I started this project because I saw the need for authentic representation of female diver professionals and an opportunity to celebrate the women who chose this lifestyle. It evolved into my new favorite way of getting to know my own community.
Please consider this an ongoing project.
The artistic inspiration behind this idea came as I was looking forward to the best diving day of the year – International Women’s Dive Day. I was looking at the portrait work of a commercial male photographer who had a style of glamorizing female dive professionals. Blow-dried hair and makeup with flawlessly matching gear. The work was mesmerizing, but I couldn’t relate to the professionals in the photo.
Representation matters. So I’d like to celebrate all the ladies who just came from a dive by showing you these ladies as we see them.
Wet hair and calmly showing off those mask and regulator removal skills. Our lives are beautiful and difficult.
We are paid in gratitude and exquisite moments and often struggle to make ends meet.
It’s a life of physical labor and of customer service and filled with teaching moments.
We come from everywhere, often speak many languages, and usually work 7 days a week, 8-12 hours a day.
If you aren’t yet a diver, I hope these photos help you see yourself diving. You might not look beautiful like a supermodel, you are going to look beautiful like these ladies and in your own way.
To everyone, I hope you share my admiration for these role models.
Congratulations to the female professionals everywhere for choosing your passion and sharing your stories. I look forward to meeting you in the future.
Notes on Safety- Facial underwater portraits were taken in roughly a two meters of water with the women kneeling in a sand bottom. These were shot in quick succession (think breath in, remove regular, snap, replace) and without breathhold and with throat and airways relaxed. Additionally, every single one of these women have more than two years of experience almost constantly diving, most more than 5 years.