15 Amazing Women Underwater Photographers You Should Follow on Instagram

15 Amazing Women Underwater Photographers You Should Follow on Instagram

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Are you in need of some underwater photography inspiration? Or perhaps you are looking for a photographer who can teach you a thing or two about underwater photography? Then this list was made for you!

In this post, you will find some of the most amazing women underwater photographers on Instagram.

From all over the world, these brave and creative female divers are capturing the most impressive and jaw-dropping underwater imagery. Their skills in photography and diving, combined with their artistic visions and determination, produce the most spectacular underwater photos that will leave you wanting more.

From vibrant reefs and somber wrecks to magical cenotes and mysterious caves, the underwater photographs by these women will leave you in awe and wonder. If you like tiny critters, majestic ocean giants, or anything in between, then you are in for a visual treat.

Continue reading to discover the women photographers who will make you fall in love with the underwater world.

Copyright Notice: All images featured on this post were used with consent from their respective owners. You may not use any of the images without their permission. Kindly respect their work. If you would like a copy, you may contact the photographers directly using the links provide on their write ups below.

Marissa Eckert

Female Underwater Photographer Marissa Eckert @marissa_eckert on Instagram

“When lighting up a cave if you really want to give it depth use strobes with remote triggers. Place them behind the diver. They will trigger when your camera strobes fire and it will give your photos a whole new dimension.”

@marisssa_eckert_

Marissa Eckert is a passionate full-time technical diving Instructor and dive shop owner in North Central Florida. She has a wealth of experience and knowledge in both open circuit and rebreathers, caves, side mounts, underwater photography, among many others.

When she is not teaching, Marissa enjoys traveling all over the world, exploring new places, and hiking thru the jungle. She loves doing challenging new dives that help her grow and learn as a diver.

What really motivates Marissa is the desire to show people this amazing world. Whether that’s thru caves, wrecks, ocean diving, deep diving, rebreather diving, sidemount diving, or photography. Marissa’s major passions are teaching and photography. 

Marissa is certified on multiple rebreathers and can teach the SM Liberty, the X-CCR, the SF2, the KISS Sidekick, and the KISS sidewinder.  She has logged tons of hours on rebreathers and 1000s of cave dives.   Whether it’s a cavern class or a cave DPV class, she loves helping people get a glimpse into this amazing underwater world.

Photography by Marissa Eckert- A rebreather cave diver crosses through the tannic river water at the Devils Ear cave in Ginnie Springs, Florida
A rebreather cave diver crosses through the tannic river water and down into the crystal clear spring water of the Devils Ear cave entrance at Ginnie Springs, located in High Springs, Florida. Underwater Photograph by Marissa Eckert

Marissa’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
A Panasonic Lumix GH4 + a wide-angle lens + Nauticam Housing

Marissa describes her underwater photographs as illuminated, unique, and otherworldly. Her favorite dive locations to photograph are the cenotes of Tulum and Muyil in Mexico. Her favorite underwater subjects/sceneries are definitely caves but especially caves in Mexico and the Bahamas that have beautiful formations. She also loves large pelagics.

If you love Marissa’s underwater photographs, you can do a class with her or book a photo shoot. She also sells her digital files so you can get images printed in whatever format you like. For more details, you can reach Marissa via Instagram or her website Dive-Cave.com.


Elisabeth Lauwerys

Elisabeth Lauwerys | @oceans_below

“When shooting subjects in (fast) motion in ambient light, a fast shutter speed must be used to freeze the motion. Generally, 1/125th to 1/200th of a second will freeze motion underwater, depending on how fast the subject is moving. If the subject is as fast as a Striped Marlin or hunting sharks, set the shutter speed to a minimum of 1/400 to 1/800 to avoid motion blur. The faster the autofocus and the shutter speed, the better your photo will come out! “

@oceans_below

Elisabeth Lauwerys is a creative award-winning female underwater photographer and filmmaker with thousands of hours behind the camera. Her life has been devoted to traveling, freediving, scuba diving, and underwater photography and video.

From Humpback Whales and Tiger sharks in the open oceans to the tiniest Nudibranchs on tropical reefs, the sea’s vast riches have fallen under her lens…

She continues to teach budding underwater photographers to discover and express their passion for the aquatic world. With her guidance, her trainees are able to produce beautiful underwater imagery. Equipped with their cameras and housings, Elisabeth enjoys traveling the world with her customers in pursuit of the most spectacular and diverse diving environments.

Black and white manta underwater photography by Elisabeth Lauwerys

One of my favorite moments underwater at night has to be in the Maldives seeing Mantas feeding on plankton at the back of the boat. The Manta does these barrel rolls when feeding to maximize their prey intake. The image was taken in shallow water and I used 1 video light (no strobes) and the light from the boat to light up the face of the Manta Ray. Underwater Photograph by Elisabeth Lauwerys

Elisabeth’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Sony a7RII in a Nauticam Housing or Sony a6500 as a backup

Elisabeth loves to create underwater photographs in black and white or pastel in color with shallow depths of field. Her favorite dive locations to photograph are Baja California in Mexico, from Magdalena Bay and Cabo Pulmo to Socorro. Her favorite underwater subjects these past years are out in the blue and pelagic. She loves being in the open ocean waiting to see what encounters they will get. Most of these encounters are freediving.

If you love Elisabeth’s work, you can check out her underwater photography courses in Koh Tao and learn directly from her.


Can’t think of what to put on your IG Photo Captions? Check out my post on 101 Ocean and Diving Quotes for Instagram.

Kellda Centeno

Kellda Centeno @scubakellda Instagram UW Photographer

“Subject selection is very important — not every macro critter will be in the best spot, mood or right size to be photographed by you. A nudibranch that is inverted and under a crevice will not make the best picture. You will spend precious underwater time trying to find the right subject, but it also means you have more time to find the right one.  It’s okay to skip it and move on.”

@scubakellda

Kellda is proof that things can only get better: knowing nothing about photography, she flooded her first underwater camera (a Canon point and shoot).  Since the death of that camera, her photography has gotten featured on Wetpixel, Dive Magazine and Philippine newspapers.

You’ll see a lot of macro critters on her feed since she’s based near Anilao and took up her divemaster course in Dauin (both have great macro diving!)  You’ll also see a lot of colorful reefs and big animals from her travels around the Philippines, Indonesia, Mexico, Maldives, Cayman and Fiji.

She considers herself an underwater photography hobbyist and has a day job as a corporate director.

Pygmy Squid hanging onto a piece of algae in Anilao, shot by Kellda Ceneno
This is a pygmy squid hanging onto a piece of algae during one of my safety stops in Anilao. I shot it with both back and front lighting to give it a 3D effect and highlight its tentacles. It was my first time to see one! Underwater photo by Kellda Centeno.

Kellda’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Sony a6300 in Nauticam housing with Sea&Sea or Backscatter strobes

When asked how she would describe her photography in 3 words, Kellda says “Nature. Simple. Progression.” If you check out her Instagram, it’s exactly that- a showcase of how her underwater photography has beautifully evolved throughout the years.

Unlike other photographers who specializes in one niche or style of underwater photography, Kellda enjoys doing both wide and macro shots. Shrimps, nudibranchs, mantas and sharks always catches her attention. Anilao, Tubbataha (Philippines), and the Cenotes in Mexico are her favorite photography destinations.

Kellda sells prints and give personalized workshops on underwater photography.  If you are in the Anilao area and wants to photo dive or model for her, you may message @scubakellda directly.


Lisa Beasley

Female Underwater Photographer Lisa Beasley @lisambeasley on Instagram

“Most of my photographs are taken while freediving so a lot of it for me has to do with staying relaxed to conserve breath and setting up shots pretty quickly. I love being able to get down on the same level as the animal which isn’t always easy with a big setup. For me, the small/compact size of my camera is crucial for being able to do this.”

@lisambeasley

Lisa Beasley started scuba diving at 11 years old and fell in love with the underwater world instantly. She became obsessed early on with the very tiny and colorful creatures – especially nudibranchs. Having traveled and dived all over the world, it is freediving in the cold water Kelp Forests at the southern tip of Africa that is her true love and inspiration.

Passionate about the ecosystems of Cape Town’s tidal pools, she spearheaded a campaign to change the way the pools are cleaned in order to ensure no harmful chemicals are used. In cooperation with the City of Cape Town, she also works with various groups to help increase awareness and community cohesion, particularly among the youth.

Whether teaching, counseling, freediving, taking pictures, or introducing kids to our rich marine environment, she is dedicated to helping others deepen their connection with nature and our oceans.

"Noble Corals" in Cape Town by Lisa Beasley

Hidden gems. This location is completely different from anything I’ve ever experienced here in Cape Town or anywhere else for that matter. I’m utterly in love and in awe of the variety Cape Town has to offer. I thought it seemed strange that we have “coral” here in Cape Town. As it turns out… we don’t. Although these beautiful, colorful creatures are called
Noble Corals’ they are, in fact, not corals at all. They are actually endemic calcareous branching hydroids.” Underwater Photograph by Lisa Beasley

Lisa’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Olympus Tough TG6. I love this camera because its super light and compact to use while freediving and I dont need a housing for all my favourite shallower locations. If I do use a housing its the Olympus PT-059 Underwater Housing and I use a Big Blue wide beam torch to light.”

Lisa has been involved in a long-term project with the City of Cape Town to find healthier, less invasive cleaning methods for the tidal swimming pools around the coast. A part of this project is to create awareness with the public that uses these pools about the incredible diversity in these spaces.

Because of her ocean advocacy, you will often see her exploring with wonder in the kelp forests and rock pools in Cape Town. Her absolute favorite things to photograph are the tiny sea animals (nudibranchs, fan worms, hydroids, etc) that most people don’t even know about. Many of her photographs also capture the way light shines through the kelp in the cold water kelp forests.

If you want to support Lisa’s project or see more of her mesmerizing underwater photographs, you can visit the Cape Town Tidal Pools website.


Nurul Yazid

Nurul Yazid | @nurul_yazid woman UWphotographer Instagram

“Always be patient and understand your subject. Don’t just rush into a shot. Take your time to observe and understand their behavior and the mood they are in and then slowly take your time to get the shot you need.”

@nurul_yazid

After giving the corporate world a try, Nurul decided it was not for her and followed her dreams to become a dive instructor and worked on various paradise islands. At some point, she decided to pick up underwater photography as a new challenge and immediately fell in love with it.

Fast forward nine years, she has been featured in numerous diving magazines and websites and has won multiple awards for her work. Whether she is swimming with sharks in the Bahamas or fighting against the strong currents in Mexico, it is always with a camera in one hand and her eyes wide open. She tries her utmost to document and create stories through her underwater imageries. 

Lemon sharks under the water surface at Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Underwater Photograph by Nurul Yazid

Lemon sharks under the water surface at Tiger Beach, Bahamas. Underwater Photograph by Nurul Yazid

Nurul’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Nikon D750 in a Seacam Housing with 2 Inon Z240 strobes.   

Nurul’s underwater photographs can be described as bold, bright & colorful. For wide-angle photography, her favorite dive locations are Tiger Beach, Bahamas & Raja Ampat, Indonesia. For macro photography, her go-to location is Lembeh Straits in Indonesia. From tiny critters to big pelagics, Nurul loves capturing animal behaviors such as fish hunting, mating, or even laying eggs!

Nurul conducts underwater photography workshops and dive trips from time to time. You can follow her on Instagram or check www.nurulyazid.com to get updates.


Learn from my mistakes, read the 5 Underwater Photography Mistakes You Can Avoid as a Beginner.

Fran Reina

Fran Reina woman underwater photographer on Instagram

“When working with everyday people for underwater portraits, make sure they stay very shallow, only a couple of inches below the surface. Apart from being a safer option, you will be able to capture a beautiful reflection at the surface, and if fabrics and outfits are used, the frame will be filled with colors.”

@cenote_portraits

Francesca Reina is an Italian-born, Mexico-based underwater portrait and fashion photographer. 

When she landed in Mexico, in 2016, she fell in love immediately with the cenotes and the amazing photo opportunities offered by their crystal clear water and beautiful natural backgrounds. It didn’t take long before she started to experiment with underwater portraits.

Now her biggest passion is to photograph people underwater, not limiting herself to underwater models and free divers, but giving everyday people the opportunity to be models in her dreamy images.

Francesca’s biggest talent is coaching non-swimmers, to be able to pose safely underwater, allowing them to experience the surreal beauty of the underwater world.

A couple shoot during a cenote photoshoot with Fran Reina.
A couple shoot during a cenote photoshoot with Fran Reina.

Fran’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
“I use a Sony Alpha 6300 with a Sony 10-18 mm. My housing of choice is the Nauticam NA-A6300. I use double strobes Inon Z-330″

Fran describes her underwater photographs as dreamy, empowering, and surreal. She loves to photograph people in the cenotes, which are a natural opening to the underground cave system of the Eastern part of Mexico. She loves to get creative with her models and clients in the dreamy atmosphere offered by these rainwater-filled cave openings.

The mesmerizing blue columns of light and incredible water clarity, in conjunction with the relatively warm water temperature, make these cenotes the perfect natural setting for her underwater photoshoots. The cenote’s freshwater makes it ideal for her models and clients to pose. It’s easy to sink and it’s gentle on the eyes since it doesn’t contain chlorine and salt.

When she is not doing underwater portraits, Fran also enjoys photographing pregnant bull sharks in Playa del Carmen and the whale sharks off Isla Mujeres.

Aside from following Fran on Instagram, make sure to enroll in one of her cenotes photoshoots when visiting the Riviera Maya, Mexico. You can find the details on her website www.franreinaphotography.com


Carolina Wells

Carolina Wells female underwater photographer on Instagram

“For wreck photography, you should know the dive site in advance and have a clear idea of the pictures you want to take for a better result. For inside wreck or cave photography, the previous planning with the models is very important as well as the placement/direction of the video lights.”

@divewells

Carolina Wells studied Art, Photography & Design at the Superior Art School of Tarragona, where she received the award for the best end-of-year project. Before finishing her photography studies, it was clear to her that she wanted to do projects related to the ocean. More specifically, she wanted to become an underwater photographer.

She started to dive in 2016 and since then she knew that this was the project of her life. Now as an SSI/IANTD dive instructor and technical diver, she combines her dive profession with her love for the sea and photography.

Her underwater photographs are part of a personal project born of intense love for nature. That calm, tranquil, beauty attracts her to the blue.

Um El Faroud wreck, Malta- Photograph of one of the most famous shipwrecks in the Maltese archipelago. Underwater Photograph by Carolina Wells
Um El Faroud wreck, Malta- Photograph of one of the most famous shipwrecks in the Maltese archipelago. Underwater Photograph by Carolina Wells

Caro’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Olympus OMD EM1 MkII + Nauticam housing NA-EM1II

Caro specializes in underwater landscape photography with wrecks and caves as a constant highlight in her work. She also loves photographing technical divers and freedivers in these environments. The Inland Sea & Karwella wreck in Gozo and Um El Faroud in Malta are among her favorite places to photograph underwater.

If you love Caro’s work, her photography is available for purchase. For those in Malta, you can also take her underwater photography courses or avail of her photography packs where she takes your portraits underwater! You can find more details on her website: www.carowells.com.


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Charlotte Bories

Charlotte Bories | @charlotte_bories underwater photographer on Instagram

“I strongly believe that underwater photography is much more than only an accumulation of technical skills… Of course, there are technical basics to understand, a lot of training to do, many tips and tricks to find. But above all, I think the most important thing is to nurture your imagination and creativity, preferably by looking at very different things.”

@charlotte_bories

Charlotte Bories is an award-winning French photographer from Paris, now based in Bali (Indonesia). In 2008, she graduated with an Art & Communication master’s degree at the College of Fine Arts.

Ten years later, she had a crush on underwater model photography: for her, who has always been dreamy and creative, this medium was the perfect way to create the poetical and surreal pictures she had in mind.

In the ND AWARDS contest, she received the title of ND Special Discovery of the Year 2020. She is also part of the TOP 101 International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021.

"Sleeping Beauty" Underwater Fine art Portrait by Charlotte Bories
“This series was started in Paris and finished in Lombok, Indonesia. Without knowing exactly why I’ve been fascinated for a very long time by the tale of “Sleeping Beauty.” Maybe I’m touched by this silent maturation that occurs in a misty dream? Today, more than ever, this tale sounds familiar to me. I fall asleep in Paris and wake up under the sea, at the end of the world…” Taken by Charlotte Bories, this underwater portrait is part of a series that won the ND Awards 2020 contest as the ND Special Discovery of The Year.

Charlotte’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Canon EOS 6D Mark II + Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 + Ikelite housing + dome port

Charlotte describes her underwater photographs as creative, dreamy, and poetic. When asked what she enjoys photographing, she says:

“What I really love to shoot are creative and surreal sceneries. I’ve kept from my childhood a strong affinity for costumes and drama. I love the idea that you can dive underwater in the same way you dive in your dreams. You can be whoever you want, you can move however you want, you are free to fly or sink…I also find it interesting that water is ambivalent. Just like dreams, water has two sides : one wonderful and the other frightening, one bright and the other dark… I think that both sides are mesmerizing and deserve to be explored.”

Charlotte, who is a PADI Advanced Open Water and Molchanovs Freediving Wave 1 diver, loves scuba diving and freediving is Nusa Penida in Indonesia. The island is conveniently situated only 40 minutes away by boat from her home in Bali. But more than that, it is a place where she can dive with manta rays! Swimming close to these majestic creatures is always a magical experience for her.

If you would like to have a copy of her underwater fine art portraits, just slide into Charlotte’s DM to inquire. Charlotte offers photography services for individuals, couples, families, and businesses. You may also want to hire her to do one-of-a-kind underwater pregnancy portraits. For more details, visit her website: www.charlottebories.com


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Pia Oyarzún

Pia Oyarzún @madeinwater female underwater photographer on Instagram

Always try to get in front of your subject, especially if it is an animal. Also, don’t be scared of taking pics from a higher point of view, take advantage that in the water you can fly above subjects and take “aerial shots”

@madeinwater

Pía Oyarzún studied Journalism in Chile, but eventually realized that she couldn’t see herself being a journalist for the rest of her life.

When she graduated, she got a job as Social Media Manager for an airline company. Her daily work routine started at 8 in the morning where she would read complaints and write down reports. She would spend 10 hours seated every day with just a white wall as a background. She knew that this was not for her.

So on weekdays, she was working in the office, then on the weekends, she would be freelancing for a local dive shop. Working in exchange for PADI courses, she managed to complete her Advanced Open Water Diver all the way to Instructor. Once she became an Instructor, she quit her desk job and took the first plane to Brazil. She became a Dive Instructor in one of the most amazing places in the world: Fernando de Noronha Island.

While working on the island, she found out that she could also become an underwater photographer, and that is where her life felt more complete. She knew she had found her passion and this was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.

Freediving a wreck in Nassau. Captured by women underwater photographer, Pia Oyarzún
Freediving a wreck in Nassau. Captured by women underwater photographer, Pia Oyarzún

Pia’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Canon 5DSR with Aquatica housing, Sigma Lens 14mm, and Inon 240 strobes

Pia describes her underwater photographs as passionate, adventurous, and free. She loves taking pictures of sharks and shipwrecks. And her favorite dive location to photograph is the Ray of Hope in Nassau, Bahamas.

Pia runs a personalized dive operation in Nassau where she takes people diving and does photoshoots with them. If you are in the Bahamas or know someone who would love to avail of her services, you may reach Pia through Made in Water Excursions.


Want to earn some money from your photography? Check out this post on 10 Ways You Can Make Money As An Underwater Photographer.

Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge

Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge @kathrin_underwater macro underwater photographer on Instagram

To be honest….. I never followed or checked underwater photography instructions nor tried to be perfect in underwater photography. I am still learning. The biggest advice I can give you is to be patient, to try different compositions and different camera settings. And…..most important…. to have fun while doing it!

@kathrin_underwater

Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge was fascinated by nature from childhood on. She fell in love with diving when she was 20 years old. Her love for underwater photography started only some years ago when she fell in love with the supertiny underwater critters in Indonesia.

She specializes in compact camera macrophotography and wants to share her passion for underwater critters with the world.

Bubble Coral Shrimp (Vir philippinensis) in its preferred home.... a Bubble Coral in Pemuteran, Bali- Underwater Photo by Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge

Taken in Pemuteran, Bali in April 2019
, this photo shows a super tiny and translucent Bubble Coral Shrimp (Vir philippinensis) in its preferred home…. a Bubble Coral. Underwater Photo by Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge

Kathrin’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Canon Powershot G16 with Fantasea FG16 housing
Double strobes Sea&Sea YS-D2 or Minigear snoot torch
5+ and/or 15+ or 25 wet lens

Kathrin loves taking super-macro shots when she goes diving. On her Instagram, you will find the tiniest underwater critters like nudibranchs, sea slugs, sea horses, shrimps, crabs, frogfishes, and more. Indonesia is her favorite hunting ground for these often overlooked sea creatures.

Head over to her Instagram and give all these tiny critters some “love”. Leave a comment on your favorite photo that Kathrin took. And of course, don’t forget to follow @kathrin_underwater on IG!


Lexi Laine

Lexi Laine @lexilainephoto underwater photographer on Instagram

When shooting new models, I find it’s always good to do a test shoot in shallow water first. Especially when they’re wearing large skirts or dresses. It gives both of us a chance to see how each other works and develops trust. My biggest aim is to form an artistic collaboration with the women who I photograph and that can only happen when all parties are within their own limits and safety measures are in place.

@lexilainephoto

Lexi Laine is a freediving fine art photographer based in the UK. She specializes in figurative photography and has a passion for creating otherworldly art.

Inspired by her love for baroque art, Lexi likes to use light to create a dramatic underwater dream-like imagery. In 2020, she won 1st place in the Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize photography award. She exhibits and sells her work worldwide.

‘Single Use Planet’ Women trapped in plastic underwater fine art photography by Lexi Laine
This image titled ‘Single Use Planet’ was made to reflect my sadness for how we as humans are mistreating and dumping millions of tons of waste in our oceans each year. Underwater fine art photography by Lexi Laine

Lexi’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
“I use a Sony A7R III in a Nauticam housing. Definitely the best combo of camera and housing that I’ve ever owned. One of my favorite recent purchases is my Shimoda Action backpack which is great for trekking to locations. It fits in all the heavy camera equipment and also has space leftover for my wetsuit, mask, and side pockets for my fins.”

Lexi describes her underwater fine art portraits as dark ethereal dreamscapes. Her favorite subjects to photograph are female figures in natural open water landscapes. She loves deep dark backdrops and avoids sand like the plague. This is one of the reasons why the Cenotes in the Yucatan region of Mexico are her favorite location to shoot.

If you love Lexi’s style of underwater photography she has exhibits and sells prints of her work. Details can be found on her website https://lexilaine.co.uk/


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Chelle Blais 

Chelle Blais @chelleblaisphoto shark photographer on Instagram

“Large marine megafaunas are fast, sometimes skittish or timid. They are designed to thrive in an environment that is not at all natural for us. That being said, capture the moment when it happens. Don’t worry about perfecting your settings so much that you miss opportunities. In my opinion, fixing up exposure or white balance in post-production is not cheating. You will be thankful for looking up and capturing a special moment rather than staring at your monitor trying to get everything perfect.”

@chelleblaisphoto

If you love sharks, then you’ll love Chelle’s photography work!

Chelle Blais is a Canadian Female UW Photographer based in Bimini, Bahamas. Combining her passion for photography and her love of sharks, she works with the world-renowned shark research facility, the Bimini Shark Lab.

Every day, Chelle strives to take creative shots of sharks and rays and uses those images to engage the audience and hopefully spark interest and conversation. Talk about living the dream!

If you visit Chelle’s Instagram account, it clearly shows that her favorite underwater subjects are sharks! If you’re obsessed with them too, then you will enjoy Chelle’s unique and creative take on them. Her favorite place to photograph sharks is in Bimini, Bahamas. She also loves this place for the dolphins and rays that she encounters in the clear blue waters.

“Now in Technicolour” Great hammerhead swimming overhead during a scuba dive in Bimini, Bahamas. by female underwater photographer Chelle Blais.
“Now in Technicolour” – This shot of a great hammerhead swimming overhead was taken late in the day during a scuba dive in Bimini, Bahamas. While playing around with some sliders in Adobe Lightroom, this photo developed into a surreal, almost painting-like colourful scene. I love to mix my love of sharks with a creative and artistic type of photography and post-processing. Photography by Chelle Blais.

Chelle’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
“I use a Nikon D7200 with a Nauticam NA-D7200 housing, a Tokina 10-17mm fisheye lens and a 6inch glass Zen dome port. I generally shoot using natural light, however, I also have two Inon Z-240 strobes when I feel like adding some extra light. I’ve also enjoyed using the Aquatech Imaging Solutions AxisGo housing and dome for my iPhone, and I’ve recently learned how to use a GoPro, which has allowed me to venture into more video making.”

It’s not very obvious in her recent IG posts, but if you scroll down far enough, you will see how much Chelle loves macro photography too. She recommends heading to Amed, Indonesia for the macro critters and colorful nudibranchs.

In case you’re drawn to Chelle’s photos, you can purchase prints on her website www.chelleblais.com. Also, if you would like to support the research, conservation, and education of sharks and rays, you may check out the Bimini Shark Lab.


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Rina Jones

Rina Jones| @rinayumol_jones Female Blackwater Photographer on Instagram

“Underwater photography is wildlife photography. So appreciate where you are, the beauty that surrounds you, and take the time to observe these amazing marine life forms. The ocean is their home. Photograph with patience, care, and most importantly, respect!”

@rinayumol_jones

Having experienced a near-drowning incident in childhood, Rina Jones was very apprehensive of getting into scuba diving. But with the encouragement and support of her husband, she finally gained the confidence to go into the ocean. Her fears were replaced with joy as she explored all the wondrous sights and life to be found underwater.

While diving made her happy, Rina found a different level of happiness once she held an underwater camera in her hands. It was a whole new way of seeing and experiencing the aquatic environment. Since she lives in Anilao (Philippines), where the marine macro world is simply phenomenal, it was really not surprising how quickly she fell in love with underwater photography.

The excitement of the unknown drives Rina to keep photographing the macro underwater world. In her relentless search for that perfect underwater critter image, Rina discovered “Blackwater” photography.

Blackwater photographers like Rina, dive in open waters at night to photograph the planktons that migrate from the deep ocean to the surface. This opened up a new layer of marine diversity for her. She finds it thrilling to photograph the bizarre-looking species against the hypnotic black environment.  

Her photography is truly a gift to the world. Many of the marine life that Rina photographs are rarely seen by divers let alone captured on camera. It is always a delight to see her photographs as she has the unique ability to make the weird look wonderful under her lens.

Paper Nautilus – Arganuta hians. Blackwater Photography by Rina Jones.
Paper Nautilus – Arganuta hians. A pelagic octopus in which the female grows a paper-thin shell-like structure in which to brood her eggs, here seen riding atop a jellyfish probably for protection or hunting strategy. Blackwater Photography by Rina Jones.

Rina’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
“I am presently using the Canon EOS M5 in a Nauticam housing. I would like to upgrade to the Canon R5 as I think this will perform well underwater, especially for blackwater photography.”

Rina describes her photography as a uniquely beautiful experience. Blackwater photography steals her heart but she also loves photographing daytime critters. Skeleton shrimps and colorful nudibranchs are also her favorite. Of course, her favorite place to dive is Anilao where she can take as much underwater photos as her heart desires.

If you like any of Rina’s blackwater or macro photos, you can message her directly on her Instagram to purchase a copy. She is also a part-owner of Anilao Photo Academy, a dive center catered to underwater photographers. So do contact her if you are interested in doing a photo dive or photography workshop with her.


Maru Brito

Maru Brito @mbritop female underwater wildlife photographer on Instagram

“It is not the camera but the photographer that makes a good photo. If you want to be a good photographer, get to know your camera. Play and learn everything there is to know about your camera. Whatever the equipment, regardless of the price, if you know how to properly use your underwater photography equipment you can make art. And lastly, put all the art and heart into your photos.”

@mbritop

For Maru Brito, it all started when she took her first diving course, 5 years ago. At that instant, she knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to the sea. When she started taking photos of her underwater encounters, people responded positively. She decided to stop teaching diving to focus her energy on learning to be an underwater photographer.

Pursuing a career in photography allowed her to work on projects with BBC, Apple TV, Disney, and Discovery Channel, among others. The ocean has changed her life and she is eternally grateful for the amazing opportunities it had opened up for her. Everything she has done since then has been worth it, and she owes it all to the ocean.

As her way of giving back to the sea that has given her plenty, she uses her underwater photography to advocate for the conservation of the ocean.

Mother and baby whale in Tonga shot by Maru Brito in 2019

“This photo was taken in Tonga in 2019. For me it was a special moment because this mother and her baby were very quiet, allowing us to observe them. The mom saw each one of us in the eyes. It was the most beautiful moment I have lived underwater. Time stopped.” – Maru Brito

Maru’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
“I love the Sony Alpha series and what I’m using now the Sony Alpha 1.

Maru describes her photography as tender and generous. Her Instagram feed is filled with images of turtles, dolphins, rays, seals, and whales frolicking in the wild. And one cannot help but feel freedom simply by looking at her underwater photos and videos. Her favorite places to photograph are Revillagigedo and Tonga.

If you love any of her photos and would like to purchase them as prints, you can contact @mbritop on Instagram.


Don’t be that photographer no one wants to dive with, read the 10 Underwater Photography Etiquettes You Need To Master.

Jami Leslie Feldman

Jami Leslie Feldman @underwaterpaparazzi Instagram Underwater Photographer

“As a cold water diver, we can experience some challenging conditions. Low visibility, cold water, surge and swell and loads of particulate. Sometimes you have to get creative on your composition to get decent photos, but the best advice I can give is to get close to your subjects, and keep those strobes pulled back behind the dome port to help minimize illuminating the backscatter in the water column.

@underwaterpaparazzi 

Jami is avid cold water scuba diver, and Divemaster, who is never without a camera. She has a passion for creating visual stories to educate, inspire, and support ocean conservation efforts. She loves to share her underwater adventures with her photography and videography that only a fraction of the population has had a chance to experience and bring to light just how amazing cold water diving can be. You can follow her adventures online on her website and social media. Reach out with with any questions on diving or photography!

Beautiful kelp forest in the Channel Islands, Underwater Photography by Jami Leslie Feldman.
You never know what lies just below the surface. A beautiful kelp forest in the Channel Islands. Underwater Photography by Jami Leslie Feldman.

Jami’s Underwater Camera of Choice:
Canon 80D in a Sea & Sea Housing with dual strobes.

Jami describes her photography as raw, candid, and vibrant. Her favorite place to photograph is the Channel Island off the coast of California. She enjoyes taking close focuse wide angle photos of kelp forests and the sea creatures that reside in them.

If you would like to support Jami, you may purchase her images as prints. You may also hire her as a content creator. She is available for gear agear and trip write ups, and her photos and videos are available for licensing. For more details, visit her website: www.UnderwaterPaparazzi.com


Do you enjoy reading about women divers? You might also love my popular posts:
Don’t Date A Girl Who Dives
12 Best Women Scuba Diving Blogs You Should Read in 2021

Some of you might be wondering why I chose to feature only women underwater photographers. I intentionally did so because I wanted to put the spotlight on the women who are often overlooked in predominantly male communities- whether it be in diving or photography.

As a beginner underwater photographer, I am always on the lookout for talented photographers whom I can learn from. And when I looked at my Follow list on Instagram I noticed that there were not a lot of female underwater photographers on it. I literally had to go through hundreds of accounts just to find these women who could be my role model.

Some of the women featured on this list were divers I already followed on Instagram, but the majority were new discoveries I made after actively searching for them and asking fellow divers for recommendations. I took a subjective approach to the selection process, narrowing it down to who I thought was kicking ass in the different dive environments and photography niches.

I am honestly blown away with these women’s artistry and I can only hope that someday my underwater photography skills will be of the same caliber as theirs.

For more underwater photography inspirations, make sure to follow these 15 amazing women photographers:

Marissa Eckert | @marisssa_eckert_
Elisabeth Lauwerys | @oceans_below
Kellda Centeno | @scubakellda
Lisa Beasley | @lisambeasley
Nurul Yazid | @nurul_yazid
Fran Reina | @cenote_portraits
Carolina Wells | @divewells
Charlotte Bories | @charlotte_bories
Pia Oyarzún | @madeinwater
Kathrin Landgraf-Kluge | @kathrin_underwater
Lexi Laine | @lexilainephoto
Chelle Blais | @chelleblaisphoto
Rina Jones | @rinayumol_jones
Maru Brito | @mbritop
Jami Leslie Feldman | @underwaterpaparazzi 

If you liked this post, make sure to follow me @diverbliss on IG or join my mailing list!

Pin this for later!

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Do you have a favorite female underwater photographer that should be on this list? Leave a comment below so I can consider her for my next review!

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Ara Juan

Ara is the founder of DiverBliss.com and PhilippineDives.com. She is a PADI Rescue Diver with a goal to dive in all the best places around the Philippines.

2 Comments

  1. July 13, 2021 / 2:06 pm

    Great article and a real inspiration for everyone.

    • Ara Juan
      Author
      July 13, 2021 / 2:17 pm

      Thanks, Steve! Glad you enjoyed it!

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