In July, we like to participate in PADI Women’s Dive Day by hosting an event for our local dive community. This year, to celebrate female underwater photographers, we are doing an underwater photo scavenger hunt! If you participate, you have to find something underwater that fits the clues, then take a picture of it. We are also holding a free drawing with prizes donated by Women Underwater Photographers, such as Jennifer Idol. Jennifer Idol is a fellow scuba diver from Austin that was the first woman to dive in all fifty states. To read more about that, you can visit her website (http://www.theunderwaterdesigner.com) or read her book: An American Immersion. I interviewed Jennifer Idol so we could get to know her a little bit better.
How did you first get started in underwater photography?
"I was always a visual person, I started out as an artist and a photographer. When I was fourteen all I knew was that I liked painting and making things. I went to college to become an artist. I became a graphic designer, worked professionally there, I worked for twelve years as that and a professional photographer before I took my photography underwater. And now I’ve spent seven years as the underwater designer, working professionally in an underwater capacity."
What is the hardest thing about underwater photography?
“Taking photos is really gratifying because you can make an image and capture the moment and then share that with people much quicker. Telling a meaningful story and helping people see the underwater world with clarity is the hardest part of photography for me, creating effective images that impact, not just an image of something but an image that does something.
What are your goals for the future?
"My dream is to work for National Geographic and dreams can be really hard and really long to follow. There may be another ten years before I can get to National Geographic so I need talent, luck, and a lot of hard work. Keep trying, make big plans, and make progress in a direction. The more I learn about the underwater world, the bigger my dreams get and the more places I want to go and the more stories I want to share with people.
There we go: always follow your dreams and your heart! In Jennifer Idol’s words: “in whatever you choose to do, to follow your strengths and your passion, to follow what you are interested in and to do what you love” and you will get there, even if it takes 29 years. Good luck!