Behind the Scenes of a tech scuba photoshoot

Behind the Scenes of a Tech Dive Photoshoot

By Brittany Bozik

I had just gotten back into the office and caught up from vacation, all was great and I was back into my groove. Then BOOM, my manager asks me if I’d like to tag-along on the Keys photoshoot half of the office is buzzing about. As you could guess, I couldn’t say yes fast enough! One week documenting a dive photoshoot in the Keys, how could I say no? Being a social media manager can be crazy at times, but it’s trips like these that make it all worthwhile.

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Florida Map - Scuba Diving
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SDI/TDI/ERDI World Headquarters
SDI TDI ERDI Staff

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Florida Keys Dive Center

Florida Keys Dive Boat

Map of our Photoshoot Trip

Day 1: 8/29/17

We arrive at Ocean Pointe at 2:30 pm and head right to the bar for a few drinks while we wait for the rest of our crew to arrive.

4:00 pm we check-in and check out our accommodation.

6:30 pm we throw some burgers and hotdogs on the grill and have some dinner while as everyone settles in, our captain for the week arrives to check in with us and we all catch up.

7:30 pm we all meet at Sean’s condo to go over expectations for the week.

Day 2: 8/30/17

Today’s Agenda

  • Ascent
  • CCR

Today’s Locations

  • Pickles Reef
  • Speigel Grove
  • Capt Tom’s Ledge

7:00 am we all meet for breakfast to fuel up for our first day of diving. By 7:45 am we’re off to Florida Keys Dive Center to load the boat and get to our first dive site.

We took our time setting up doubles and sidemount rigs for the week. We prep’ed the boat to fit the rebreathers we have on board and we’re off to the first site.

We headed a few miles offshore to our first stop of the day Pickles Reef where we would spend about half of the day. We’re in about 30ish feet of water on a beautiful reef. After we worked out the kinks in our camera equipment we were able to get the first of our footage and images.

After we got as much as we could at our first site we decided to move on to a wreck site. We tried out the Spiegel Grove but the currents were too strong. We headed over to the Duane to get wreck shots we were after that day.

 Our goals for the Capt Tom’s Ledge:

CCR shots:

  • Mixed team shots
  • CCR divers helping backmounted divers with deco bottles
  • CCR divers monitoring their computers
  • CCR divers switch to open circuit bailout cylinders
  • CCR diver task loading

Ascent Line or Mid-water shots:

  • Dive team making shallow deco stops
  • Dive team beginning a long deco
  • Gas switching
  • Teammates communicating with hand signals
  • Diver using two computers
  • Tech diving accident victim
  • Skills practice

We headed in around 5:30 pm back to Florida Keys Dive Center, a little later than planned but still happy with what we’d accomplished that day. When we got back to the dock, as we were unloading our gear, we noticed a friend in the water who came over for a nice cool drink of water.

Tonight’s dinner is Tacos, prepared by our very own Sean Harrison at the stove! He learned that when adding taco seasoning to the ground beef that the directions called for water! We all agreed that there is no better feeling than a cool shower after being on a dive boat in the hot Florida Keys sun all day. After dinner, we reviewed some of our shots and planned for the next day. Our videographer and photographer team Rick and Aaron didn’t make it to bed until after 1:00 am putting in the work to make sure day 3 would be planned out efficiently with our shot list.

Day 3: 8/31/17

Today’s Locations:

  • Eagle wreck
  • Capt Tom’s Ledge

Today’s Agenda:

  • CCR
  • Ascent
  • Wreck

Today’s goals:

  • Finish CCR shots
  • Finish Ascent Shots
  • Wreck shots

Our day started at 7:00 am again fueling up for the day. By this morning you can tell our team is tired from our first day of diving but the mood is still amped up and ready to go!

Loading the boat goes a bit fast today because our tanks are configured and we stored our gear in the guest lockers at the dive shop. Capt Tom’s Ledge to re-shoot CCR and assent shots. Then we head over to the Duane only to send a diver below to check on conditions to find the viz isn’t great.

We move on back to the Eagle and finish our day there. Since we were there so long I decided to hop in the water to see if I could get some photos of our divers, errrr… taking photos.

During this part of the shoot, we had some downtime while the models and photographer/videographers were working so Kate got to put on a sidemount rig and take it for a spin. Leah jumped in the water to help her make sure everything was adjusted properly and working correctly.

When we arrive back at the dock part of our team rushes over to the History of Diving Museum and the others go back to our condos where we get the chance to cool off by the pool and shower up for dinner. Tonight’s dinner is pasta with sausage, made by the girls!

Day 4: 9/1/17

Today’s Locations:

  • Capt Tom’s Ledge
  • Horseshoe Reef

Today’s Agenda:

  • Boat Deck
  • Skills
  • General Shots
  • Fun

Today’s Goals:

  • Boat Deck Shots
  • Skills
  • General Diving Shots

We all get up a little bit early to pack up our condos to check out. On this day we’re leaving the Keys directly from the dive shop. This was the shortest day of our 3 days in the water because we all are heading back to Stuart or even further for some of our models who spent Labor Day weekend in Cave country teaching and getting new certs.

Before jumping in for the last of our shots we needed to get some topside shots.

We started at a ledge in just 40 ft of water to get the very last of our underwater shots. By today our camera guys were dialed in and knew exactly what they needed to do, that being said, things moved quickly. While some of us were topside waiting for our divers to finish up shooting and anticipating a fun dive with the whole crew to round off our trip. Our Safety Officer Sean yelled, “woah did you see that?!” referring to the Spotted Eagle Ray that had just jumped out of the water. Only a few minutes later did our divers surface to tell us they too had seen the ray AND got photos!

Our next and last item to check off our list was rebreather shots. Here at International Training we like to break stereotypes, that being said we decided to have two women in these shots. One of the rebreathers we were using didn’t actually work so we had to spray down our second model, Kate to make her look more authentic. After we sprayed her down and had her go up and down the ladder and few times we were done!

To finish up our trip and reward ourselves on a job well done we headed to horseshoe reef where those of us who stayed topside most of the time finally got to suit up and get below the surface. Our boat Mate joined us to show us around the reef. On this dive, a few of us got to play with a dive scooter, take photos and videos of each other, test out manufacturer equipment and just enjoy the reef.

If I had to say anything about this trip it would be:

“Is this real life? This is my job? Holy crap, I love this!”

Having been working in the scuba industry for a little less than a year I’ve learned a TON. There’s a lot of work that goes into producing new materials and if we get to have a little fun in the process, well that’s just icing on the cake. Special thanks to the Florida Keys Dive Center, Captain Carsten and his Mate Tracy, they went above and beyond helping us find the right locations to shoot in.

This photoshoot was designed to help provide content for our latest TDI Course, Extended Range & Trimix. Interested in taking this Course?

Follow this link to our course page >

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