Alison Bounce: Underwater portraits that you will fall in love with

photo: Alison Bounce

I want to introduce you to the work of a great artist – Alison Bounce, who creates incredible underwater photos that you will surely fall in love with.

photo: Alison Bounce

Alison is an underwater photographer who draws her inspiration from paintings. And today, she will tell you.

A visit to Antarctica is the dream of many photographers, but Alison not only did it, but also took a series of underwater photos there. Can you imagine how amazing it was?

photo: Alison Bounce

Tell us about how you got started with photography. What inspired you to take up underwater photography?

Alison Bounce: I discovered photography in 2011 and within three years I became a professional in my field. I quickly realized that this was mine and became an expert in underwater photography. My professional activity is closely connected with my personal life. Thanks to her I travel around the world. For ten years, I had the opportunity to travel it all. The last trip took me to Antarctica straight under a sailboat! And then he sank into this cold, but at the same time crystal clear water.

photo: Alison Bounce

I saw how the expectant mother happily immersed her eldest son in this clear water. This moment was so beautiful. When I returned to France, I did not hesitate for a minute. it was a revelation for me. From that moment on, underwater photography was to take a big place in my life.

I was looking forward to creating a service that combines photography and the underwater world. So I decided to start my own photography and water business. A real pleasure to create photos both in the pool and in the wild. I started with training to ensure the safety of my activities and to control my body under water. Then I developed my own water photography techniques. In 2014 I sold my first underwater photos.

photo: Alison Bounce

Your pictures are very artistic and look like paintings. When you shoot, do you think about the look or does it come to you when the model and the camera intersect? When you shoot such things, how do your technical and artistic minds interact with each other and achieve what you want?

Alison Bounce: Underwater photography requires serious preparation. I like to talk for a long time with my muses about the images we create together. In my mind, we are a group: water, my Muses, my Assistants and me. I like to draw sketches to share with them my vision for the project. On the day of filming, we are constantly creating more than just a moodboard. And the last touch is applied during the post-processing. Here I sharpen my style.

photo: Alison Bounce

Your photos have an unusual color palette selection, the colors are a bit muted. What prompted you to make this choice? Do you think color is an important part of your creativity?

Alison Bounce: Color is information. Under water, as the light goes out, the colors become naturally blue and green. The red evaporates. In my retouch, I like to keep this piece of realism. I am more inspired by Renaissance paintings. Warm, almost monochromatic tones are driven simply by light colors. I like to apply it to my images.

photo: Alison Bounce

I noticed that you photograph both men and women. However, women always dominate. Do you think the project is different with one or the other sex? That is, are you equally comfortable shooting both women and men or is it easier to work with one sex?

Alison Bounce: Thank you for letting me know. It is very important for me that my images are recognizable by everyone. Ever since I started photography, I have promised myself that I will be able to photograph everyone without exception. I am not interested in natural beauty, gender or ideological criteria. However, I like to reveal a person by his true worth. Their expression, their history. Monitoring the movement of the body in the water says a lot. We are all unique and everyone has their own way in the water. It is exciting!

photo: Alison Bounce

Tell us how the finished photo is born, behind closed doors or after production? How much the photo changes Photoshop;

Alison Bounce: When I started the underwater portrait, I did not do much retouching in my shots. I lacked the know-how, to be honest. I quickly learned to push my images as far as I could. I created new worlds, creatures with very magical textures. And then I wanted to go back to my natural appearance. I did not recognize myself in these “very perfect” images. Today I am modifying my photos a bit to compensate for water restrictions. They are more authentic. And taking a good photo underwater is a real challenge and an art!

photo: Alison Bounce

You have been involved in pregnancy photography, advertising and many other photography. Do you feel empathy? If so, are you trying to convey your own feelings or the emotions of the subject as a matter of priority?

Alison Bounce: Photography is a real means of expression. To answer “no” to this question would be dishonest. Like almost all photographers, I capture moments with my heart. My perception of the world, the object. There is a certain degree of respect, as these are custom orders and I try not to falsify the work assigned to me. However, my composition and my light sources reinforce the message of my vision, my personality and in a way my story.

photo: Alison Bounce

Where do you like to take pictures underwater in the wild or in the pool?

Alison Bounce: Ocean! Vastness and nature together. In my approach, I want to reconcile man with water. And at the same time to raise awareness of the wealth it brings us. The ocean is home to so many wonderful creatures. We must protect him. Photography at sea is an opportunity to share a moment of discovery and great awareness.

photo: Alison Bounce

How has the pandemic affected you?

Alison Bounce: I would say positive! I published a book. I wrote about the technical skills of underwater photography. My book is called The Mystery of the Underwater Portrait. I’m talking about equipment, safety, modeling instructions and after production. I also had the pleasure of inviting other underwater photographers such as Brett Stanley, Carlos Gonzalez and Eren Shimoda to share their underwater experience. The book is available in French and English in PDF format on my website.

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