Underwater modeling tips from Mermaid Kat

Top 10 Underwater Modeling Tips

My Top 10 Underwater Modeling Tips. Underwater modeling offers the chance to create breathtaking images, but compared to studio modeling, it requires meticulous preparation and an experienced team that can handle emergencies. Working underwater increases the risk of accidents, as illustrated by the tragic incident in May 2016 when young model Olivia Ku drowned during an underwater photo shoot, sending shockwaves through the industry. Safety should be paramount in underwater modeling. To ensure safety, you must undergo training, gain experience, and collaborate with a professional team. As an accomplished underwater model and stuntwoman with over 3,000 dives and Scuba and Freediving Instructor certification, I’m happy to share my Top 10 Underwater Modeling Tips:

  1. Prioritize Safety: Understand that underwater modeling is physically demanding and carries unique risks like drowning, hypothermia, and infections. Train extensively and work with a skilled team that includes lifeguards and rescue divers. Always know your limits, take breaks, and allow time for recovery.
  2. Get Proper Training: Underwater modeling requires specific skills and knowledge. Ensure you are physically prepared and have the necessary training as a confident swimmer, and ideally as a freediver. Familiarize yourself with underwater dynamics, body control, and breath management.
  3. Avoid Buddy Breathing without Proper Training: Breathing compressed air underwater without adequate training is dangerous. Only experienced individuals should attempt such maneuvers, as it carries risks like decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, and more. Ideally, you should be a divemaster with 500+ dives and stress tests, as well as trained in freediving.
  4. Master Breath Control: Learn to control your breath and adapt to underwater conditions. Training in freediving and yoga can be beneficial in improving breath control.
  5. Use Waterproof Makeup: Prevent makeup mishaps by using waterproof products and refraining from touching your face during the shoot.

Underwater modeling tips


  1. Test Your Outfit: Some outfits can impede movement underwater, so always test them in shallow water before deeper dives. For challenging outfits, such as long dresses or mermaid tails, have a safety diver on standby to assist.
  2. Plan Communication: Effective communication is essential. Conduct a safety briefing before the shoot, establish hand signals, and occasionally use a mask to communicate when underwater. Keep a safety diver at the surface for communication with the photographer.
  3. Address Red Eyes: Exposure to chlorinated or saltwater can cause redness and swelling in your eyes. Carry eye drops to alleviate discomfort.
  4. Minimize Bubbles: Avoid exhaling while posing underwater to prevent bubbles from interfering with photos. You may get water in your nose and sinuses, which you can adapt to over time. Exhale before descending if you’re floating up.
  5. Respect the Environment: In open water shoots, be mindful of the marine ecosystem. Avoid touching sensitive corals and marine life, as they can be delicate, dangerous, or even protected by law. Be a responsible role model and protect the environment.

We hope these underwater modeling tips prove valuable to your journey. If you are keen to have your photos taken underwater, join me for an upcoming international underwater modeling retreat.

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