A Hamilton photographer and a Brantford model have scored a Guinness World Record for a 2021 photo shoot deep in the depths of Tobermory waters.
Photographer Steven Haining staged the underwater photo shoot 21 feet below the surface of the Fathom Five National Marine Park in Tobermory.
The shoot, with model Ciara Antoski, would be a total of 16 minutes long at the rudder of the W.L. Wetmore Shipwreck, earning the title of the deepest underwater model photoshoot in history.
Haining says the entire process took months to complete.
It began with the selection of Antoski to bring his vision to life. Having worked together in the past, the photographer says she was the model he trusted to truly bring the vision to life.
She began practicing holding her breath in shoots in shallow pools to perfect posing and movements before moving into deeper waters.
Haining would arrive with his crew a week early to review plans and safety precautions, including the addition of dive safety coordinator Mareesha Klups-Klos.
Klups-Klos provided a dive mask along with a regulator with spare air for Antoski to use as needed to allow Antoski to stay below the water’s surface during the shoot.
Air supply would not prove to be the largest difficulty though. With waters hovering around 15 degrees, keeping Antoski at a safe body temperature as she was in a dress rather than a full wetsuit.
Communicating beneath the surface would prove to be an additional challenge, with the team using an underwater notepad and hand signals to keep strong communication during the dive.
Haining says that the shoot concept started as a joke during the pandemic before developing into the record-breaking shoot it became.
“In Canada, they kept pushing this ‘don’t breathe in other people’s airspace’ campaign with weird rules so I suggested doing a shoot in our scuba gear so we could only breathe our own air.”
Next for the Hamilton photographer is breaking his own record by diving to a staggering 100 feet for 20 minutes and even jumping to the other extreme of completing a shoot at the highest altitude.