a lot of times you're you're really just playing trial in there there's not a lot of information for this type specifically photographing people underwater so a lot of it is just figuring it out backspacing let's try again so before I let you get back to your people here tell me if you had a suggestion if someone says man I would love to get into underwater photography or swimming pool photography what would be your biggest suggestion I mean what would help somebody that says I just want to get started my absolute biggest suggestion that I tell everyone is rent a camera housing first and try it you will be amazed at how it looks amazing there are these beautiful images and they're so striking but the amount of effort you are physically exhausted by swimming we are treading waters for hours at a time in and I tell people rental housing test it out and you will know you will know instantly at the end of the day whether it's all that and honestly I will shoot thousands of images and I'll get three or four and that's realistic for when you're doing underwater well very cool thanks so much for taking some time with those Brittany we're really excited we're gonna actually spend a little bit time here we're gonna see her getting ready some more and we're prepping the models and maybe even jumping in the pool so appreciate you being here think you can get back to your people and we'll uh we'll make it a great day thanks so much for sharing this time with us we look forward to sharing some more stories so we wanna invite you to go ahead and subscribe and like our channel where you will get notified every Tuesday have brand new episodes welcome to the panopticon snake Channel come join the violence