I had wanted to do an underwater shoot for years, but the logistics are extremely difficult. Underwater housing are expensive to rent let alone buy. The first pool I approached (at a prominent university where I have a strong alum connection) said they didn’t want pictures of their pool facility because of possible terrorist activity. I guess I didn’t explain my idea clearly enough for them.

Flash forward to 2018 and my dear friends and legendary Colorado band, Jack & Jill approach me wanting a new band photo. I gave them this idea that we would create a shot where they are playing in front of a crowd, but floating on stage. Again, I don’t know how well I conveyed my idea, but they were on board.

First step was creating our background image. We had a couple dozen people join us at our local theater. I lit it like a full-on concert and had the crowd dance to a stage of nothing.

Step two was taking the band to a pool to shoot them underwater.

There were some issues:

1. The first pool wouldn’t let us in because they were afraid street clothes would affect the pH of the pool.

2. I didn’t realize that my wireless flashes wouldn’t transmit/receive while underwater.

3. Holding a pose underwater is very difficult.

4. Bubbles are really annoying to photoshop out of an image.

5. The bass player bailed on us so we had to find a last minute sub.

We were able to figure out some good workarounds to all these issues. My assistants all had to hold flashes with the receivers above the water while I could only submerge my camera up to the transmitter. I was also able to find an affordable housing, however, putting $8k worth of camera into a sub $100 underwater housing was terrifying.

More info: jackplusjill.com

Final image

The band had to sacrifice some old instruments for the shot. I feel bad, but also, worth it

I think the hair waves played perfectly in the final shot

Drummer image. I loved his pose, but I had to spend a lot of time getting rid of the bubbles

My assistant, James came in to save the day

Our background shot. Since we broke the image up into two shots, the band is actually in this image cheering for themselves