Photographed by Valerie Fernandez Photography


This was a difficult session to go through with. T and N were amazing and had the perfect mindset, but the conditions were tough: we had a very small window of opportunity to make this shooting happen, and underwater sessions are hard to undertake with time pressure. Additionally, once we got to our shooting spot the water was very green, and hazy with lots of particles in suspension. It happens sometimes when the swell is too small.

And finally, I was 7 months pregnant when we did this session, so while still feeling quite fit, I knew I wouldn’t be diving as deep or for as long as I normally can. But, T and N were decided on having fun, I knew this would likely be my last underwater session in a long while so I also wanted to make it count, and so we simply decided to pour our hearts in and do the best we could.

The fact that the conditions were really not ideal on the one hand, but my couple was so great on the other hand really made me want to make it worth their while and push myself creatively and embrace the challenges as an opportunity to create something memorable. I think that particular photo is the result of exactly that combination of challenge and will.
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CalmHolding Each otherNaturalPlayful

“alright guys, take some time to breathe. When you are both feeling ready, let me know. What you will do is dive under, then swim towards each other. When you meet, T, please wrap your legs around N’s waist. Then grab his neck with your left hand and pull him in, with your face to his left side. let’s practice that pose before you dive. Great. You’ve got this. Now N, please, once T is all wrapped around you, I would like you to wrap your right arm around her and pull her in, and just let your right arm loose. Then, pull you both back up to the surface using only very wide, ample leg movements. Are you ready? Alright, breathe in, and go.” “
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Rule of ThirdsCenter FramedWide

The key here was to get her to pull her face to his left side so that at least one of their faces was visible. This is what connects us -viewers, to them. This is what in my view, draws us in the image. It’s the detail that makes everything else work together to create a strong image. Not all photos need to show the couples’ faces, for sure, but the face is definitely something you should keep in mind and make intentional decisions about when composing a frame.


Multi Point Focused on Her face Continuous Autofocus
Light & Weather

Soft LightNatural LightSunnyNoon

Equipment & EXIF

1/1000 f/4.5 ISO 320 WB Auto


Sony A9


Sony FE 24mm f/1.4GM

Additional Equipment

Seafrog underwater case


Adobe Lightroom custom presets

This image was edited with

custom presets

Challenges & Solutions


Underwater Vanuatu

Dream Cove

Dream Cove

Final tips & Advice

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Valerie Fernandez Photography

Photographer Vanuatu Sony a9 Sonay 24mm 1.4 GM
Heya, I’m Val and I’m looking forward to meeting you! I’m kid at heart, a wonderer, a dreamer! Trough incredible blessings and heartbreaking loss, I have learned kindness and courage, and became a believer in people: in you, in me, in our uniqueness, our story, our potential, strength, and vulnerability; in how we laugh, love, grow, break, endure and keep going. Photography is my bridge between what’s inside and what’s outside; it’s my tribute to everyday poetry, every day courage, every day joy, everyday love, everyday life. It’s how I see and feel, fit and connect, share and learn, give and receive.
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“The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Proust

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