Imagine building a portfolio of one-of-a-kind underwater portraits in the infamous freshwater caves that are Mexico's cenotes. Known for their astonishing lighting and pristine visibility, the cenotes are the perfect setting to learn underwater portraiture.
Steeped in mythology, there's no denying the beauty and serenity of these sinkholes formed when limestone collapses leaving a hole in its place. The Mayans believed the cenotes to be portals to the underworld and the term cenote translates literally to 'ancient well.'
In the cenotes, you'll be photographing skilled underwater models against the backdrop of rock formations and stunning light rays shining from the surface. The best part though is that you'll also be also funding local ocean conservation efforts as 10% of the trip proceeds are re-invested locally.
Professional underwater photographer Chiara Salomoni leads a once-in-a-lifetime 6 day, 5 night all-inclusive masterclass in Tulum, Mexico, Apr 25th-30th, 2019.
This customized workshop enables scuba-divers and photographers alike to gain technical mastery in every aspect of underwater portraiture, working in a variety of settings from pool to open-water shallows and even deep water scenes.
Expert underwater model Christine Ren will pose as the subjects and provide training on how to work safely with both non-models and models in the water. Additional experienced freediving models will be brought on depending on the student group size as well.
Travel somewhere amazing, learn something new and fund ocean conservation - that's what these trips are all about. These travel experiences are often life-changing and create a great sense of tribe among the participants. Further, 10% of the trip's proceeds are reinvested locally. What's not to love?
This is an all-inclusive trip: Accommodations, local transportation, meals, gear rentals, boat dives are all included. Airfare is separate and students must bring their own camera. DicaPac underwater housing bags will be provided for each student or we can recommend a place to rent an underwater housing for your camera before the trip.
Experience: Scuba experience is encouraged, but not mandatory. This trip accommodates divers and non-divers alike, with epic backgrounds either at depth or closer to the water's surface.
- Casa Cenote which is surrounded by mangroves with amazing light effects and big open water spaces for freediving;
- Carwash Cenote with tons of lilies and freshwater fish, great light and a big area for freediving;
- Dos Ojos Cenote known for its amazing caverns with beautiful formations.
Whether working with Chiara's professional lighting setup in our private resort pool, shooting in sunlit crystal clear cenote shallows or capturing shots against pristine deep-water underwater scenery, the sheer variety of images you will be able to capture on this retreat is unparalleled.
Divers and photographers who are looking for a unique experience with a philanthropic component will also find our offering as a culmination of these desires.
Amateur and professional photographers looking to expand their client offerings to include underwater maternity, couple and/or wedding shots will find this course to cover precisely the skills they need.
Scuba-divers who are interested in learning the art of photographing subjects other than marine life underwater will find this masterclass as one of the only available with a focus on human portraiture.
You’ll be staying for five beautiful nights in the quiet, authentic Mexican ambiance of Casa Tulum, complete with private swimming pools, A/C, wifi, laundry, and a serene natural setting. The hotel is situated right in the heart of Tulum, with free bikes, you can enjoy all that the town has to offer.
For this trip, the cenotes we will be visiting include:
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To reserve a spot for the retreat, a 50% deposit is required. The second installment is due Sept 15th, 2018. Credit and debit card payments accepted securely through Paypal or Venmo.
Chiara Salomoni is a renowned photographer specialized in underwater wildlife and fashion. Her underwater portraiture is known for its signature ethereal style; viewable here. Chiara grew up in Italy, experiencing the beauty of the sea since a really young age. In 2010, she graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and then moved to California to study photography at the Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara. Chiara is also the founder of Mermaids for Change, an organization built around education, ocean conservation and photography.
Named 1 of 5 women in media changing the world by Matador Network, Christine Ren, also known as The Underwater Woman, is a filmmaker and underwater performer dedicated to advancing social and environmental causes. She holds her Master’s degree in Marine Affairs & Policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS). Her narrative underwater imagery campaigns have been featured to-date by Nat Geo, KQED, FStoppers, Petapixel, Phoblographer, and more, embodying the idea that ocean conservation is a human issue.
In Mexico, more than 2 million people depend on fishing for a living (both directly and indirectly). Most of them belong to small-scale fishing communities that produce food for the millions of Mexicans who rely on fish as a source of protein.
Reforming the fishing sector in Mexico could generate more than $211 billion USD in profits every year, and increase the amount of fish in the water by more than 70% in the next 20 years, compared to doing nothing. This is according to the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) research [PDF].
The EDF is working in Mexico to promote sustainable fisheries management that is both science-based and participatory. Their goal is to help Mexican fishermen make the most of the benefits sustainable fishing has to offer while safeguarding these ocean resources for future generations.
10% of the profits from this masterclass will be donated to the Environmental Defense Fund's work in Mexico to this aim.