Basic Guide to Achieving the Perfect Underwater Selfie

Achieving the perfect selfie is a challenging task, and doing it underwater is even more complicated. You must find the perfect lighting, pose at your best angle, and take a thousand photos to finally get one that’s worthwhile.

However, with the rise of social media, selfies have become an excellent way to create memories and show your followers that you enjoy doing fun things, like diving!

To ensure you capture the most worthy images of your diving experiences, we’ve compiled some of our best tips for creating the best underwater selfies.

But first, safety—here are some key things to consider when in your underwater photo session.

  • Don’t get distracted. Always remember the basics, like checking your air and never holding your breath.
  • Don’t touch your surroundings. Touching wild animals can cause harm (and legal consequences) or be fatal for the animal.
  • Don’t compromise your safety. Removing your equipment or putting yourself in a dangerous position for the sake of a cool photo is never a smart idea.


Now, onto the tips…

We share with you 6 tips to ensure you come away with the best memories of your adventures after a dive.

1. Master your buoyancy like pro

One of the most crucial factors in achieving sharp and beautiful underwater selfies is mastering buoyancy. This way, you can keep the camera steady and frame what will make a significant difference in the final result.

If your floating, sinking, and positioning skills need polishing, we invite you to our PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy course.

2. Light is your best friend

Poor lighting is one of the most common obstacles when taking photos underwater. Without sufficient light, you’ll end up with blurry and dark images. And the deeper you go, the less natural light there will be.

So, to achieve a good selfie, paying attention to lighting is crucial. Whether through direct sunlight or artificial sources, it’s important that your photo’s lighting is well thought out.

If you’ve been taking selfies for a while, you can experiment by taking them with the sun behind you and closing the aperture. This can result in an impressive sun flare, but if you’re a beginner, it’s better to take advantage of natural light from the front.

Generally, selfies turn out better in the first few meters, where there’s more available light. The key to a perfect selfie is to ensure the subject and the foreground are well-lit and clear.

3. Work those angles

Knowing how to pose helps a lot. Working your angles, positioning the camera slightly up or down can really improve the composition of your selfie.

When taking an underwater selfie, the “just be yourself” or “be natural” doesn’t apply as much. Naturalness in this environment arises from preparation and methodology.

We all love to think we’re ready for photos 24/7, but this is far from the truth. Plan the selfie in advance!

Make sure your mask isn’t fogged up, your eyes are visible, control your breathing to avoid excess bubbles, find your best angle, and now, click away!

underwater selfie

4. Learn to handle your camera

The value of a selfie doesn’t necessarily lie in having an expensive camera but rather in the ability to handle the camera effectively. Understanding how to use your equipment and the basics of composition is more valuable.

So, don’t think that spending hundreds of dollars on the most advanced and high-tech equipment is the surefire way to achieve the best underwater images possible. In the right hands, any camera works wonders.

Learning to use your camera is crucial for achieving well-crafted selfies. Taking an underwater photography course wouldn’t hurt either. Inquire about our Advanced Open Water Diver course with a specialty in Underwater Photography.

5. Learn some editing

By mastering skills like correcting tones, adjusting saturation, or enhancing clarity, you’ll significantly elevate the quality of your selfies. If you don’t know how to do any of these, there’s a simple solution: Tutorials.

Fortunately, there are numerous tutorials on YouTube, easy to understand and free, about specific tips and techniques for editing underwater images. Become self-taught, and you’ll be able to enhance the impact of your photographs.

6. Practice and practice again

The famous phrase “Practice makes perfect” is real. The underwater world can be a bit chaotic when it comes to taking selfies. Many variables come into play, and conditions can be challenging.

So, the best advice is to practice.

Try taking your photos during calm moments with little stress, such as during a safety stop. Always be careful not to lag behind your dive group by getting distracted in getting the perfect shot.

The more you practice, the easier it will be to capture good selfies at any moment, with less complication and more safety. Each dive will be a new opportunity to perfect the great art of underwater selfies.

Now you’re ready to dive into the world of underwater selfies. Have fun, be creative, and you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.

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