Underwater photography workshop with Brenda Stumpf March 31, 2017 13:35

From Jess: 

Back in October, I had the opportunity to do something really special: wearing my beautiful silicone mermaid tail and top from Merbella Studios, I participated in an underwater modeling workshop with photographer Brenda Stumpf that was facilitated by professional mermaid performing company Sheroes Entertainment here in Los Angeles. It was amazing! The resulting images of me dressed as Rescue Siren Nim have the dreamiest, most ethereal look to them; they're magical.

I've been photographed underwater a couple of times, but I still feel like a newbie; let me tell you, it's something that takes practice! Imagine everything involved in normal modeling -- striking a great pose, finding the right angle, making sure your hair isn't doing something weird, and wearing a casual facial expression that doesn't betray all the things on your mind -- and then add a giant mermaid tail and an inability to see clearly (because mermaids don't wear goggles). Oh, yeah, and you also can't breathe. Whew! I still tend to wind up with "thinking face" as I mentally tick off all of those boxes, which, of course, isn't usually what you want in a photograph.

Fortunately, Brenda has a ton of experience shooting models underwater, and she and Sheroes' Catalina Mermaid made the entire workshop experience really easy and fun. When Chris and I arrived at the shooting venue, there was a rig set up in the delightfully heated pool that I could grab onto and hang from when I was above water -- this allowed me to keep my tail still to avoid disturbing the fabric backdrop as I came up for air or chatted with Brenda and Catalina about our next shot before dropping back beneath the surface.

As you've probably guessed from the concept of "Rescue Sirens," safety is something that's very important to me; luckily, it's important to Brenda and Sheroes Entertainment, too, and Catalina acted as a safety diver for the workshop. She watched me closely and kept a lifeguard tube handy in case I experienced any sort of difficulty, and, knowing the extent of her lifeguard and rescue training, I knew I was in good hands and could enjoy myself. As you can tell from these behind-the-scenes photos snapped by Chris, I was all smiles!

The ninety minutes I'd booked seemed to fly by, and I was sad to wiggle out of my tail and dry off because I'd had such a good time with Brenda and Catalina; I didn't want it to end. Saying goodbye meant that I was closer to seeing the four final images that came with the workshop package, though, and I was thrilled when they arrived in my inbox about a month and a half later!

Click to enlarge:

If you're in the Los Angeles area, Sheroes Entertainment is facilitating another underwater modeling workshop with Brenda, coming up in May. There are currently only two spots left, so be sure to check it out if you've ever wanted to get incredible underwater pictures of yourself! (You don't have to wear a mermaid tail, either, although fabric tails are available for the shoot if you're so inclined.) Both Brenda and Mermaid Catalina are the very definition of professional, courteous, experienced, and responsible -- and they're friendly and fun, too! I'm already looking forward to the next time I get to work with them.