Originally contacted by Venice magazine to feature 4X Olympian Kristina Makushenko for a multipage story in Venice magazine, I took this on as a personal project wanting to more than satisfy the assignment.
“Our creative challenge, aside from making great images, was to create a narrative that allowed the viewer to appreciate Kristina’s skills”.
Kristina has developed the rare ability to control her body movement and placement underwater while holding her breath for a few minutes at a time.
I put a great amount of thought into overcoming the inherent challenges of shooting underwater advertising and editorial photographer & director George Kamper relays.
We took into consideration lighting direction, depth & design of the pool, location, budget, and overall control of the area. As well as considerations of color of light and reflections from the pool and water, loss of saturation and contrast due to shooting in water, and solving the technical challenges associated with camera requirements, dive gear, etc…
In conversations with our stylist, we planned to use a variety of color and materials in our wardrobe selection to help tell our story. We wanted to accentuate Kristina’s skills and precision, as we photographed her performing a perfect 360 and captured it in stills and as a gif while she was wearing a one-piece bathing suit with heels. The second image features one of her trademark moves doing the ‘Moonwalk’, just at the precipice of the surface while inverted and moving backwards in heels. We utilized primary colors in these to juxtapose against the blue water and pool.
We also wanted to create a few more artful images opting for more artistic camera angles, vibrant colors, and free flowing fabrics. We created our own bubble machine so we could position the bubbles and control their size, flow, and how rapidly they rose to the surface for the closeup images.