How to: Successfully Shoot Water Portraits

Shooting images with an added element of water can present a whole extra set of problems. After a few tries and learning from my mistakes, I wanted to help you learn how to take beautiful portraits with water.

Tips

FOCUS: Since water is ever-moving it is best to make sure you’re focused on the correct subject so it may be better to manually focus if you have the experience. Autofocus might focus on the water instead of your model so you want to double and triple check that you are focused correctly.

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SHUTTER SPEED: I recommend shooting on a very quick shutter speed instead of a slower speed. Again since water is constantly moving you don’t want the water to appear too soft in your images unless the water is the main focus of the images. Turn up your shutter speed and really make sure the water is as clear as you can make it.

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COLOR SCHEME: Have your model wear a more neutral color and avoid patterns as this can distract from the main focus of the image is the water and portrait. In your images, you should always try to only have 3 main subject points. In the water, those subject points should be water, the model and one additional thing such as clouds in the sky or something floating alongside your model.

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LIGHTING OUTDOORS: If shooting in an outdoor area such as a pool or the ocean make sure to shoot at a time when the sun is not high in the sky so avoid times from 11-4. I say this because water is a natural reflector and can cause excess lighting on your model’s face that isn’t anticipated. Make sure you’re constantly checking your meter reading because the lighting conditions when shooting in water change quickly and drastically.

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LIGHTING INDOORS: If shooting indoors with water such as in a bathtub I recommend using studio lighting of some sort if you have limited natural light due to a small window. I personally have always used studio lighting because I feel as though it brings out colors better and makes your image look a lot crisper than natural light might. Also since bathtubs are so white the studio light can help make sure it’s very bright and not muddy. I have shot natural light before and it’s a little bit harder to control and maintain the ISO I want to not get grain in my image.

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LENS TO USE: I recommend using a 24-70mm lens when shooting bathtub portraits or a 35mm lens because you don’t have a lot of space to move around so a longer focal length lens will work best in these scenarios. When shooting outdoors I recommend a 50mm portrait lens so you can get the nice bokeh behind your subject and it creates a sharper feel than a lot of other lenses I’ve shot.

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CREATING A MILKY LOOK: Firstly you should fill the bathtub almost all the way with warm water so your model doesn’t freeze! Next, add a gallon of nut or soy milk or as much milk as you need before it becomes a fairly thick consistency. I would say add enough so you can still see your hand if it’s about an inch under but enough so you can’t see it if it’s more than 3 inches into the water.

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POSING: Water is ever-moving so evoke that in your model, direct them to move with the water or stay perfectly still to allow for contrast. I personally like to pose women with more graceful and moving poses while I pose men with a more sedentary pose to contrast with the water.

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PROPS: In the pool or ocean I don’t recommend using props because I think it distracts from the overall landscape. When shooting in a bathtub I recommend using between 10-15 drops of food coloring, flowers or leaves. Make sure you use real flowers because artificial flowers float to the bottom and don’t allow for the pretty bohemian look. Also when using food coloring make sure your subject isn’t wearing white because although it isn’t likely it will stain there is always the possibility. I also recommend using milk along with the food coloring because I think it makes the colors pop more!

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If you would like to see the full set of these images you can click on the three links below! If you end up taking water portraits make sure to tag me @goodallphotos so I can see your interpretation of it!

Surrealistic Water Portraits

Pool Portraits 

Water Portraits (the OG)

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Instagram: @goodallphotos

Facebook Page: @goodallphotographs

Contact me! goodallphotos1@gmail.com

Let’s get shooting!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booking Information & Pricing

I am a photographer based out of Washington, DC so all bookings will have to be in the DMV area. I will also be available in the greater Houston area on select dates, please contact me if you would like to book from Houston. I have included my pricing and details for any shoot I am available to do below.

Couples

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Weddings

  • Good Package: $2000
    • approximately 500 images
    • 8-hour coverage
    • flash drive of high quality, edited images delivered 4-6 weeks after the wedding date
    • single photographer coverage
    • sneak preview of up to 50 images sent within 1-3 days
    • includes ceremony, family pictures & either pre-wedding images (first look) or reception (send-off)
    • deposit of $1000 must be made upon booking date
    • engagement shoot NOT included
  • All Good Package: $3000
    • approximately 700 images
    • all day coverage
    • flash drive of high quality, edited images delivered 4-6 weeks after the wedding date
    • single photographer coverage
    • sneak preview of up to 75 images sent within 1-3 days
    • includes ceremony, family pictures, & both pre-wedding (first look) and reception images (send-off)
    • deposit of $1,000 must be made upon booking date
    • complimentary engagement shoot included

Contact me at goodallphotos1@gmail.com for specific booking information and questions. 

Engagement/Couples

  • Good Package: $250
    • 2 outfits
    • 1 location
    • approximately 40 edited images on a flash drive
    • about 1 hour
    • deposit of $100 must be made upon booking date
  • All Good Package: $350
    • 4 outfits
    • 2 locations (must be within 30 mins of each other)
    • approximately 70 edited images on a flash drive
    • about 2 hours
    • deposit of $100 must be made upon booking date

Single Portraits / Headshots

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  • STUDENT DISCOUNT 20% off
    • Good Package: $200
      • 1 location
      • 2 outfits
      • approximately 40 edited images on a flash drive
      • deposit of $100 must be made upon booking or date will not be set
    • All Good Package: $350
      • 2 locations (must be within 30 minutes of each other)
      • 4 outfits
      • approximately 70 edited images on a flash drive
      • deposit of $100 must be made upon booking or date will not be set

Friends + Families

  • STUDENT DISCOUNT 20% OFF
  • Good Package: $250
    • Includes up to 5 Family members or friends
    • 1 Location
    • 2 Outfits
    • Approximately 40 edited images on a flashdrive
    • Deposit of $100 must be made upon booking or date will not be set
  • All Good Package: $350
    • Includes up to 10 Family members or friends
    • 2 Locations
    • 4 Outfits
    • Approximately 70 edited images on a flashdrive
    • Deposit of $100 must be made upon booking or date will not be set

Senior Portraits

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  • STUDENT DISCOUNT 20% OFF APPLICABLE
    • Cap & Gown Mini Package: $120
      • 1 location
      • Only cap & gown images
      • approximately 15 edited images on a drive
      • deposit of $50 must be made upon booking date
    • Good Package: $300
      • 1 location
      • 2 outfits + 5 images in college shirt of choice OR cap & gown
      • approximately 50 edited images on a drive
      • deposit of $75 must be made upon booking date or date will not be set
    • All Good Package: $450
      • 2 locations (must be within 30 minutes of each other)
      • 4 outfits + 10 images in college shirt of choice OR cap & gown
      • approximately 90 edited images on a drive
      • deposit of $100 must be made upon booking date or date will not be set

Go to the Top

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

All cancellations must be made at least 24 hours before the shoot to be refunded or rescheduled

In the event of bad weather or I have to cancel, your deposit will be put towards rescheduling or refunded. 

By doing a shoot with me you are fully consenting to Goodall Photos posting these images to all Goodall Photos social media and to the official Goodall Photos blog at niagoodallphoto.com

Payment must be issued on the date of the photoshoot or images will not be released

Accepted forms of payment include: Venmo, Cash App, Apple Pay or Cash

NO CHECKS

Prices are non negotiable

FAQ

How long will it take to receive my images?

I estimate approximately 4-6 weeks for weddings and engagements but about 2-4 weeks for any other portraits. I send out a few images as samples after one week to tie you over!

Can I have my raw/unedited images?

No! I’m sorry but it makes it easier for me to send the high quality, edited images as it eliminates any images taken with blinking eyes or uneven lighting.

How will I receive my images?

All images will be given to you on a flash drive but your sneak peeks will be sent on a google photos album only accessed by me and you.

Can I post these images?

Yes, of course! Just make sure you do not edit them in any way and make sure to tag me @Goodallphotos!

What should I wear?

Whatever makes you the most comfortable! Muted, pastel and dark colors photograph the best along with neutrals and small patterns. However, I want your style to show in your images because they’re for you!

How do you describe your style?

Natural light photographer with a light but slightly moody style focused heavily on eyes and warm tones.

How do I book a shoot with you?

Contact me by email (goodallphotos1@gmail.com)

How many years of experience do you have?

I’m a student photographer but I have over 9 years of photographic experience and I took photography classes throughout high school for 4 years and classes over the summer for 5 years. I am a Scholastic Gold and Silver Key recipient, have been a finalist in multiple competions and I have been noted by Voyage Houston as a reputable and up and coming artist in Houston, Texas.

Let’s get shooting!!