Underwater Pool Portraits - Fine Art Pool Trash the Dress

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Pool Fine Art Portraits

Swimming pools are the most practical location for an underwater shoot. They usually have easy access and allow us to set the scene and use lighting to create extraordinary results. What’s more, the water temperature is usually more pleasant than in natural pools. I offer pool portrait sessions for newlyweds, expectant parents, with babies, with models, and for advertising.

Watch as well full sessions on my blog

Get your own underwater photo session with us

What kind of pool is suitable for an underwater photo shoot?

Not all pools will work. See below the requirements for an ideal pool shoot

To find the perfect pool for an underwater portrait session, we need to take the following factors into consideration:

  1. WATER PURITY:  This is the most important factor. Some pools seem clean, but even just a few floating particles can comprise the quality of the photos. A pool shallower than two meters might seem clean from the outside, even if it isn’t.
    The only way to check the purity of the water is to get in and verify how clear the pool wall details look from a five-meter distance.

  2. DEPTH: The depth of the pool will determine what kind of scenes we can create. Attractive photographs are achievable from a minimum depth of 1.3 meters (4 ft.). If the pool is deeper, we can achieve a greater variety of shots.

  3. POOL SIZE: For a decent variety of shots, we require a pool that is at least 5 meters (15 ft.) long and 2 meters (6 ft.) wide.

  4. COLOR OF THE POOL WALLS: Ideally, the walls would be a single, uniform color. However, we can cover the walls with colored sheets to create different backdrops.

  5. CHLORINE: The water should contain as little chlorine as possible, as it irritates the eyes. Although we rehearse with swimming goggles, it is necessary to remove them for the actual shoot. Therefore, chlorine should not be added to the pool on the day of the photo session.

We can advise you on the most appropriate clothes to bring according to your session type, based on our wide experience. Here are some things to start considering for a successful shoot:

Clothes type

For maximum agility in the water, bring clothes that adjust to your body’s movements. Full, loose-fitting clothes, such as long, wide skirts, and even slips or half-slips are recommended for creating effects and movement underwater.

Bring various items of clothing that suit the location and your swimming ability. When we take photos of movement in deep waters, the right garments will accentuate the contours of your body. If we take still photos, a loose, flowing outfit will nonetheless produce spectacular effects.

Think about design and color when selecting the different clothing items you bring to the photo shoot.


Light and vibrant colors work very well underwater (orange, red, white, pink). It’s best to stick to one color and avoid patterned fabrics or garments with more than two colors, as they can cause unclear images under the water. We also recommend avoiding nude colors so that the body is easily distinguishable from the clothes.


It’s best not to bring underwear for the shoot as it will probably be visible under wet clothes. However, if you wish to wear it, we recommend nude colors and very fine fabrics (without obvious seams).

We have huge, brightly colored sheets (5 m long – 15 ft long) that we can wrap around you, to give the appearance of a mermaid with a long tail fluttering in the water (see the photos below).

We can recommend hair stylists and make-up artists with whom we have worked before, and who use waterproof make-up.

You can also bring your own stylists. Some clients even choose to style their own hair and make-up.

15-20 seconds under the water in a relaxed state are enough for each immersion.

Naturally, the longer you are able to last, the more possibilities there are.

Anyone can hold their breath for 20 seconds. If you try to hold your breath right now, without giving it any more thought, you’ll most likely last longer than 20 seconds. Being underwater can seem unnatural and make some people anxious, causing them to quickly feel out of breath, with the result that they only last a few seconds. To be able to hold your breath for at least 20 seconds, it’s simply a matter of learning to be calm and relaxed under the water.

You don’t have to be necessarily a good swimmer

We can take photos in a shallow area (pool, cenote, or on the sea shore). That way, after every immersion, all you have to do is stand up to take a breath. Even at a depth of only 1.5 m (5 ft), we can take amazing photos.

Of course, if you are a good swimmer, we can recommend deeper locations and create other types of image.

Be calm and relaxed

This is the KEY to achieving the best underwater portraits. Only when you’re in that state will your face and body reflect your inner self. Some people panic when they are underwater and this is immediately visible in their expressions. If that’s the case, then you need to practice putting your face in the water before our session so that you learn to relax, and we are able to produce photos that reveal your true personality.
The following photos were taken in areas no deeper than 1.5 m. The models have their heads just below the surface of the water.


If the location allows for it and provides attractive enough backgrounds, we also take open-air photos

More questions? Watch full FAQ