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about

YOU

You have an adventurous heart,
beating within a poetic soul.
You seek all that is extraordinary.
You believe in timelessness rather than trends.
Make it bespoke, never mass-produced.
Experiences are what feed your soul.
You’re at ease with creativity, chaos and collaboration.
You are a yes person.

If that’s you, then we have plenty in common.
I have a feeling we’re about to become friends.

meet

Your Photographer

Liz Harlin underwater photographer, Noosa, Queensland

Liz Harlin is an internationally-recognised underwater photographer and visual artist whose work connects portraiture with art.

From the school darkroom in Canada to exotic marine reserves in the South Pacific, there are very few experiences Liz hasn’t viewed through a camera lensbut the great irony is she couldn’t swim until the age of 22…

the backstory

Yep, that’s me. The great underwater photographer who had barely dipped a toe in the water until her twenties. It’s a classic leap of faith story.

Like any good story, mine has a defining moment. When I was 22, I was avidly adventurous but woefully lacking in swimming skills. I was ready to travel to Guyana for volunteer work… but one of the job’s prerequisites was the ability to swim. So, off I headed to the adult swim lessons at the local YMCA. I finally learned to love the water.

And while that was an incredible moment in my life, it wasn’t THE moment. That would come later. It would come after university, during a career in London’s corporate world. On a much-needed holiday in Spain, at a scuba diving centre, life took an unexpected turn. I took a bold step somewhere I had never gone before … deep into the ocean. I returned to London, quit my job and never went back to the corporate world again.

I went from the girl who couldn’t swim to a qualified scuba instructor to a professional underwater photographer. And I found my personal epiphany. In that weightless, weird, wonderful world below the surface, I found the place where art and photography meet.

Liz Harlin APP M.Photog.

  • an Accredited Professional Photographer (APP) with the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), and one of Australia’s foremost underwater photography specialists
  • earned the designation of Master Photographer (M.Photog)
  • awarded the title of AIPP Queensland Professional Nature Photographer of the Year in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • clients and credits range from The New York Times to Jaeger-LeCoultre to the Smithsonian Institution
  • photography used on postage stamps in the Solomon Islands, and as diplomatic gifts in Australia
  • proud member of the Ocean Artists Society
  • earned 45 awards and titles for printed and digital work, at national and international levels
  • a qualified freediver, divemaster and scuba instructor
  • 17 years of underwater photography experience – as a working professional as well as an educator
AIPP Accredited Professional Photographer
AIPP Master Photographer
AIPP Associate
Nikon Professional Services Photographer

from the ocean to the pool

My marine wildlife photography took me around the world and back. And while I still go on diving expeditions, my real love now lies in underwater portraits, shooting right here at home in Noosa in my own pool.

The underwater studio is a place where portrait rules go out the window. It’s a place where we do more than “capture a moment”. Under the water, we can create poses, flow and emotion that simply can’t be achieved on dry land. Yes, there are technical challenges and moments of delightful chaos. But when it all comes together, it’s pure magic. I’m often surprised to discover where each shoot’s creative journey will lead… and this is addictive. Very addictive.

I enjoy it most when my clients bring their own concepts to the studio, when they have a story they want to tell through art. That’s where an underwater portrait carries both artistic and emotional value.

One thing I’ve learned about portrait photography is this: everything I create will outlive me, and it will bring a lifetime of value to every single person that I created it for.

how i work

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.

Just as no two clients are the same, so no two shoots should be the same. You and I will go into the pool with some loose concepts, and we’ll see where the water takes us. Often the water has a mind of its own, sending us off on interesting tangents. The journey can be unpredictable, which I weirdly enjoy—and I hope you will, too. We’ll shoot, review, adjust, shoot some more… until we have something truly breathtaking.

While it takes a creative eye, a steady hand and seasoned technical skills to capture underwater portraits, the art is in the final edit. The editing studio provides a different environment and a chance to allow the art to unfurl through the editing process. I take those raw images, get inspired all over again and carefully craft your finished piece.

Not only will you experience an exciting and memorable photo shoot, but you’ll also have an exquisite portrait to make your heart sing every time you look at it, for the rest of your life.

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

my invitation to you

Fuelled by a love of art and portraiture, I’m here to help you step out of your comfort zone by taking you on an incredible underwater adventure. The most beautiful, the most personal piece of art you will ever own begins with the simple act of getting in touch.

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