Have you ever watched America’s Next Top Model and snorted smugly to yourself about how easy it must be to be a professional model? Aside from the food deprivation, admit it: you’re reasonably certain that if all you had to do in life was smile for the camera, you’d have it made.
So, Rick and I were in the midst of our own personal episode of Hotel Hell – wait no, it was just our destination wedding week – in The Bahamas and finally, one thing went right: our snorkeling and beach adventure day with Brendal was on!
Since we’d be spending all day boating, snorkeling and frolicking on the Sea of Abaco, we brought along Coop, one of our wonderful photographers from the Lilypad Agency, to snap underwater photos in our burner wedding clothes, because…
Pinterest said underwater wedding photos were a good idea.
NOTE: Not us. These people are clearly not drowning. Photo: Love and Water Photography
After binge-viewing a few hundred underwater kissing photos, I thought, “Hey, we’re two great swimmers who are always up for an adventure. We’re reasonably photogenic, certainly that will translate to magnificent underwater kissing photos to commemorate our magical week in the Bahamas!”
Us. Looks relaxing, right?
It’ll come as no surprise if you’ve read anything about our wedding week, the shoot wasn’t quite as easy as I’d anticipated.
For a flawless underwater smooching photo shoot, it helps to have a fabulous photographer. Check, check.
You also need:
1. A BRIGHT, SUNNY DAY
We had partly cloudy skies, so anytime a cloud passed over, the lighting made us look, well, kinda dead.
2. GREAT VISIBILITY
I’d visited the Abacos a dozen times prior to our wedding week, and I’d never seen the wind so wild as it was during the first few days of that trip. The Sea of Abaco is almost always crystal clear and calm, but because of our rotten luck, we enjoyed 30-40 mph winds from Sunday to Wednesday.
Though the winds died down enough that we could go exploring with Brendal (and get married on the beach without flying away), the water was still churned up and visibility was the worst I’d ever seen it.
It was like swimming in a pool that hasn’t been cleaned in 4 months.
Rick, where are you?
3. SMOOTH SEAS
Admittedly the waves could’ve been much worse, but even a little bit of chop when you’re wearing a suit and a long dress can make modeling and swimming concurrently, ermmm, a life-threatening challenge.
Holding on for dear life and catching our breath in between shots.
4. MODELS WHO CAN HOLD THEIR BREATH FOR A LONG TIME
Rick is great at breath-holding… me on the other hand? I panic at about 7 seconds and shoot for the surface. Plus, as a stressed-to-the-max bride dealing with the incompetence of our wedding venue, I didn’t have time to consider the intricacies of the shoot before we went out on the boat. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be wearing goggles in my beautiful, cinematic wedding shots, so a dilemma presented itself.
Exhaling in terror. Seriously, nice face, Ange, and super hot orange underpants, Richard.
Either I’d have to A. open my eyes in the salt water with my contact lenses in (and hope not to lose them) or B. try to do the whole shoot – swimming, kissing, posing, resurfacing – with my eyes closed.
I attempted option B first:
What’s going on in my head in this photo – “Model with your whole body! Don’t forget to smize! Point your toes! Where is Rick? Are we kissing? So many bubbles! I’m drowning! Get me out of here! I can’t breathe!”
Since having my eyes closed while trying to located my future husband underwater just wasn’t working out, I ultimately had to open my eyes and risk losing my contact lenses. Not a huge deal, but I’m rather visually impaired, so I knew losing them would mean I’d lose all vision for the rest of our day out. Not ideal for snorkeling, you know?
This is the best we could do.
The struggle to be both gorgeous and alive was real.
In the end, I didn’t lose my contact lenses, but we very nearly lost ourselves! We’d drifted so far from the boat, the waves seemed to be getting choppier and we were downright exhausted from diving down, grabbing each other’s faces pseudo-romantically, panicking, kicking to the surface in our wedding attire, prepping for the next shot, and then doing it all over again.
Uncle Jerry saves the day with a life ring!
Uncle Jerry, who traveled all the way from Afghanistan to attend our nuptials, noticed we’d been out for a long time, maybe 30 minutes or more, and that we’d drifted awfully far away. He grabbed a life ring and swam out to save us… in the nick of time! We were exhausted.
Coop, our photographer, was brilliant. She never ran out of breath and she kept coming up with ideas on how to make the best of the less-than-ideal conditions. I think if there was any way to make Rick and I look less like we were drowning in a scummy algae pond, she would’ve made it happen. We’ll be bringing her to our wedding do-over if we ever decide to have one.
It goes without saying that after this failed photo shoot, Tyra would’ve chewed us out dramatically and we would no longer be in the running to become America’s. Next. Top. Model.
Unlike the hot mess of a wedding week, though, the crazy photo shoot where Uncle Jerry from Afghanistan had to rescue us with a life ring is already one of the funniest memories of the whole misadventure.
We loved working with The Lilypad Agency and recommend them highly for your wedding needs – even underwater! Just order up some better weather conditions.