Underwater holiday photos of a couple diving

How to take perfect underwater holiday photos

We all want memorable holiday photos to bring home with us – or even just some great snaps to share on Facebook. But if the idea of taking your camera anywhere near water leaves you clutching it for dear life – you’re not alone. However, some of the best potential holiday snaps happen underwater and make for a great addition to the family photo album.

Whether it’s taking great photos of your kids at the pool or in a waterpark, or capturing some stunning coral reefs, we’ve rounded up nine simple tips to make sure you feel more confident taking underwater holiday photos.

1. Purchase the best waterproof camera or protective case for your needs

There’s a wide range of underwater cameras out there to suit any budget and requirements. For an action holiday purchase a durable point-and-shoot, or for a family holiday look into a disposable underwater camera.

If however you’re looking to capture beautiful underwater shots with your DLSR, there’s the option of protective casing. There’s even watertight protective casing for your phone if it’s exciting underwater Instagrams or Snapchats you’re after.

2. Buy a lifejacket for your camera

If you’re in deep water you’ll want to concentrate on taking a great photo – not worrying about accidently letting go. Buy a mini-life jacket for your camera so your camera doesn’t risk becoming part of the ocean seabed.

3. Play with your cameras settings (before you go on holiday)

Most cameras these days come with an impressive array of settings. Get to know what all the buttons achieve before you dive in and, if you can, practice in a small pool or home-town beach before you jet off.

4. Take photos in natural daylight

Good lighting is essential to a great photo (it’s arguably more important than the quality of the camera). The best lighting is found during the middle of the day and near the surface of the water. Your flash won’t extend as far underwater as it does on land but if you are planning to dive in darker waters consider investing in an underwater lighting strobe or external flash.

5. Take as many photos as you can

You can’t always tell if a photo has turned out well from glancing at the preview screen. Get snap happy and when you arrive home you’ll have dozens of photos to choose the best from.

6. Get as close as you can

This might depend on what you’re photographing. If you’re shark diving, we recommend staying inside the cage. However, if you’re splashing about the pool with your kids the closer you are to their fun, the sharper and more colourful your pictures will be.

7. Choose the pool over the sea

If it’s memorable underwater shots of your family you’re after, consider staying in the hotel pool. The water here is clearer and lighter than the sea.      

8. Look after your camera afterwards

After you’re back in your hotel room wash your camera or protective casing with fresh water from the tap. Gently dry the camera or casing and only then open or unlock any compartments. You don’t want saltwater or chemical-treated water slipping inside your camera.

9. Edit your photos slightly afterwards

Adjust the brightness and colours of your photos after your holiday. No one ever needs to know.