Wet ‘n Wild in the Pool

Wet ‘n Wild in the Pool


What a fun shoot. Despite the fact that we had to get up at 5:30am to do this one, everything else was awesome. The Lakeway Best Western in Bellingham, WA, was very nice in letting us do this in their indoor pool. The only catch is we had to be out by 9am. As in hair/makeup prep, light setup, troubleshooting, shooting, and teardown by 9…. aka early morning.

Kim is the attractive model you see in these photos. She’s worked for me in the past, performed for the camera, and thought this would be a great fit for her. Didn’t know until I had her in the water that she has an interesting tattoo on her back, which I ended up shooting a bit, turned out pretty nice. We’d planned to shoot this with our fog machines, but the air system running in the building was a little too good at it’s job, and swept our fog away as soon as it touched the water.

I scouted the location, just as a wise photographer should, a few weeks prior. Main concern when you have multiple lights in use is power. Yeah, I could use my battery to power them all, but we’d have extension cords running all the way around the pool to do the back lighting, and the fewer power cables I can have flirting with a large body of water the better. Anywho, I spotted a generous amount of power outlets around the pool area, so we were golden there, or so I thought… Cue the morning of the shoot, we go to plug our lights in and nothing… no power. In desperation we decided to tried every outlet, and we found one that wanted to give us some juice, and of course it was the one furthest from where we were shooting. A trip had to be made for extra extension cables, pushed the shoot back, and we only ended up with 45 mins to shoot.

I do a lot of work up in Bellingham, and actually have a better crew of people up there to assist shoots than I do in Tacoma. Dana, my hair/makeup wizard is awesome, both in making the models look good and attitude. Wanted heavy emphasis on the Kim’s eyes, they’d be the main focus of my shots. Dana did a great job, her attention to detail was apparent.

As we started to shoot, I just couldn’t get nearly as low as I would have liked on the side of the pool to get my framing. That only meant one thing, into the pool! Emptied my pockets, stripped down the my shorts, and hopped in. Definitely not in the plans, luckily I had a towel laying around to dry off afterwards. The water was really warm, to the point where I couldn’t feel when my elbows were dipping into the water. I was scared I was going to get too relaxed and dip or drop my camera in the water. That definitely would have ruined my day, but thankfully everything stayed dry.

Used a giant softbox to light Kim and a gelled rim light to keep the aqua theme consistent. In post I added a contrasty blue filter that chills all of the colors, makes the water looks just awesome, almost metallic.

Towards the tail end of the shoot, we had Kim completely submerge and then jump up. The strobes were able to freeze the water in action, and gave us some interesting frames.

My good friend, Andy, shot a bunch of behind the scenes shots, I’ll post those soon, so stay tuned for that fun stuff.