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https://alphauniverseglobal.media.zestyio.com/Alpha-Universe-BTS-Kimber-Greenwood-Below-9.jpg?width=500&height=500&fit=bounds

Behind The Shot: If Botticelli Worked Underwater

Kimber Greenwood (@kimbergreenwood), owner of Water Bear Photography, fell in love with the water at a young age, thanks to a book on sharks she received in a McDonald’s Happy Meal. That simple book sparked a lifelong love of the water, multiple dive/free dive certifications, a degree in marine biology, and a career where she meticulously crafts underwater portraits. From maternity photos to commercial ad campaigns, if it’s water-related, Kimber and her team love to be involved! Also an active member of the Alpha Female Facebook Group, she won the "Creativity" themed Alpha Female+ Micro Grant for the image below. We wanted to catch up with her to learn more about the shoow and how she created it – keep reading for her story behind the shot.

Product Preview – In This Article You'll Find:
Sony Alpha 7R V
Sony Alpha 7 IV
Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master
Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

“Birth Of Venus”…But Make It Underwater

The idea for this shoot came from Haley Smith, a professional underwater model, mermaid, and designer. She had the vision to re-imagine Botticelli’s iconic “Birth of Venus”... but make it underwater. Kimber and Haley have worked together on workshops, television shows and more – so they sat down and made a plan to recruit other women-owned businesses to bring the shoot to life! Haley and her partner Mike built the 6-foot tall seashell out of items from Lowes, Kimber and her team handled the photography/videography, Ashley Rodriguez of Garden & Grace Florals covered the shell in stunning flowers, Talia of Petunia’s Florals created wearable florals and a stunning headpiece. Additionally, they brought in a woman-owned cosmetics company (Body Color Cosmetics) who designed custom waterproof shimmer lotion, used Baby Dream Backdrops, sourced most of the flowers from a local woman-owned flower farm, and Tattered Pixie designed the jellyfish skirt.

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 400

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 400

Two Separate Setups For Above & Below

Kimber used a combination of a Sony Alpha 7R V with a Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master for the above water portraits and a Sony Alpha 7 IV with a Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master underwater in an Aquatica Housing to capture these images. The Sony Alpha 7R V is Kimber’s go-to for above water work as its high MP count and stunning colors always create beautiful imagery. For underwater, Kimber loves the combination listed above as she rarely ever misses a shot thanks to the eye-tracking (it works amazing underwater!). The above water images were shot in natural light, whereas the underwater images were lit with a continuous video light.

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 320

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 320

Planning And Executing An Efficient Shoot

The team had a planning Zoom call prior to the shoot and then came together the morning of to start set creation. Given the delicate blooms used, the art piece they created was ephemeral and could only be left in the pool for a few hours before it started to decay. So they had to work fast! Prior to entering the water, they held a safety briefing and reviewed the shot list. Each person knew their role and efficiently executed their part while safety swimmers were on hand in case anyone had issues. The shoot went beautifully, and there was plenty of time for taco breaks and improvisation as well.

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7R V. Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/250-sec., f/3.2, ISO 250

The Finishing Touches

After the last flower petal was fished out of the pool and the sun set, Kimber transferred all the files to her hard drive to begin culling. She used PhotoMechanic to quickly cull images and then imported them into LightRoom. Since so many people played a role, she wanted to ensure that everyone walked away with viable images, so she shared a proofing gallery. All final images were taken into Photoshop where she used non-destructive editing techniques to bring back colors and do fine art editing. From color-grading to object removal, Kimber uses the same workflow to guarantee consistency across the final images. From initial concept to final images, this group of women worked hard to bring it to life. Not bad for a Tuesday!

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

Photo by Kimber Greenwood. Sony Alpha 7 IV. Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G Master. 1/320-sec., f/4, ISO 250

See more of Kimber Greenwood’s work on her Instagram accounts: @kimbergreenwood and @waterbearphotography and on her website. Check out her upcoming water workshops here.

Model: Haley Smith (@mslunamarie)

Shell Florist: Ashley Rodriguez (@gardenandgraceflorals)

Wearable Florist: Talia (@petunias.floral)

Local flowers for Shell Frame: @fullkeelfarm

Body/crown flowers: @kennicott_tampa

Set Safety: @mlugosi, @jules_maue

Shell frame supplies: @loweshomeimprovement

Backdrop: @babydreambackdrops

Body shimmer: @bodycolorcosmetics

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