Features of underwater model photography in the Maldives

You can get great shots everywhere: on the islands, on a yacht, on the water, at half-water, under a yacht, at a depth, using an alternative source of breathing in the form of a two-meter octopus, in a monofin and a mermaid tail ... And so on, until the fantasy runs out, but I hope this doesn't happen soon!

But first things first. Ten years ago, when I came into diving, I immediately wanted to be captured on camera underwater. Like any girl, I dreamed of a beautiful underwater picture. We tried to shoot with a soap dish, but the result was not impressive.

Once, at a master class in underwater photography by Alexei Zaitsev, the maestro told me that I look much better on the other side of the lens! Began constant training in the pool for freediving and underwater posing. At the same time, as part of regular diving safari trips, she received an instructor certificate. An old dream is about to become a reality!

From January 2017, I started to organize my diving safaris to the Maldives, with an emphasis on photography with a model underwater and large animals, and invite professional photographers, as well as girls who dream of becoming underwater models. Oleg Vorotnikov, a professional photographer, a good friend and a wonderful person, joined my idea to organize unusual safaris. Oleg and I have repeatedly filmed in various pools, so we understood each other without words, which is important underwater. On the Maldivian safari, by trial and error, and also taking into account the experience of foreign colleagues, we have developed our own system of underwater modeling.

Let's start with the simplest - shooting on the exhale, at a shallow depth. Weights are not required for this at all, and this gives additional freedom in choosing an image for filming. You can use thin light dresses and swimwear.

We conduct such photo shoots directly from the boat, or during landings on the islands between dives. Shooting with a monofin first of all allows you to take a deep breath and dive deeper. The fact is that at a close angle, I cannot afford to breathe in deeply, otherwise the emotions will seem unnatural, and the neck will be swollen. In a monofin, the silhouette is important, surrounded by underwater living creatures, such as sharks.

Something like this is the case with the mermaid tail, with the exception that the mask does not fit with this image, the emotions in the picture are important and, as a result, you have to take an incomplete breath.

Sharks are a whole other story! Every time we fully exploit them for creative purposes. Not far from Alimata Island, where the top dive site Alimata House Reef is located, we put a safari boat closer and lure sharks with a spotlight, and, to be honest, with pieces of fish. This makes it possible to get frames with them at a fairly close distance.

The most difficult level of shooting at depth. In order to look good from all angles and to use thin dresses, given that the weight belt does not go well with them, I am fixed with a transparent fishing line to the dead coral. I have to breathe from a two-meter octopus, which an assistant gives me from time to time.

In November 2017, while filming at night with sharks on Alimat, the line broke 3 times due to unexpectedly strong currents. The action took place at a depth of 17 meters. As a result, Oleg Vorotnikov gave up. The shooting did not work out, but the memory was pretty funny backstage. In November 2018, we tried using a monofin on this site. In my opinion, it turned out well!

However, the world did not converge on sharks. There are many places in the Maldives where you can take photos with schools of all kinds of fish. One of these is Kuda ra tilla in South Ari Atoll. This is a real paradise with an incredible amount of Kashmiri snappers. This time we shot at a depth of 17 meters. Oleg found a film set surrounded by fabulous grottoes, magnificent soft and hard corals.... and away we go! Initially, I plunged into a dress and in a scuba, having reached the bottom, I gave the scuba gear, fins and mask to my assistant (husband part-time) and, as always, put on shoes, one of which was previously tied to dead coral. An hour later, Oleg signaled the end, and I had to change clothes again. I was pleased with the result - snappers are very photogenic!

Unfortunately, not all girls succeed in posing correctly for the camera, despite the fact that a safari in the Maldives provides all the opportunities for this. Need training. First of all, work on facial expressions, the correct arrangement of arms, legs, the ability to understand the photographer and fit beautifully into the composition of the frame.