Under the surface: Photographer shares pictures of babies and dogs in a world under water

A photographer who specialises in underwater photoshoots is preparing to get back into business after rafts of coronavirus regulations put a stop to her work.

Lucy Ray, from Starfish Photography, captures magical shots of babies and children splashing around at swimming lessons, mothers-to-be relaxing in the pool as well as wildlife and the odd spaniel chasing a ball.

With the pandemic leading to the cancellation of lessons, which children are required to undertake before doing a shoot, and pools and leisure centres being closed on and off for the last two years, it has been difficult to maintain a regular schedule.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

However, after a resurge in interest and demand to coincide with Mother’s Day last month, former press photographer Ms Ray is looking forward to getting under the water again.

Daniel, aged seven months, during an underwater photoshoot with Lucy Ray of Starfish Photography.Daniel, aged seven months, during an underwater photoshoot with Lucy Ray of Starfish Photography.
Daniel, aged seven months, during an underwater photoshoot with Lucy Ray of Starfish Photography.

Ms Ray, from Sheffield, said: “I was already taking underwater pictures when I was working on newspapers.

Read More
The real All Creatures Great and Small: New exhibition of fascinating early 20th...

“Everything looks so different underwater, I love the way it looks. You can get some really stunning pictures, it may be mundane on the surface but bring it underwater and it makes it look amazing.

“I do like doing anything underrwater, I love nature and wildlife but it is not the kind of thing that pays. Baby shoots are by far the most popular. People think of the Nirvana album cover and all want that.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Dylan Gregory, aged four, is captured taking a shopping trip under the water. He had to take swimming lessons to meet the terms of having an underwater shoot.Dylan Gregory, aged four, is captured taking a shopping trip under the water. He had to take swimming lessons to meet the terms of having an underwater shoot.
Dylan Gregory, aged four, is captured taking a shopping trip under the water. He had to take swimming lessons to meet the terms of having an underwater shoot.

It may be the most popular type of shoot, but is one of the hardest to get right.

Babies can only be underwater for a short amount of time, giving Ms Ray little time to get the perfect picture.

There also has to be a swimming teacher holding the baby just a few inches from the surface.

Older children have to have had lessons so they can breathe and swim underwater. However, despite the pressure, Ms Ray says there is something very serene about working underwater.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Lucy Ray, from Starfish Photography, captures magical shots of babies and children splashing around at swimming lessons, mothers-to-be relaxing in the pool as well as wildlife and the odd spaniel chasing a ball.Lucy Ray, from Starfish Photography, captures magical shots of babies and children splashing around at swimming lessons, mothers-to-be relaxing in the pool as well as wildlife and the odd spaniel chasing a ball.
Lucy Ray, from Starfish Photography, captures magical shots of babies and children splashing around at swimming lessons, mothers-to-be relaxing in the pool as well as wildlife and the odd spaniel chasing a ball.

She said: “When you go underwater, it is really peaceful. You have all this chattering and noises on the surface but when you go under you forget the pressure, it is serene.”

She hopes Covid-related restrictions are now behind her and the children who, she says, have lost confidence in the water.

Ms Ray, who previously worked for the Matlock Mercury, Derbyshire Times and Telegraph & Argus, said: “Pools were closed, lessons were stopped, they re-opened, lessons resumed but they closed the pools again.

“It has been hugely damaging and kids have lost their confidence having not been underwater for a big chunk of time. It was a massive problem and still is but we are coming out of that now.”