Last week I had another opportunity to play with my underwater camera. I went to Formentera - a tiny island of paradise which I've been lucky enough to spend a fair amount of time throughout my life. It's one of those places that feels like home as soon as I arrive. The familiar smell of the sabina bushes and the salt lakes... The warm breeze and the sound of the sea. Just heaven.
As soon as I arrived I went on the lookout for a model who would be up for doing an underwater shoot. The first night I met Iara - a beautiful spanish woman who runs a business in Formentera and also grew up on the island. Her business is called Eclipsiko and she sells hand made trends - lovely jewellery, clothes, fabrics etc that have such a wonderful 'Formentera' feel. As soon as I mentioned the idea of underwater photography she was so enthusiastic and we quickly made plans to collaborate - using some of her Eclipsiko products, clothes, some fabrics her mother prints for the business and a dress or two of mine I brought with me especially. I asked her if she was comfortable in the water and she responded with 'yes, I am a mermaid' and she really wasn't kidding! The name 'Iara' actually means mermaid in Brazilian folklore apparently! I think it was fate that I met her that evening.
The shoot itself was so much fun, we spent nearly four hours swimming, diving, holding our breath, sinking, floating and playing in the water. All whilst her lovely boyfriend Mauricio was our assistant and did a spot of fishing as he watched! Iara truly was like a mermaid - so natural in the water it's as if she should live there. I had fun experimenting with directions of light and interesting backdrops in the 'natural swimming pool' of Punta Pedrera. To begin with, the sea was perfectly still and the sun still very low in the sky from our early morning start - perfect conditions. Towards the end, the sun was quite high and the sea started to pick up with waves so the sediment from the bottom made focusing more difficult! I found the whole thing a wonderful experience and like every shoot I do I think it helped me to improve. I want to say a massive thank you to Iara, her mother and Mauricio - not only were they amazing in giving up so much time but I feel like I've made some new friends in the process too. I cannot wait for my next trip to Formentera!
So without further ado, here are my favourite twenty frames.
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever" - Jacques Cousteau