Underneath an Imaginary Sea

Underneath an imaginary sea

When I came up with the idea to do a portrait with goldfish swimming around my friend Kay, I realized the only way I could pull it off was to get real fish. I needed to be able to photograph them under the same lighting conditions I would be shooting Kay in order to make the fish shots and person shot match. So I went out and bought a pair of goldfish with the long term plan they’d be a permanent fixture in my home. Luckily Boris was okay with the acquisition of more pets and took it upon himself to name the orange fish “Buri“, while I named the speckled brown fish “Astrid“. (Not that either of them get called anything other than fish or fishes most of the time…)

The above image is the result of many hours of work in photoshop, cutting out multiple shots of individual fish to bring together and playing around with colour. I asked Kay during the shoot to pretend the fish were swimming around her and this was one of the expressions she came up with. It was very cute and perfectly suited to holding her breath under an imaginary sea.

Little fish, little fish swimming in the water

This shot of Kay with the goldfish and bowl was early on in the shoot as we were just getting warmed up. It’s cute but I definitely don’t love it as much as the top shot.