I have some really exciting news to share!! Texas Wedding Guide published a 5 page spread in their latest issue featuring my underwater work and an interview. It was a really exciting process. Texas Wedding Guide was recently purchased by Dallas Morning News. They called and asked me to come in for an interview. Little ol’ me…the girl that grew up in a tiny town with under 2000 people…the girl that graduated with less than 70 people in her High School class….the girl that rarely puts on real pants unless she has to photograph a shoot or go to a meeting. This girl…ME! I was super excited to receive the phone call and even more excited about the process. I drove into downtown Dallas for the meeting. I had to announce myself to the gate attendant and receive my visitor pass. Once I parked, it started to feel really official. I was about to walk into the Dallas Morning News headquarters…..whoa nelly! I signed in as a “Visitor” in the lobby and went upstairs with Rachel and Guinn. They showed me to one of their conference rooms. There, Rachel interviewed me about my underwater photography and Guinn shared some of his mockups with me how he envisioned the spreads to look. I was blown away and kept thinking in my head “this is real life!”. Even after I saw the PDF version of the spreads, I was still in shock. I couldn’t believe that this was going to be in print and shared with such a huge audience. So today, I am sharing it with you.
I am so very honored and excited to be featured for my work….without further ado, here are the rest of the spreads and the interview is below….
THE TERM UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY DOESNâ€™T CONJURE IMAGES OF ELEGANT WEDDING PORTRAITS. YET HERE THEY ARE ON THESE PAGES â€“ UNMISTAKABLE IN THEIR ETHEREAL APPEAL. AND YES, THOSE BRIDES AND GROOMS ARE DRESSED IN FULL WEDDING REGALIA AND SUBMERGED COMPLETELY IN WATER. THE EFFECT IS A WATERY ILLUSION AND MORE ARTFUL THAN MOST OF US COULD HAVE IMAGINED.
FEW PHOTOGRAPHERS IN THE UNITED STATES SHOOT UNDERWATER, AND EVEN FEWER SPECIALIZE IN SHOOTING BRIDES AND GROOMS.
One of the nationâ€™s top underwater shooters, Amy Karp, is based in Dallas. Since establishing her business in 2006, she has drawn clients from across the globe, including a recent session with a prominent Hong Kong couple who flew in specifically to have their underwater portrait taken by Karp.
Texas Wedding Guide sat down with the photographer to learn more about her dreamy portraits and what goes into creating them.
TWG: What prompted you to pursue underwater photography?
Amy Karp: It started as something I wanted to do for fun â€“ to see if I could do it. It continued to be a creative outlet for my photography. Then I published some images on social media and my business exploded overnight.
I started getting inquiries from New York and California â€“ all over. It just started off as a fun thing, but I guess it just exposed people to the beauty of underwater portraiture and how passionate I am about that aspect of my photography.
TWG: Do you see underwater portraiture becoming popular among brides and couples?
AK: Itâ€™s very much a trend â€“ itâ€™s really caught on in Australia and the United Kingdom. For me, the idea of sinking (or dunking) a bride made sense because I wanted a high fashion, ethereal feel â€“ that soft, sweet-yet-edgy vibe. After I dunked a bride once, I was hooked.
TWG: Where are the portraits taken?
AK: In the shallow end of a swimming pool, mostly outdoors with natural light, but some are taken in indoor pools. I shoot against a black backdrop and because the clients are in the shallow end, they can put their feet down anytime they need to.
TWG: Are the brides wearing their own wedding dresses?
AK: Yes, some of them are. They schedule their underwater portrait after the wedding so they can wear their dress. Other brides commission a second dress or buy another for the underwater portrait.
TWG: When it comes to veils and flowers, how do you keep them pretty?
AK: They stay. The roses weâ€™ve used retain their shape.
TWG: How does makeup stay on with underwater photography?
AK: Most makeup is waterproof. As long as you donâ€™t touch it when you go under, itâ€™ll stay. We use a lot of waterproof mascara. There are some makeup artists we work with who apply a spray sealer that goes on after the makeup is applied, which waterproofs it. Things you normally want to use on a land shoot, like false eyelashes, donâ€™t work underwater.
TWG: What do you enjoy the most about underwater photography?
AK: Itâ€™s like time stands still when you go under. Thereâ€™s nothing else happening. You canâ€™t hear anything. Iâ€™m really drawn to the movement of fabric, so when I have a style consultation with a client, Iâ€™ll tell them which fabrics move and flow well underwater. You canâ€™t get that look on land.
TWG: Do you use a special camera or other equipment? AK: I use my regular professional land camera, but it is in a special waterproof housing that keeps it from getting wet. I also use a scuba tank of air to breathe while I work.
TWG: What advice do you give your brides/couples before they shoot underwater with you?
AK: They need to be good swimmers and physically fit. Itâ€™s a three-hour session with about 50 extra pounds of clothing. Safety is one of our biggest concerns. Usually I have them go under and expel all the air they possibly can. Weâ€™re literally shooting and going up and down, up and down. A lot of my clients have been divers, so they enjoy doing an underwater shoot.
TWG: Are you a certified diver?
AK: I am now. I wasnâ€™t when I started.
TWG: Share one word to describe the experience of shooting underwater.
AK: Unique. I want people to see my images and say, â€œAmy Karp shot this.â€ I donâ€™t want it to be like anything theyâ€™ve seen. Another word: Ethereal. I like the flowy experience â€“ itâ€™s almost out of this world.
TWG: How do you keep your photos timeless versus something that looks trendy?
AK: We style the shoot using fabrics and props that possess timelessness. I once saw an image of Muhammad Ali boxing â€“ underwater. The image was shot in the â€™50s or the â€™60s. But the photograph taught me that this is art that is timeless. It doesnâ€™t have to be a trend.
Click here to see more underwater photography