Babies are born with a "gag reflex" which stops water entering their windpipe when submerged in water. If you want to get technical " The gag reflex causes an involuntary spasm of the glottis and the epiglottis, preventing inhalation of water into the lungs!"
They also possess the "Amphibian" reflex which leads to the widespread belief that babies can swim. It causes the legs and arms and torso of newborns to move in spurts that can propel them through the water, like they are swimming.
Your baby's swimming lessons will build on these natural reflexes and prepares them for an Underwater Photography session.
Usually at least one term of baby swimming classes (which include submersions) is required. If you have not attended an organised swimming class but take your baby swimming regularly, and have practiced submersions, you can still attend. Your baby just needs to be happy with submersions and we expect them to be able to do at least three underwater submersions in thirty minutes.
It is important you practice submersions and take your baby swimming regularly in the run up to the photo shoot. Babies should be familiar with water and know a cue for being submerged. Some teacher's use "Name Ready Swim", or "One, Two, Three, We're going under the Sea" or Name, Ready then blow on the babies face. It doesn't matter which you use, but we expect your baby to have a cue, and you will be asked to say your cue when the swimming teacher submerges your child for their underwater photo.
If you are unsure, please contact us for advice before booking your place.
Please attend the underwater baby photo shoot as you would a swimming lesson. Babies will need to wear a double nappy, a swim nappy and a happy nappy over the top (or similar system).
At least one parent needs to be in the pool with the baby or child, but it may be possible for both parents to be in the water if you wish. If you are bringing siblings, each child needs to book a place and have an adult with them.
How the Group Photo Shoot Works
You will be in small groups of no more than 5 children, and after a warm up, we will take some above the water photos, then we will move to the underwater studio, where you will take it in turns to pass your child to the swimming teacher, who will submerge your child for you, while their photograph is taken. Please use the same command you use in your swimming lessons. For example, Name, Ready, Swim. Your child will be submerged for approximately 3 seconds, and in this short time, the teacher will place your child in the ideal position for their photo, let go briefly, then pick them up and pass them back to you.
We rotate round the group, giving each child a turn underwater. Once you have had three submersions, you can move onto costume shots, parent and child shots, prop shots or sibling shots, as long as your child is happy to continue.
We aim for at least 3 submersions per child, but if your child is still happy, we can do up to 6. Your photo shoot session lasts 30 minutes in total.
Should you want more time, we do offer private photo shoots where you get 30 mins to yourselves, without sharing with other clients.
Children can also book onto a photo shoot
Children of any age can attend the photo shoot. They just need to be happy going underwater. Children aged between 18 months and 36 months tend to be more difficult to photograph but it varies from child to child. If you would like to bring your child to a photo shoot, please look at them underwater next time you are swimming. Do they keep their eyes open? Are they happy to go under? Will they go under more than once? Will they let go of you?
If the answer is no to any of these questions then it is worth waiting till they are a bit older.
Children can wear goggles for the photo shoot but the pictures do look better without. Most children will get the hang of opening their eyes in the pool if they practice in the run up to the photo shoot.
Siblings of babies attending the shoot are welcome too, but must also book a place, and practice before the photo shoot.
A costume box will be available on poolside should you want a different kind of shot
We bring a selection of costumes to every photo shoot and are free to use during your photo shoot experience. We will ask you after three submersions if you would like to use any of the costumes. These include Superman, Batman, Pirate, Fairy, Frog, Dresses, Mermaid Tails, Duck, to name but a few. We also have fun props that children can swim with like Nemo, Fish, Octopus, Sunglasses, Fairy Wands and Pirate Swords. You are welcome to bring your own costumes too as long as they are pool safe.
Viewing Your images
One week after the photo shoot you will be able to view your pictures in a password protected gallery online. You can then decide if you want to buy any. Digital files and prints and photo products are available. By owning the digital file you are free to make as many copies of the photos as you like, at no extra cost. You can even use your pictures online on Facebook etc. We just ask that you credit www.starfishunderwaterphotography.com with the image.
You may also choose to have a picture taken with your baby or child.
If you are going to try this, please practice before the photo shoot. You need to exhale all of your air so you sink, then you need to practice opening your eyes underwater, and smiling!
When you first try this you will probably pull funny faces so its well worth practicing.
We will position you in the best way for the photo but your expression is up to you so please practice before!
A little touch of magic!
Sometimes pictures need a little sprinkling of magic. When the parent or baby handler are in the shot, they can be edited out of your finished picture in most cases, no problem. Removing the baby handler is included free of charge when you buy your photos. Should you want additional Photoshop work, there may be an extra fee as it is can be very time consuming. This is charged at £25 per hour and a quote can be provided on request.
Please read the Terms and Conditions before booking.
Full Terms and Conditions are available at the link below: