How Do You Look Good in Underwater Pictures? (Simple and easy tips)

How Do You Look Good in Underwater Pictures? (Simple and easy tips)
Good look picture of a man underwater

Do you want to wow your followers on social media with some amazing underwater pictures of yourself? To make the pictures look profile-picture-worthy, you need to keep in mind some very important factors that will help you look amazing even underwater. 

How Do You Take Underwater Pictures of Yourself?

A Man is taking selfie while Snorkeling Underwater
A man is taking underwater pictures of himself

For taking beautiful underwater pictures, you need to follow some simple steps.

1. Control the Buoyancy

Be calm and patient when you are underwater. Too much movement can lead to bubble formation and that can harm the picture quality.

2. Finding ClearWater

For taking good underwater pictures of yourself, the water must be clear. The shooting distance that must be maintained is 1/10th of the visibility.

3. Avoiding Backscatter

When taking pictures underwater make sure that you do not stir up the debris and sand at the bottom. Also do not use the built-in flash of your camera. This flash is close to the lens of the camera and will illuminate the particles in front of your lens.

If you are using an external flash, focus the flash on the outer side of the picture and not toward the center.

4. Shooting Up and Not Down

Getting some amount of blue water in the photograph will enhance its beauty. The corals or the fishes will stand out against the blue backdrop. The color contrasts will add depth to the pictures. If you shoot it down, it gives a poor contrast.

5. Knowing the Distance

For taking good pictures underwater, one must be two meters or six feet away from the camera.

How Do You Shoot Underwater Portraits?

Close-up Portrait photo of Woman Underwater
A portrait photo of a woman underwater

Taking underwater portraits opens up a new world for creativity and expression. For taking underwater portraits, there are a few steps that one can follow.

One must try to shoot near the surface so that one can get interesting reflections. One must pay minute attention to the water patterns and how they impact the surface.

  • Using props for creating images helps in getting the attention of the viewer.
  • Bubbles can serve as an excellent medium for creating a surreal effect. Using a combination of light and bubbles can help in achieving a great portrait underwater.
  • Water has its dangers and you must be comfortable and safe at the venue where you are shooting the pictures. That can be a swimming pool, lake, or even the ocean.

Camera Settings for Taking Underwater Pictures

Shoot in Manual Mode

Shooting in manual mode is best for taking pictures underwater. It helps one to be in control of the camera. This enables one to improve the pictures when shooting underwater.

When one shoots in manual mode, one understands better the relation between shutter speed, ISO, and aperture. When one has a good understanding of the working of the camera, one knows when to change the setting and compose images beautifully.

Using a Manual Flash

Photography is all about using light properly. The camera settings alter depending on the light getting to the sensor. If you can control the sources of light, then you can decide the image composition.


Taking a picture underwater is distracting as there are air, currents, and buoyancy to consider. And add to that a subject. It can be very chaotic for an individual to shoot in. Using a Histogram provides one with a bar graph display that provides one with an idea of the image exposure.

For underwater pictures, one must look at the graph to understand the exposure and whether you want that. By using the histogram, you can adjust accordingly and shoot the subject.

Single Focus

Using a single focus point helps in getting a good picture underwater.

When you narrow the focus point, more control you have over the composition of the picture.

High ISO

With the launch of better cameras daily, the ISO setting can be set at a high number without adding grains to the picture.

This is helpful as the quality of the sensor becomes better. It means that the pictures in low light conditions can be taken properly and their quality will improve in the future.

Experimenting with the ISO settings and finding the point where there is not much noise is what one should aim for.

Underwater Housings

After you have spent a considerable amount of money on purchasing the best camera and lenses, you need to keep them safe.

Purchase underwater housings to keep the camera and lenses safe from water. The housing must fit the camera well and also keep the gear dry.

Tips to Look Good in Underwater Pictures

A photograph of Man Freediving in Sea with Underwater Scooter
Man freediving with an underwater scooter

Who does not want to look good in underwater pictures? Here are a few simple tips to follow to look your best in underwater pictures.

Watching Out for Deep Breaths and Bubbles

While bubbles might look good in a photograph, they can also be a source of distraction when taking a picture. Do not suck down a deep breath in a photograph as that gives a bloated look.

Ask the photographer to take time when taking the picture so that there are no bubbles in the picture. Or else hold your breath for a few seconds and finish taking the picture.

Focusing on the Eyes

To look good in the underwater picture, make sure that your eyes do not look dark, small, scared, cross-eyed, confused, or even angry. To prevent it,

  • Smile and try to remember some happy incident. Even a slight smile reflects in the eyes.
  • Keep the eyes widened slightly.
  • If something is passing closely, do not look at the thing. Or else, you will give the cross-eyed look in the picture.
  • Black masks cast shadows. Hence opt for a clear mask that will pull in ambient light. The clear mask helps to highlight the eyes of the divers and prevents forming of shadows.

Figuring Out the Hair

If you have long hair, then you need to figure out the ideal way to handle the hair and look good in the pictures. 

  • One can gently move away from the head forwards and backward for getting an interesting outline. It helps add drama to the picture.
  • Using one or both hands for making a dramatic shape to the hair.
  • One can swim a few inches forward to let the hair stream behind you. This helps in getting great pictures in far-away and silhouette shots.
  • One can place the hair in a hood or a do-rag. It helps to give personality to the face and one can draw attention to the face in the picture.

Do not Stay in the Middle

When taking pictures underwater, people must stay far or near. The middle position does not work rarely for taking good pictures.

Using the Best Angles

Test out different angles to understand in which position you look the very best. Try out every angle to gauge how your body looks best underwater. 

A good angle underwater picture of a girl
A good-angle underwater photo of a girl


Underwater photography gives one an excellent chance for reimagining their perspective on photography and developing professional skill sets. The best way to look good in underwater pictures is for the subject and the photographer to have fun. We hope that the article is helpful and you click some breathtaking photographs underwater and wow your friends and followers.