Philadelphia Photographer Julia Lehman Is Ready to Snap Your Underwater Engagement Photos


Photo by Julia Lehman

Photo by Julia Lehman-McTigue

We started seeing underwater photography make its way into the wedding world this past fall (remember these shots?), but until now, we were not aware of any photogs in our little neck of the woods who were diving into the water with couples to snap either engagement photos or a trash-the-dress session beneath the waves.

Well, it might not be beneath the waves, exactly—rather, in her family’s 10-foot pool in Mount Airy—but we would like to introduce you to Philly photographer Julia Lehman-McTigue.

Lehman-McTigue has been shooting portraits for over 20 years, but it wasn’t until she renovated her family’s pool last summer that she got the idea to start snapping her subjects underwater—and today, it’s one of her biggest passions.

She tends to mostly shoot women—some of whom decide to take the plunge for their maternity portraits—and children, but just recently, she shot her first engagement session for local couple Ana Dias and Rich Martin. Ana and Rich live in Conshohocken, though Ana is originally from Brazil and wanted something special and creative to send to her family and everyone back in Brazil for their save-the-date announcements. She found Lehman-McTigue through Awakenings Pole Fitness in Manayunk, a business that Lehman-McTigue often shoots for, and, well, you can see the amazing results of their collaboration for yourself right below.

And if you’re into this idea for yourself? Lehman-McTigue finds that these underwater shoots work particularly well for either an engagement session or a post-wedding trash-the-dress shoot, and as for how it all works, this is what you can expect from your Underwater Portrait Session:

  • A phone consultation where you and Lehman-McTigue will get to know each other, and where she will explain what to wear and how to prepare for the underwater experience. You’ll also figure out together what style of images you’re going for, whether that’s romantic or playful or simple, or whatever the two of you want.
  • Up to two to three hours of shooting during the middle of the day. (Preferably 1-3pm.)
  • All of the images lightly retouched and posted on an online gallery.
  • One 16×24 custom print of your choice.
  • Five custom retouched high-resolution jpegs of your choice.
  • Low-res web-ready images with a small watermark. ( Images can be printed up to 4×6), plus 4×6 proofs.
  • Access to all of Lehman-McTigue’s props and wardrobe options (though you can certainly bring your own!); fabrics, pearls, crowns, vintage white dresses, ribbons, vines, leaves, flowers, jewelry, etc.
  • For the above package, the fee is $950; you are also welcome to chat about à la carte options, if you want, say, all the retouched images on a thumb drive, but none of the prints. Hair and makeup is available starting at $100.

Lehman-McTigue also always has her assistant on-hand, who will help keep hair out of faces, arrange the fabric so it looks like the most gorgeous gown while underwater, and generally help everyone maneuver around in the prettiest possible way for the prettiest possible shots.

Oh, and to give you an idea of how these might turn out, please enjoy Ana and Rich’s aforementioned shots. Now that’s a save-the-date card their friends and family won’t soon forget.

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RELATED: Look at These Crazy Photos of Brides Wearing Wedding Dresses Underwater 

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