Aug 23rd, 2016

Photographers taking their shoots into the water

by Sun-Sentinel, Barbara Corbellini Duarte

Beneath the water’s surface, the bride-to-be’s pink gown flowed around her as she posed for engagement photos.

She let her lengthy tulle skirt and her long dark hair float as the groom-to-be pulled her in for an underwater kiss. Then, flash!

Photographer Victoria Machin, also underwater, snapped rapid shots on a recent Thursday afternoon before the couple ran out of breath and rose to the surface laughing.

“Oh, wow! She turned into a mermaid!” Machin exclaimed, perusing the photos.

Machin is among the photographers submerging their cameras and their clients into the ocean or a pool for shoots commemorating all occasions — from engagement and pregnancy to quinceañeras and Bat and Bar Mitzvahs. They say the region’s fascination with water, and its weather, make underwater photography perfect for South Florida.

Machin, born in Spain and raised in Miami, works with elaborate set-ups in her pool at her Miami Lakes home.

She receives her clients almost like a grandmother receives her grandchildren. While they get their waterproof makeup done, she offers them snacks and coffee and plays music.

“When you come to my house, I want you to feel welcome, and I want you to feel like you’re at home, and then from there, you’re part of the family,” she said.

She transforms her pool into a studio, with props like flowers, a large background cloth, a saxophone, a gate or an entire piano in the water. Underwater photography also requires, of course, an underwater case for the camera and special flash and lights.

Client and bride-to-be Enileidy Amaran wanted her photo shoot to stand out.

“I wanted to do something different. I don’t like what everyone else does, the same photo shoot on the beach,” she said. “I was scared at the beginning because I thought it was gonna be harder, but it was perfect.”

“They get excited,” Machin said of her clients. “It’s an experience. It’s not something you do every day.”