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Underwater Maternity Photos & An International Award | Noosa Photographer

pregnancy woman floating underwater, her belly draped with a sheet white cloth
Jamie, 33 weeks

This beautiful underwater pregnancy portrait won a Silver Award in the Maternity category at the 2021 Asia Pacific Photography Awards.

My client, Jamie, had long dreamed of having an underwater maternity photoshoot, years before she even met her fiancé. This was her dream portrait.

We had mixed weather on shoot day. When the clouds rolled in the light became soft and dreamy, and that’s when this portrait was made. Later on, when the sun came back out, the sunlight made rippled patterns as it filtered through the water. Photographically, Jamie had the best of both worlds for her photoshoot.

She chose the serene portrait as her favourite from the photoshoot, a fine art piece to display on the wall. It is printed with archival pigment inks on museum-quality cotton paper, with a deckled edge, float mounted in a white mat, and set in a white box frame. It’s exquisite.

Jamie also chose a collection of smaller prints to display in the living room next to the television: ten fine-art matted prints a white leather-bound Portrait Box, made in Italy.


The story of this award was picked up by two local newspapers: Sunshine Coast News and Noosa Today.

Here’s my Q&A chat with Jamie…

You’d been wanting to experience an underwater maternity photoshoot for many years, right?

“Yes, I had friends who did an underwater photoshoot for their engagement, it was 9-10 years ago. I remember seeing those images and thinking ’That’s what I want for my maternity shoot’ …even though I hadn’t even met my husband at that stage! I’d had ideas about this for a very long time.”

How did the results compare to what you’d been building up in your mind all those years?

“The results far exceeded all of my expectations, by a long way! I did not think the photos were going to be that amazing, but they were.”

What do you remember from your underwater maternity photoshoot?

“I remember being so nervous ahead of time — nervous that I had no idea what I was doing, that I had no idea what it would turn out like, and whether it would even work out like I had imagined. But on the day, I was surprised to feel so relaxed and overwhelmingly happy with the experience. It was so much fun, I was on a natural high for the rest of the day!”

You have a baby girl now, Olivia. What does it mean to look at your maternity portraits?

“Pregnancy was such a lovely time for me (except for the last few weeks!). I loved being pregnant, so these maternity photos are a beautiful reminder of how much I enjoyed that time. And when I have Olivia in my arms I think to myself that I could never have known how wonderful this would be.”

The original plan was to display this portrait on the wall in Olivia’s nursery. Is that where it ended up?

“We actually hung the artwork in the living room. When you walk into the room you see it right away. Everyone loves it, even people who don’t know it’s me in the portrait — we’ve had tradesmen come in and say ‘Oh that’s amazing!’, and I think to myself ‘You’re not the person who I’d have thought would compliment the artwork,’ and that’s beautiful to know.

What would you say to a pregnant lady who is wondering if she should do a maternity shoot?

“Oh my gosh yes! She definitely won’t regret it. Aside from the beautiful photos, the photoshoot itself is such an amazing experience in its own right, I highly recommended it.”

And what would you say if she was thinking of doing an underwater maternity shoot, but is nervous like you were?

“It’d tell her that it’s ok to be nervous, but once she gets in the water and tries a few different things, it just starts making sense, and she’ll realise ‘Ah, this is what we can do, this is what’s possible.’

“It helped me when you showed a few of my photos on the back of the camera and you gave me direction such as pointing my toes and lifting my chin, and then I’d take that onboard and you’d show me the next shots and I’d realise ‘it just works’.

“So, I’d tell her that even if she’s nervous ahead of time she’ll feel more natural and confident once she’s in the water.”

What emotions do you feel when you look at the portrait on the wall?

“I feel nostalgia, wonderment, peace and happiness. I feel proud that I got through pregnancy and childbirth. The portrait is so lovely to look at, I can’t believe that’s really me!”

Find out more about the underwater maternity photoshoot

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