Behind the Scenes

Diving Into Underwater Portraiture Significant Moments 2019 Workshop

Diving Into Underwater Portraiture Significant Moments 2019 Workshop

By Ambassador Karen Bagley

What an amazing underwater workshop we had this year. I had the chance to mentor and train incredible photographers and introduce them into the world of underwater photography. I am so privileged to work with a company like Ikelite who sponsored the event and provided us with equipment everyone could use to learn and practice on. They truly are the best and I can’t thank them enough for their continued support as I educate more photographers who are starting their journey into underwater photography.

Day 1: Hands ON Training and Underwater Fun

Wow Day 1 turned out even better than I could have hoped. We had such a beautiful day after it had rained all week. The temp had warmed up and we had nothing but sun. We started are day with with breakfast and coffee by the pool while I went over all my tips for working in the water. Everyone got to see the amazing gear Ikelite provides for underwater and I could show them how to set up their equipment. For this workshop we used primarily Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (EOS 200D) and EOS Rebel SL3 (EOS 250D) cameras. We also had two beautiful underwater models for the day to help us create some outstanding underwater art work.

Once we got used to our gear and went over safety instructions it was GAME ON. We jumped right into breathing techniques and how to properly sink and shoot with our gear. This is the part that is more difficult than many may think. Often times we are trained to take in all the air we can and hold our breathe, but with underwater photography this makes it much more difficult. The key is to let out all of your air at the surface so you can sink and move with your camera. If not you will float at the surface and most likely miss your shots. It takes practice but after a bit the students really got the hang of it.  It’s the same for models. We want them to let out all the air at the surface otherwise we will have a stream of bubbles in our shots.

Karen Bagley Underwater Portraiture Workshop Ikelite Housings

The key is to let out all of your air at the surface so you can sink and move with your camera. If not you will float at the surface and most likely miss your shots.

That was another great part of our workshop. We got to work with models and I could teach them how to coach their underwater clients in the future. Our models were in these big gorgeous gowns and were hard to work with but man did they really work and provide some amazing looks for our photographers. Thank you, guys, so much!

We spent probably a good 5 or 6 hours in the water working on posing, composition, and finding our light when working underwater. The photographers really got to try out the Ikelite gear and see how it allows full access to your camera to change settings on the fly. The images they created in just a few hours of learning blew my mind. They got so creative with the models and really pushed the boundaries of what they normally do. I am so proud of them ALL and can’t wait to see what their underwater future holds.

Day 2: All About Editing and Business

Day 2 we spent at my office and got to enhance and edit the images we had just captured. We spent the beginning of the morning going over my editing workflows and process to really bring their images to life. Many think it involves a lot of post work to do underwater but if you get it as close to perfect in camera, you don’t need a lot of postproduction. I was also able to show how I use Adobe® Lightroom to clear up any haze and color correct the images to match skin tones. We all worked together on images with laptops and I was able to really help the photographers bring their images to life.

After editing it was all about business. Boy oh boy it was about 4 hours of intense marketing, pricing, and IPS (in person sales) advice. We really only cracked the surface, but I strive to leave people who attend my workshops with something they can implement immediately. I think they all learned something they could implement right away either in underwater or their regular work that improved their businesses.  I know each of you all will do amazing things and I am so excited to see them all continue to grow their careers. I am blessed to be part of their journey and thank you from the bottom of my heart in trusting me to mentor and teach each of you. Again, without the most amazing gear out there none of this would be possible – THANK YOU IKELITE!



I cannot wait for more workshops next year (2020) planning has already begun for even MORE underwater workshops. Continue to follow me and be on the lookout for those as they fill up quick!




Ikelite Ambassador Karen BagleyAmbassador Karen Bagley took her first photography job at the tender age of 16. Since then she's been nationally published, named one of the best maternity photographers in Atlanta, Georgia, and teaches her craft throughout the United States. Karen has a talent for adding a dramatic flair to her unique maternity, newborn, birthing, high school senior, and underwater portraiture photography. Plus she's a master of the business of portrait photography and social media marketing. Karen offers one-on-one mentorship in addition to regular photography seminars. Read more...


Additional Reading

Significant Moments Photography

How Underwater Maternity is Different From Topside

Getting into the Underwater Photography Business with Karen Bagley

First Look Canon EOS Rebel SL3 250D Underwater Housing

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