Tips

• A model can look to see their own reflection in a wide angle dome port and should use the reflection to position themselves.

• Make a habit of taking a Polaroid type snap and showing them, in the LCD, the view that you're composing. In this way, they will have a good idea of where to be in the picture and how to pose.

• Swimming slowly through a seascape tends to be more successful and natural than just hovering. When a model hovers, the fins drop and the suggestion of movement diminishes.

• A strong compositional ploy is for models to align themselves at a similar angle to the reef or the main focal point of the picture.

• It is the responsibility of the photographer to direct the movements and body angles of the model — not the other way round.

• Avoid mergers — where a silhouette has a leg or arm which merges into the shadows of the reef. This can completely ruin a shot when it appears that they have stag horn coral for legs. We all know that this is not the case, but it will continue to pull the viewer's eye towards these anomalies rather than the intended focal point.

• If your buddy can see the flash then the flash can see their eyes. Your model should eye glance as opposed to turning the head (towards your flashgun). Features inside their mask will be illuminated.

• Give your models praise, praise, encouragement and more praise. They need to know they're appreciated.

• If you want the model to gaze at a subject, it's effective to also place that subject within the frame. This avoids the eyes of the viewer from leaving the picture.

• Sylvia and I have a signal for any ideas she may have.

• Show the finished picture to them, usually they will have their own ideas of an alternative composition or type of body position. Work as a team — not as individuals.

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