With a summer that basically delivered 30°C on a daily basis for multiple months in a row, photoshoots surely must have risen greatly in popularity among models and photographers.
We were no exception! We were just a little. Like "first weekend with only 20°C since May"-late. Some people are just really good with timing.
As this was our first watershoot, we gathered our experiences and recommendations.
The Photo Location: Hareskoven
We found the location for this shoot one year ago by accident. We went for a walk in a bigger forrest north of Copenhagen (Hareskoven) to have the experience of a real forrest with trees again - something we don't really have by living pretty close to the city center.
We really recommend to explore your surroundings and new places all the time as you might find real hidden gems and/or inspiration for new shoots!
Hareskoven actually has a plenty different cool possibilities for photo locations. Already a year ago, we decided to have a watershoot in one of the many lakes around, as they're all pretty shallow at the edges and have different kinds of plants around.
The shallow edges were a huge advantage for us as photographers, as you can come close to the water surface without having to imerge yourself into the water completely and possibly tripping throwing all your gear into the lake (my biggest fear!).
The Logistics of a Watershoot
The logistics would definitely have been easier with a car, which we don't have. So we brought backpacks which we made sure to fill with the following:
- multiple blankets
- thermos bottle with coffee (make sure everyone drinks coffee)
- a change of clothes
- sweater (which wouldn't have been necessary if we had managed to shoot during the heat wave)
If you have, we would definitely recommend to bring shoes or sandals for wearing in water as they give you better balance and stability.
Knowing the location's surroundings and possibilities for a changing room or changing bush is an advantage as well - make sure to let your models know what they have to expect.
Hareskoven would technically have had a toilet house, but unfornuately the doors were locked, so we made use of bushes and blankets we brought.
Photographing a Watershoot
As we planned this as a watershoot, we were prepared. We brought a change of clothes and I wore a bathingsuit underneath my clothes - that might have been a little bit of overkill, but I'm not good at that balance thing, so it would have been risky for me to also keep an eye on whether my clothes get wet. The only thing I wanted to have to think of was my camera.
This gave me the opportunity to simply just lie downat some point.
Some photographers just wear shorts to wade into the water until their legs are covered.
Directing The Model
Directing your model when we're both in the water was a new sensation as well. We couldn't simply walk over to show what we meant, so we needed to shout and show everything mirrored - without tripping over any sharp stones in the water!
We also couldn't just move around the area as sharp stones made us walk very slowly and carefully through the water.
A good idea is therefore to talk about wishes and ideas while still being on land and then pretty much going with the flow while being in the water (if the model feels secure enough with that).
Lærke was pretty independent and tried out movements on her own that we sometimes encouraged her (by shouting) to repeat or work on. What worked well:
- play with the water and sense the surface
- feel the wind and move accordingly
- enjoy the sun!
Make sure that you're model is okay and not freezing! It is difficult to look relaxed when you're cold to the bones, and those goosebumps are really annoying to retouch.
Finally, here are our photos of Lærke! Let us know what you think and what your experiences are with photoshoots in the water.
Depending on the popularity of the location, you will get quite the attention - likely even more than during a 'normal' photoshoot on land. Especially, if the shoot is nude or semi-nude.
Luckily, we only had a friendly and very curios, unobtrusive audience. We all got most distracted by the huge amount of adorable dogs at the lake.
This is me becoming best friends with the cutest bull terrier pup, not caring about being photographed because she was standing on my foot and being too damn adorable.
Watershoots might need a little more preparation and it's clearly an advantage if you know the location and know why you picked the location (we actually had to kill some darlings as the lake we thought we wanted to shoot in turned out to not be doable - luckily, we had a backup).
However, it was a ton of fun and not as complicated as imagined. Grab a model, something to dry with, something to get warm with and head out there! The only important thing to remember: don't trip!