Water Therapy

Spotlight / Shoot Spotlight
Matt Porteous
Rachel Brinton Matthews
Jun 25, 2019
Spending 10 hours underwater isn’t everybody’s idea of an ideal working day, but for Matt Porteous and the Studio M team, it was the perfect shoot to take on. This was the first brief I developed for Matt and his team and after getting to know their impressive back catalogue, I knew I could really push them to create something technically challenging.
I developed the brief to focus on different medical themes including pain, relief, rehabilitation and strength. I included the use of gel lights to further extend the concepts, modernizing a more traditional approach to symbolizing pain and giving the shoot a very stylized overall treatment. By shooting underwater the models could contort their bodies, suspending beautiful shapes in time and space and allowing the camera to focus fully on the physical shapes. 
Underwater photography requires a lot of skill, expensive equipment, amphibian‑like models, mega determination and a continuous sunny attitude. Thankfully Matt, Olly and the rest of the team have this in abundance and what they created could not have realized my concept better.
The team used an extensive kit including a Nauticam to house the cameras underwater and the models delivered on every shot, making each dive look effortless yet poised. The photographers also had to ensure fluidity of movement “for these awe‑inspiring shots, you absolutely have to work with the light moving around the subject all the time, understanding where to be as they enter the water and resurface. Stay close to a subject for maximum clarity and move away from them to give a sense of darkness to the frame” (words by Matt Porteous).
In Rainbows