We are so excited to introduce you to Blakely Tombs of Crescent Moon Photography! She has been a part of our little community with her fun and beautiful underwater images since the very beginning and we are so excited to have her join us as a guest moderator this week. Thank you Blakely and thank you for answering some questions!
When did you start on your photography journey?
Does high school count?! I took a lot of art classes in high school and one of them was in photography. I remember making a camera from a shoe box. We learned to develop film in a dark room, etc. It was so cool! Obviously I have switched cameras several times since then ;)
How many years have you been in business?
About 10 years. I really started to get in to photography when I had my first daughter over 11 years ago. I would also take pictures of my friends kids just for fun, and then their friends would contact me wanting pictures as well. When I realized I was taking pictures of people I didn’t know, I figured it was time to start a business! I am a former middle school teacher, so photography was a great way for me to still work with kids and be a stay at home mom at the same time. I’ve always needed a creative outlet, and photography fills that for me.
What gear do you use for your underwater sessions?
I should mention that I don’t do underwater sessions for clients. I’m a Nikon girl for my land sessions, but my underwater photography really is just for fun. So for underwater pictures, I use an Olympus TG-4 (with or without the fisheye attachment) or I use a GoPro hero 5 black with a dome port to get the over/under shots.
What inspired you to try underwater photography? Where do you continue to draw your inspiration?
We love to travel as a family. Last year we were traveling to Turks and Caicos and I wanted to have something that I could use snorkeling, playing on the beach, etc. And we also put a pool in our backyard last year, so I figured it would be handy to have an easy camera to catch the moments out back. That’s when I got the Olympus and I thought it worked out great! You can toss it in your beach bag and not really worry about it!
This summer we had two trips. One to Key Largo and one to British Columbia. We were planning to snorkel in Key Largo and we booked trips to go caving and to go whale watching in British Columbia on what was basically a 700 hp zodiac type vessel! That’s when we decided to get the GoPro. Again, something that is easy to just throw in your bag with you. As a family, we are having fun with both cameras.
My oldest daughter is a year round swimmer, so we spend a lot of time around pools. I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of her and her friends while they swim. I love to make photobooks of my family, but most photographers kids don’t love taking pictures all the time. Photographer’s Child Syndrome is real, y’all! But I’ve found that taking pictures of them in the pool is ok! They are having fun playing, and I’m still documenting their childhood. I draw inspiration from them in watching them play and watching them do what they love to do. And I draw inspiration from all the fabulous mama’s on instagram posting pictures of their underwater worlds. The talent that is out there is mind blowing! I love seeing it all!
Your images have such a beautiful use of light in them. What is your favourite time of the day to photograph?
That depends on the pool! In my backyard, I like it later in the day. I like when the sun is setting because that’s when I can get rays through the water. I often get more colorful bokeh at that time of day too. I like bright sun for larger bodies of water, though.
Any advice you’d like to share for someone just getting into underwater photography?
Just have fun! And have patience. It’s definitely different than shooting on land. I don’t feel that I have the same control, but I go into it with an open mind and just enjoy being in the water.