We Go Underwater with Photographer Lucas Murnaghan
One photographer doing something different is Lucas Murnaghan. He’s going underwater to capture his art! Lucas shoots his models underwater. He captures amazing images that make you wonder, “How did he get that shot?” He first came across my radar on Instagram. His artistic vision and eye for detail made his pictures stand out. I knew we had to interview him here on UNB.
Hi Lucas, how did you get into doing underwater photography?
I started with surf photography but after a few years found myself looking for some new challenges. I had all the gear and wanted to find a way to shoot more often during the long cold winters here in Toronto. I approached a local water polo club and swim team, and they welcomed me to shoot during one of their practices. That early work evolved into my current style, and I’ve been exploring new possibilities ever since.
When did you put the underwater photography with swimwear/underwear? (If different)
The underwater work was a natural tie in for swimwear, and I was lucky to work with a few brands early on who provided me with the product to highlight underwater. Underwear, of course, isn’t much different from swimwear from a photographic standpoint and works well in my shoots from an aesthetic standpoint. I tend to prefer more classic colours and styles, though have had some fun with more vibrant prints and daring cuts.
Your photography is creative. How do you come up with your inspiration and ideas for your shoots?
My photography is my creative and artistic outlet. It wasn’t until I started to do it that I even realized that I had a creative side. My photography is an expression of what goes on inside my head and who knows where that stuff comes from!
One picture that I thought was amazing was the 57 member water polo team. How did you arrange that and execute it? The picture is impressive!
This was the Triggerfish Waterpolo Club. They were the first team I worked with when I first started doing underwater photography. With the leadership of the club, we came up with the idea for an underwater team photo. This was a tremendous undertaking and took a lot of preparation and direction. We must have shot for nearly two hours before we pulled off this shot. Needless to say, we were all pretty thrilled with the final product.
Being that you shoot underwater, do you or your models have issues holding your breath to get the perfect shot?
Doing an underwater photoshoot presents all sorts of technical and physical challenges. I choose to shoot without any SCUBA equipment because I want to experience the shoot as my subjects do. We work together on our timing and get into a rhythm which makes this the best way to communicate and work together. Some models are more comfortable than others at the outset – but I take that as one of my personal challenges to bring everyone up to a level of comfort that we can achieve our artistic vision.
Your work is mainly in pools, do you prefer the look of a pool over lakes or oceans?
I started with my underwater work in the middle of the winter in Toronto, Canada, so pools were a natural place to start. I always figured I’d ‘practice’ in pools and then move into lakes and oceans and leave the pools behind. The truth is that I have fallen in love with pools as an environment. Growing up as a swimmer and water polo player – I have a nostalgic relationship with these locations and facilities and being able to portray them in a different way has been a huge part of the experience for me.
Have you thought of doing a book with your amazing work?
I am currently working on a coffee table book of my work – this is a huge project and very intimidating goal for me. I have enjoyed introducing my work to the world through social media, but I look forward to presenting it in a more curated narrative in print format.
Where can our readers see your amazing work?
Follow Lucas on Social media and visit his site:
- Instagram – @lucasmurnaghan
- Twitter – @lucasmurnaghan
- Facebook – Lucas Murnaghan Water Photography
- Website – Lucas Murnaghan Water Photography