We are so excited to introduce Brooke from Brandon, Floria to you this week! Learn a bit about her below and make sure to tune in to Instagram and say hello as she is our guest moderator next week!
1. When did you start on your photography journey?
I started my professional journey right as our identical twin boys turned three. Like many, it really started before the professional work took over though. In high school and college in particular, I was always the one in the group with a camera, always lagging behind. I have this need to document things through photographs. I honestly have a terrible memory. The worst! I think my need to document things, people, and places stems from my terrible memory. Now I am still the girl in the back taking photos, but I am also a directing others through a hybrid of portraits and lifestyle photography.
2. How many years have you been in business?
I have been doing business as Hamilton Creek Photography for just over six years.
3. What gear do you use for your underwater sessions?
I started with a GoPro Hero3 over three years ago. It was a gift from a birth client. It was love at first click for sure. I loved taking it with me, and the compact nature of it. Of course, I didn’t love not having complete control of the camera. However, one of my favorite underwater shots is still with that camera because of the moment I was able to capture with it. Then I upgraded to a Nikon 1 because it shot RAW and had a hard underwater case that was easy to use, too. The flexibility of throwing it into the beach or pool bag and using it for personal documentation was perfect for me at the time. I just could not fathom putting my D700 into the water, even as my back up camera. This year though, I decided to try the DiCAPac bag for my D700 with my 35mm Sigma Art lens. I love having full control of the camera again. I miss having the video component of being underwater though. My goal is to eventually upgrade both my camera and to hard casing in the next two years, but for now, I use my underwater photography for 99% personal use, so I am happy with the gear I have.
4. What inspired you to try underwater photography? Where do you continue to draw your inspiration?
Our children were my inspiration. We travel extensively, and after a trips to Australia, Hawaii, Thailand and all over the Mediterranean Sea, being able to capture the magic of them snorkeling and being surrounded by a huge ocean at such young ages inspired me to look into underwater photography more. Being able to document them more and more on our adventures has always been the driving force into learning more about underwater photography. We also live in Florida, where we swim year round. We are constantly at the pool and beach and I just love the quietness of underwater photography. Being underwater is so calming to me, that I just love it more every time.
5. Your images have such a beautiful use of light in them. What is your favourite time of the day to photograph?
Well, for my own pool I shoot in regularly, I actually love mid-morning light best. I love getting the sun streaming into our pool at that time of day best. I love to play with the shadows and position myself between the subject and the sun for fun bokeh filled over-under shots best. I mean, how can I not mention golden hour, too, because who doesn’t love a shot full of warmth?
For the ocean, I love starting about two hours before sunset until the sun goes down. I love to get the harsh shadow and light shots in the water because that is usually when the water itself is clearest and brightest. Then I love to use the backlight when I am shooting in the ocean. All summer it has been hard to stay at the beach until 9pm though, so I am looking forward to going to see a few more sunsets this fall before the weather is too cold!
6. Any advice you’d like to share for someone just getting into underwater photography?
Find the light. Every time I get in the pool, whether I am familiar with that location or not, I find the most interesting light for that time of day. The same goes for the ocean, move around, try different shots until you get what you love.
Thanks so much Brooke!
For a visual treat, check out her stunning images below!