Sony A7Riii | Sony 28mm F2 | ISO 200 | f6.3 | 1/200
Every year at Farmers Awards, we have a category for best Image from a personal project or shoot. For me, it's a vital part of staying creative and having longevity in this industry. I think if I only ever shoot when it's paid work, eventually I would burn out. Let's face it, weddings are a high pressure gig, if you shoot nothing else then you are shooting to a high stress level at all times. When you shoot for yourself, you are free and that opens the mind. This is how I stop myself ever feeling that I'm going through the motions. I try to have a personal project on the go at all times or non paid shoots in the calendar.
Someone that I find hugely inspiring when it comes to this kind of shooting is Alexa Clarke-Kent. Not long ago she created 365 portraits in a year, shooting every single day no matter what. Even when her camera was stolen from at SWPP! Alongside her wedding photography, she is now running a separate brand called Lexi Laine devoted to her underwater photography. She has combined her passion for free diving with photography and has been creating a series of simply stunning submerged portraits. If this sounds easy, then trust me, it's very far from it. She's been attending diving school two nights every week and funding shoots herself. Let's face it, a municipal swimming pool just isn't that magical! This project is next level and after winning Farmers Image of The Year, the rest of the industry is catching up with giving her some recognition. Alexa will be speaking on the Sony Stage at The Photography Show next month and I'd highly recommend that you come along but for now, read what Alexa had to say about this particular shot down below.
"I have always loved swimming and as a free diver it made sense for me to combine my two passions of being underwater and photography. I’ve been shooting this kind of stuff for a while now as a personal project - and a few years ago I was lucky enough to meet Lara (who features in this shot) whilst on holiday. She is just the most amazing underwater model so all credit for this shot has to be given to her.
This photo was taken whilst on a trip to Mexico last week and it gave me the chance to test out my new Sony A7Riii and underwater housing made by Nauitcam. I’m so pleased with what I’ve edited so far, the detail in this camera is insane! The Cenotes of Mexico are so much fun to shoot in - I normally work in the sea so it was cool to try something totally different. I loved how the light was shining through the trees and casting amazing shadows over the surface so I knew straight away that I wanted to try to capture this”