Do you have big ideas for photoshoots and get that sinking feeling when you realize they’re just too big, too messy, or too complicated to do in your usual space? Well, if so, you’re not alone. This pair of photographers found a solution and built their own aquatic studio in their backyard.
Jada and David came up with the idea of creating a sinking submarine. Obviously, they didn’t want to risk flooding their regular studio, so they went and bought a baby paddling pool to house the set.
Jada and David are not just photographers. They operate more like a mix of concept artists, set builders, mixed media, creative directors and photographers. That’s a lot of hats to wear between them. However, the work they consistently produce is fresh, dynamic and generally very quirky and original.
The pool was inflated and a wooden set was built inside. It was painted bright yellow with a green carpet on the floor to make it look like it could be inside a boat or submarine. It was now time to turn on the lights around the “submarine”. The couple used four lights: one behind and one on either side to illuminate through the portholes, and one above to look like electric strip lighting. All that remained was to fill the pool with water to make it look like a flooded room.
“David and I conceptualize each session together,” explains Jada. “We watch a lot of movies, look at tons of art and architecture books, and try to fill our minds with as much inspiration as possible,” she explains.
And how do they keep coming up with such fresh ideas? “We start each day by sitting down together and forcing each other to write down 5 new shoot ideas a day,” says Jada. “These aren’t always the best ideas, but the practice of training our minds to come up with new thoughts has been invaluable. Whenever we come across an idea that we both really like, we act on it!”
Then they come up with a vision and script for the shoot and design and build a set. It’s important that everyone working on the project understands the concept and that the duo always make sure to share their vision with the model and develop a character to embody during filming. “David does all the lighting and handles all the technical stuff,” says Jada, “and I shoot and direct the shots!”