You see, about the same time I left for photography school my old dive buddy got a low level sponsorship with Xcel. He gets "x" amount of free gear a year and in return he sends them (mostly) self-took portraits, and promotes his awesome gear across the web.
From my perspective it was a straight forward request; company ask for photos, professional photographer forwards estimate with reasonable day rate and fees.
However, I can see from his point, "a company is going to spend...Whoa! That much to take photos of me!?" It's pretty incredible that a school teacher can have the support of a large company like Xcel.
It took a few emails, but he was finally swayed to forward my estimate.
Once the estimate was approved it was all about getting down to business.
During our warm up a large school of 2000+ bait fish drifted into us. As I floated at the jet ski getting ready for a warm up dive, a turtle lazily swims through the bait fish as he ascends to the surface. In one cohesive unit the opelu circle around the turtle, giving me an idea.
|Xcel diver sims through huge school of fish|
The first day we had horrible visibility and a slight current. When the vis is bad the submarine stays at a deeper depth. A little too deep for me and my camera. If it wasn't for the opelu, the day would have been a complete wash.
The reshoot went amazing, great vis, no current, and a "shallower" depth.
|Xcel diver sees what submarine sees|
|Xcel freediver ascends from depths normally reserved for submarines|
45 minutes the following evening was set for the lifestyle shots:
1 (beautiful) assistant,
some great results:
|Xcel diver prepares for his dive. Photograph by Derek Broussard|
Working with Xcel was a great experience. Not only does the company produce superb equipement, the art director was a pleasure to work with. Hopefully more jobs will come in the future.