Introducing Underwater Portraiture
Photography unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Let’s take traditional portraiture and turn it on its head.
Artistic and eloquent photography under the water with Liz Harlin, a multi-award winning, internationally-published, AIPP Master Photographer.
Private Noosa studio.
What does it take to create an image so captivating, so surreal your heart skips a beat every time you see it?
What does it take to mix art, adventure and creativity into one photoshoot?
It takes an adventurous soul, a creative heart and a willingness to take the plunge.
Why underwater photography?
There is a place where rules go out the window.
A place where a photograph carries both artistic and emotional value.
Where we do more than “capture a moment”.
Under the water, we create poses, flow and emotion that simply can’t be achieved out of the water.
Water creates an ambience more beguiling than any studio backdrop can set.
Beneath the surface, reality becomes dreamlike. Simple becomes surreal.
As an Accredited Professional Photographer who works exclusively underwater, I am here to guide you on an artistic adventure. Together, we’ll collaborate to create a bespoke portrait unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
One year from now, you will look back and wish you had said yes to the most beautiful photograph of you. You will wish you had said yes to stepping into the water.
Traditional Portrait Photography Vs. Underwater Photography
Water transforms photography.
Traditionally, portrait photography focuses on a standard set of poses and backdrops. It’s a formula we all know and for the most part, feel safe with. We know what to expect and we know what we’ll get.
You will be happy… but not in a “take my breath away” kind of way.
Underwater photography is not about capturing; it is about creating.
The effect of bringing the element of water into a photoshoot is like casting a spell. The subtlest of movements create the most elegant effect. The dress or the hair, float, suspended in weightlessness.
The body can pose in ways it would never be able to above the surface. Whatever ideas you have about your imperfections or flaws are irrelevant here. Elegance comes easily; that is the beauty of the water.
This is why underwater photography is so compelling compared to traditional photography. It’s you, but you in another world, seen in another way.
It may feel strange, at first, to step out of your comfort zone. To get in the water, wearing clothes and to pose for the camera in a way you never have before.
But like anything in life, it takes a leap of faith to reap rich rewards.
Become a muse, an artist, a model for a day
To mark the most important moment in your life, for a maternity photoshoot like no other or to simply celebrate you, an underwater photography session is a break from the everyday. A way to get creative, strike a pose, and have some fun.
Expert guidance every step of the way
For 99 per cent of my clients, this is their first time on an underwater shoot. From our first meeting to the final reveal, we’re in this together. I’m here to help you through any hesitation about breathing, outfit choice, or how to pose in the water. All you need to do is let your creativity and confidence run wild.
Go for quality, not quantity
The process of creating an underwater portrait takes time, expertise and consideration every step of the way. This is an investment, not an Insta-moment. Like the difference between a soul-nourishing slow-cooked meal versus a fast-food delivery, we get more satisfaction from things which take time. So, let’s slow down—the results will be worth it.
Create custom-made art to last a lifetime
The moment may pass, but the artwork will remain. Like heirloom jewellery or hand-made furniture, a quality piece of fine art is something worth investing in. Something for your children, grandchildren and maybe even your great-grandchildren to see.
There’s no time like the present
The cliché is true. When you look back on your underwater portrait in years to come you won’t notice your weight or your wrinkles. All you will see is the beauty. A flood of memories will come washing over you, and you will wonder why you ever hesitated about staring confidently down the camera lens.
Let’s have fun
The most important part of the process. Don’t worry about looking perfect, let me take care of that. Take an adventure, unleash creativity, invest in yourself. Jump in.
“In a world where we have tried it all, underwater portrait photography offers a fresh take on the traditional form. Instead of hanging artwork in which we have no emotional investment, Liz’s pieces allow you to shed yourself of the daily grind and become an artist’s muse, if even for one day.” – In Noosa magazine
Portrait Photography Art
The craft is in the capture… but the art is in the edit
A true beginning-to-end journey, our collaboration doesn’t stop on photoshoot day. The next step is the transformation from photograph to fine art. I bring the technical skills but it is the two of us together who will build this masterpiece.
From the colour tone to finishing materials to hanging location, every detail is considered, and most importantly, personalised.
At the end of the experience, you will have a piece of photographic art which serves two purposes — something to enrich your home, but also something which celebrates you at a significant moment in life. A moment you will never have back again. Could there be an investment more valuable than that?
I use fine art papers, archival inks, premium mounting and framing to craft a piece of uniqueness and longevity. A lot of time and care goes into your finished art piece. But isn’t that the case for anything that is created to stand the test of time?
The Underwater Studio
Come over and play mermaid for a day
Step into my purpose-built, private underwater photo studio in beautiful Noosa.
- This is where the fun begins. At 11m x 4.5m, there is plenty of space to throw yards of fabric around and move your body into glorious shapes.
- It has 3 flat levels: 0.4m, 1.2m, 2.4m. This offers endless creative freedom. It also means you always have the option to safely stand on the bottom.
- I use a special super-fine filter media, which makes for gin-clear water clarity. Clearer water = sharper images.
- The water pH level is finely tuned so your eyes won’t sting when you open them underwater.
- The concrete shell is a pale, neutral colour. A dark blue pool would throw strange colour casts onto your skin; and nobody wants that.
- There are no distracting mosaics or tiles to mess up the background or clash with your outfit.
- The pool is perfectly oriented to the sun, for the most flattering light.
- The pool is surrounded by high fences and trees. You have complete privacy.
- It’s heated, of course, because blue lips and goosebumps never looked good on anyone.
Before and After
- Inside, you have access to a luxurious bathroom and private dressing room to prep before the shoot and take some time out to relax after the shoot.
- You have free access to a wardrobe of stunning outfits; dress-ups, dresses and fabrics to swirl, pose and float in.
- Most importantly for me, the pool and house run entirely on renewable energy.
Meet your underwater photographer:
Liz Harlin is an internationally-recognised underwater photographer and visual artist whose work connects portraiture with art.
For more than 20 years, I have travelled, dived and photographed my way around the globe, inspired by the weightless, wonderful world below the surface. Through my marine photography, I found that beautiful point where art and photography meet. After receiving the AIPP Queensland Professional Nature Photographer of the Year five years in a row, I decided to spend less time in the ocean and made the switch to portraiture photography. I swapped coral reef dwellers for humans! And now I get to work with adventurous souls as we create beautiful fine art portraiture.
I am honoured to have had my marine photography featured by The New York Times, Jaeger-LeCoultre and the Smithsonian Institute… as well as on postage stamps in the Solomon Islands, and as diplomatic gifts in Australia. In 2017, I earned the designation of Master Photographer (M.Photog).
From a purpose-built underwater studio in Noosa on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, I now create bespoke, ethereal fine art photography. And I help guide others into an incredible underwater adventure which encourages them to become a work of art.
I work as a professional underwater portrait photographer, and I’m pretty sure I’ve found my “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” job.
I am a member of the non-profit Ocean Artists Society, and a percentage of all profits from Liz Harlin Photographic go to the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
What my clients say
Absolutely love the photos Liz. Thank you for creating these beautiful memories for me.
Liz is an amazing photographer! I loved every photo I got from the shoot! Also loved that the pool was heated and how great and quick she was at taking the right photo before I needed to come up for a breath. All round great service from beginning to end.
Highly recommended! All the service staff (photographer, assistant and makeup artist) are professional, friendly and supportive. Enjoyable time under the water and lots of garments to choose from.
To all my pregnant mummies I highly recommend doing a photoshoot with Liz she is amazingly talented and makes you feel very comfortable.
I had such a unique and enjoyable experience with Liz Harlin! Her kind and considerate nature made me at ease in front of the camera. She treated me like a goddess in and out of the water, I can’t wait to hang my piece of art in my family home.
I cannot rave enough about the luxurious experience Liz offers. These images really are pieces of art. Thankyou so much Liz xx
The Underwater Experience
Your session includes:
- An in-depth planning meeting.
- Waterproof makeup artistry by a local professional makeup artist.
- Fully guided stress-free photoshoot. Includes coaching on breathing techniques and posing, so you look relaxed, natural and at your very best.
- The support of a pool photoshoot assistant.
- An all-female team
- Unlimited outfit changes using a selection of garments from my extensive wardrobe.
- Approximately two weeks after the photoshoot, an in-person appointment for you to see the best images from your shoot, and choose which images you would like to purchase as custom art.
An underwater photography shoot is entirely different to a standard photoshoot. The process is much slower and more involved, and it’s never about getting dozens of images on a USB. We will create an art piece (or two) of singular distinction, a statement piece to display in your home. The true definition of quality over quantity.
Portrait Photography Pricing
At our first meeting, we’ll work out exactly what you’re after and exactly what you want to spend. There are no surprises at the end of the process.
The session fee is $490. Digital and printed images are not included in the session fee.
Wall art starts at $570; table-display matted prints are $290 each; fine art albums start at $2850. As a guideline, clients usually invest $1,500 – $5,000 on their art products. You only purchase what you absolutely love, and there is never pressure to buy. All printed products include magazine-quality editing and retouching. Each printed image comes with its matching-sized digital copy that can be printed again and again; there are no watermarks or logos on the digital files.
A custom underwater video, up to 1 minute long, is $300.
Who invests in underwater portraiture?
See the beauty in you.
There are many reasons to celebrate and book an underwater photography shoot.
- A pivotal moment in life worth celebrating, sharing or commemorating
- To wear that wedding gown one more time, the dress you wore on the happiest day of your life
- To celebrate pregnancy with a unique maternity photoshoot to celebrate your body in this beautiful, yet fleeting form
- To pull out that fabulous formal dress from the back of your wardrobe, and wear it once again in the name of art
- Because you are creative, curious and want a photograph that is anything but commonplace
- Because you need a reminder of just how beautiful you are
Is it time to invest in yourself?
The first step would be a phone chat to discuss what exactly you’re looking for, and to make sure that I am the best photographer for you.