Arman Zhenikeyev’s Underwater Portraits Look Like Gorgeous Paintings

All images by Arman Zhenikeyev. Used with Creative Commons permission. 

Getting interested in underwater portraiture and in need of some photography inspiration? We had a bunch of stunning underwater works featured in the past, and we have another beautiful one to share today. In his three-part series titled “Come Undone”, Kazakhstan-based Arman Zhenikeyev shows us an unconventional approach to underwater portraiture that produced some pretty interesting and moody results.

Most of the underwater photography we’ve previously featured follow the tried and tested imagery showing the fluid qualities of water and its other-wordly effect on the setting and the subject. To do this, they often shoot wide and capture parts of the scene as well. Zhenikeyev, however, takes us closer to his muse and treats us to dreamy visual details — by putting his model in a fish tank. The idea of that may seem weird at first, but the results actually work.

We get the impression of his muse set in a lush underwater ecosystem, thanks to all the plants and fishes he had for the scene. With such a limited space for his model to immerse themself in (so to speak), he also had to frame his shots tight for some close ups. So we see his muse’s dreamy expressions, different kinds of fish tank textures, details from the dresses, and even fishes swimming around. It’s particularly interesting how he also captured the way his models were interacting with the fishes, which added some kind of surreal quality to the whole set.

I find “Come Undone” to be a great example of out-of-the-box, underwater portraiture. Clever executions like this, which challenge tried-and-tested techniques, enrich the genre in many ways, so I’m sure it’s going to inspire photographers as well.

Do check out Arman Zhenikeyev’s Behance portfolio, and when you do, make sure you check out all the “Come Undone” installments.