Review: Water Babies Underwater Photo Shoot

Since starting our Water Babies swimming journey back in March, one of the things that I’ve been looking forward to the most is the underwater photoshoot.

As a bloke who grew up listening to rock music during the 90’s, getting the chance to replicate the cover of Nirvana’s iconic Nevermind album was pretty cool. The only thing that would have made it more exciting is if I was the one being photographed floating naked in the water. Remind me to add that to my bucket list.

Anyway, having reached the end of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of our Water Babies swimming lessons, and having really enjoyed the experience so far, we booked on to one of the underwater photoshoots. This would allow us to do a number of underwater swims – as per the swimming lessons – but have a professional photographer there to hopefully capture some cool photos of out submerged sprog.

So, on the 24th July and armed with all of our swimming paraphernalia, we jumped into the car and drove to a swimming pool in Tiffield, near Towester, in order to do the Water Babies underwater photoshoot. Here’s how we got on:

Product Description

Photography is an integral element of Chapter 1 of your Water Babies journey forming a perfect element at the end of your first term swimming. Our objective is to achieve one perfect shot of each baby swimming underwater, however, our standard is much higher than just one photo. Babies can have three swims and on each swim can have up to three photographs taken with nine shots overall to choose from.

As your baby grows, they become stronger and kick to the surface making the image more vertical than horizontal. Most parents attend their first shoot at the end of their first ten weeks. Now is the ultimate time to try with a higher number of opportunities to achieve that one amazing image!

With viewing directly after your photo shoot and fantastic highly trained staff to assist, orders can be made there and then, payment taken (instalment plan on request), orders sent to the developer and then sent to you.

Product Experience

On arrival at the leisure centre in Tiffield – a little late may I add due to stupid traffic – the sprog and I were shown to the changing rooms, whilst the missus was allowed poolside. After a speedy change, we emerged less clothed, a little nippier and ready for some splashy fun.

One photoshoot was just finishing, so we watched on for a few minutes before being invited into the water where we were introduced to the Water Babies instructor leading the session and the photographer. It was explained to us that we’d do some warm up exercises to get the little ones used to the water, then there would be three different underwater swims which the photographer would capture on camera.

water babies underwater photoshoot warm up

The warm up was like any other Water Babies class…well apart from the fact that there were only two of us in the session. We sang a bit of “Splish, Splash”, we put the little ones into their side swim positions and wet their heads with “Baby L, Ready, Go”. We then sang “Humpty Dumpty” with the sprogs sat on the side of the pool, then did some “We are swimming on our backs”.

Then it was time for the first underwater photo. We headed over to an area at the corner of the pool which was set up with a blue screen, lights and the scuba diving fella with a camera. I handed the little one to the instructor as I watched on from the side. After a “Baby L, Ready, Go”, the sprog was put under the water and let go of, whilst the cameraman took three successive snaps as she kicked up to the surface.

water babies underwater photoshoot sequence

Having done plenty of underwater swims during the previous 15 or so Water Babies lessons, I wasn’t worried at all about the little one going underwater. It’s just something your baby and you get used to as part of the overall Water Babies experience, although I know a lot of parents worry about this aspect – there’s no reason to though.

After kicking herself to the surface, she was given back to me and we continued with more watery fun and games. There was another two underwater swims – exactly the same as described above – to give the photographer further opportunity to get some awesome snaps.

Quick vid of the sprog’s @waterbabiesuk underwater photoshoot earlier today.

A video posted by The DADventurer (Dave) (@the_dadventurer) on

Following the final underwater photo, the session concluded with “Twinkle Twinkle”. We were then told to get changed, then head to the main hall where we would be able to view the photos from the shoot.

water babies underwater photoshoot dad and baby

On entering the main hall, we were met by one of the Water Babies’ staff who showed us to one of the six  terminals where we could view our photos. I was particularly impressed with how quick this process was. We were shown how to use the touch screen terminal – for instance, to mark which photos we liked and didn’t like, how to view the photos as a slideshow, how to zoom in to the snaps etc – then left to our own devices to browse the photos.

In total, there were nine photos which had been taken of the little one – all of which were really clear and defined which we were pleasantly surprised about. We worked our way through each photo, marking them as ones we liked, ones which were OK and ones we didn’t like. After 15 minutes or so, we’d managed to get rid of four photos and decided that we wanted the other five.

We then spoke to Jamie – one of the Water Babies’ staff – who talked us through the different options available (more info below), prior to filling in the paperwork and placing our order. We decided to get digital prints of the photos, which we were told would be delivered to us on a branded 1GB USB around eight or so weeks later.

It was about six weeks after the shoot that our photos arrived in the post. On the USB, we had both high resolution copies of the photos if we wanted to print them out, as well as low resolution copies for the blog / social media. The five pretty awesome snaps from the photoshoot are below:

7570_Baby L_JEZ_3512

7570_Baby L_JEZ_3522

7570_Baby L_JEZ_3528

7570_Baby L_JEZ_3529

7570_Baby L_JEZ_3530

Cost

The underwater photoshoot is included in the cost of the Water Babies swimming lessons as part of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 (£45 if you want to book on after this), which is a quite cool added extra to the lessons. Obviously you have to pay for photos though and this is where things can get a little pricey, particularly if loads of great photos were taken and you just have to have them all.

As with most photography places, the more you buy, the better deal you get. There were a number of different offers available on the day which cover the range of photo and size options, including prints (£70 to £170), digitals (£150 to £450), acrylics (£135 to £320) or canvases (£250 to £330). So, as a deal in July for instance, you could buy one image for £150 and get a 10×8 print for £10, which would save £60. Or buy three images for £300 and get one 20×16 print for £20 which saves you £115.

I’m not going to try and justify the price – it can get very expensive just for a couple of photos, but it is a once in a lifetime thing. The way that this works is actually no different to getting any professional photos taken. They get you through the door with a low session fee, then make a wad on the photos that you want. As long as you know this and don’t let your heart rule your head (or wallet), you’ll be fine. It’s worthwhile saying though that there’s absolutely no pressure to buy or spend your hard earned cash, so you do as you please.

Summary

Having done Chapter 1 and 2 of the Water Babies swimming classes, the photoshoot was a nice way to reflect on how far the sprog has come during her splashy journey. It’s also great to get professional, underwater photos, which is something that you’d struggle to ever accomplish on your own. Obviously the end result is the photos and we have absolutely no complaints with the quality of the snaps, friendliness of the staff or service we received before, during or after the shoot.

Yes, the photos are pricey, there’s no getting away from that. However, as mentioned above, you always have to pay a pretty high amount for professional photos from a photoshoot. It would be nice if the photos were a bit cheaper, but then again I guess Water Babies’ lessons are marketed as a premium class, so you’d expect this to be reflected on the photoshoot too. At the end of the day, if you want the best, you’ve got to pay for the best!

I’m now going to head off to superimpose a £5 note in one of Baby L’s photos…

The DADventurer Star Rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

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N.B. This review was written by me (Dave) and represents my honest opinion. The underwater photoshoot and photos were provided to us for free by Water Babies in exchange for writing an honest review of our experiences.

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  • Donna Wishart

    Those photos are so cute – gorgeous! We never took the kids swimming as babies so these look so surreal to me! x

    • Thanks Donna 🙂 Still surreal for me too as it’s not often you get to see them actually under the water as it’s all so quick!

  • Super Busy Mum

    Those photos are just gorgeous and as you said, a once in a lifetime thing!!

  • Awesome underwater shots! My mum loved Nirvana’s Nevermind album cover too 🙂 #TriedTested

  • Man vs Pink

    I really regret not doing this when my daughter was a baby, surely for the photos. Nice one 🙂

  • They’re fab shots. We didn’t bother taking N. He hated going underwater for the whole time he swam with Water Babies, so we’d have been unlikely to have got more than one submersion on the day. Plus when we were at WB, there was the cost of the session as well. I just couldn’t justify paying for a session where he might not even swim! But it’s definitely a great souvenir and memory of what they’re like in the pool.

    • Ah, that’s a shame about N – yeah totally understand, wouldn’t want to pay out for a session and then not end up with any photos. At least they’ve removed the cost of the actual session which makes it better and I guess means people in your situation could go along now to see what happens.

  • The Mama Story

    Adorable! We had these done with my eldest – need to sort out similar for my youngest too!
    #TriedTested

  • She looks amazing! I think the middle one is my fav 😀
    Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested this week x

  • Kate Fever

    This really is a one time opportunity – I think it’s a lovely keepsake to have. I think the 3rd one down is my favourite. Thanks for linking up with #TriedTested

    • Thanks. Yeah definitely – there’s a limited time when they’re a baby to get the underwater shots because they naturally keep their eyes open and can hold their breathe underwater.

  • Newcastle Family Life

    Those photos are amazing, I agree it is expensive but I always think that sometimes it is worth paying that bit extra for some super cute baby photos

    • Thanks – yeah agree – it’s not something we’d probably ever do again, but great to have them 🙂

  • Victoria MyLittleLBlog

    now I know how they do it)

  • Random Musings

    Those photos are amazing! It is a little expensive, but worth it for such a brilliant memory. Its definitely something for babies to look back on in years to come. And as you point out, its not much different price wise to any professional photo shoot. #MMWBH
    Debbie

    • Thanks Debbie – yeah agreed, quite pricey, but you just need to remember to not go crazy buying everything haha! 🙂

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  • Faye Phillips

    Your photos are great. Unfortunately my photos of my 11 month old didn’t turn out so well which was really disappointing because I was so looking forward to it and knew where it would be going on the wall!

    My little boy looked terrified in all 9 shots despite not once crying or complaining in our lessons. A real shame. We chose 1 digital image (the least scared looking) as I didn’t want to leave empty handed but then cancelled when we got home. We were offered a full refund minus £15 admin fee.