Right now, I am working on a photo series based on my fears. Once, I had a nightmare about drowning, so I thought this concept would be a good addition to the series. To get this picture, I roped my roommate into modeling for me. I didn’t realize she had an actual fear of drowning, though. This ended up being quite a challenge for me to get her confident enough to be completely in the water, but it taught me more about working with models.


At first, I tried getting my pictures like this, but it proved very difficult because she could only be in the water for a couple of seconds before popping out again, which made timing pretty difficult. I was also looking for more water on top of her face before it broke through so it could warp her face more, but the shot I was looking for took a lot of chance and luck, so I started moving on to other poses and angles.


Something that was easier for her to do was blow out from her nose as she was under the water, so I started playing with this, and it still let me try for the perfect picture of her face breaking out of the water.


Eventually I started looking for other positions to get a better angle and more dynamic compositions. It wasn’t until I focused on her hand on the outside of the tub that I really started liking the pictures I was getting. This was my favorite picture out of all of them, so I brought the image into Photoshop and Lightroom to edit:



Emily Birkmeyer
Emily Birkmeyer

Latest posts by Emily Birkmeyer (see all)