“I used to swim competitively, so when I started art school, it felt natural to combine my love of water with my photography.
Being underwater, with no oxygen, floating mid depth with weights around my waist, is as close to an otherworldly experience as I can think of. Time, space and sound are all distorted and form a new sens of reality. The perception of colors change depending on the light and time of day. The body also reacts differently, and the diminished gravity has an effect on the way you move. There is a large part of uncertainty, and a joy when reviewing the pictures taken. Sometimes, a carefully planned picture simply doesn’t work, whereas an improvised mouvement can be filled with grace. Just like in analog photography, its the element of surprise that I like.
This particular shoot took place in the south of France, in natural light. The same light famously praised by Cézanne and Van Gogh in their time. It is particularly hard to model underwater, and Maria and Sara did an amazing job at conveying emotions through body language.
To add some variety, I chose to style some of the shots. The clothes were made especially by Laure-Anne Tchana, who’s work focuses on the search of original materials and organic shapes. The element of uncertainty in the fabrics chosen mimic the unpredictable nature of underwater photoshoots.
As Goethe said, « All is born of water ». And so are these pictures.” Thomas Symonds
Photography, Art Direction and Words by Thomas Symonds
Models are Maria Paradell and Sara J.
Styling: Original creations by Laure-Anne Tchana
Make-up and hair done by Margot Malberti
Assistant production+art direction by Charlotte Carenini
Photography+Art direction: @thomas.symonds_ www.thomassymonds.com
Models: @mariaparadell, Sara J.,
Styling: Original creations by @laure.annne
Make-Up and hair by @nena_muah
Assistant production+art direction: @charlotte_carenini