Behind The Scenes With Water Babies

What do you get when you cross a baby, a dipper, a swimming pool and a 4K camera? Some bloody good shots! I never thought dunking babies under water would be so visually pleasing… Right – let me explain.

Waterbabies BTS-13Here at Groundbreak Productions we recently shot an advert for our client Water Babies that showcases the underwater photography services they offer. The process (for those of you not in the know, don’t worry I wasn’t either before the shoot) entails a baby or toddler being ‘dipped’ by a professional dipper in a swimming pool whilst an underwater photographer catches their expression on camera for mum and dad to keep the prints forever. These babies undergo some training before their photography shoot, it isn’t like they are just thrown into the deep end (literally) so they are used to the water and the Water Babies staff are always familiar faces to the little tots. Whilst shooting this advert, it was our aim to capture the professionalism, ease and enjoyment that happens at these shoots and to show what truly amazing photographs can be taken of the babies whilst underwater.

The shoot took place over two days over on the Wirral at a new Water Babies friendly pool at Pensby Primary School. Over the two days, we had around 40 babies along with their mums and dads, teamed with a 20-man crew and Water Babies staff helping out so it really was a busy one! Considering it’s a huge no-go in the video production industry to work with babies, I can honestly say they were the most well-behaved bunch, they were even showing
the crew up at points! They were loving life in the water which made it a lot easier for us to get the perfect shots.

Waterbabies BTS-5

Talking of shots, we were shooting on the Arri ALEXA XT Plus. We got the guys from Merman Diving and Marine to come and help us out with this one. It’s a preeeeettttyyyyyy expensive camera so if you’re chucking it underwater you need some extra solid casing and some guys who know how to handle it. The set up time for this shoot was incredibly important because of a few factors, one being the time it takes for the camera to be wrapped up in it’s aluminiumWaterbabies BTS-6 housing to make sure no water creeps into that bad boy! It was also things like the location – swimming pools can get particularly slippy so it was really important equipment was set up extra carefully. It was also extremely warm in the area we were filming to make sure the water was the correct and comfortable temperature for the babies so you can only imagine how hot it got with all the extra lighting and men lugging equipment around.

Waterbabies BTS-22After a few initial delays on the set up, we were good to go. We got the babies in the water group by group, got them all happy and excited by the splashing with some help from a Water Babies expert and then on to the good stuff. One by one they would be passed over to the ‘dipper’, Simon, and with bated breath (and the camera set to position) weWaterbabies BTS-45
all watched the action take place. The babies are only allowed to be underwater for a maximum of a few seconds and each baby can only have three goes at being underwater so we were really making our camera crew work hard on this shoot. To piece the commercial together nicely, we got shots of the whole process, from the meet and greet to the viewing of the end photographs etc.Luckily we had some very happy babies and some very experienced dipping professionals so the shoot really did go swimmingly… (sorry, I had to).

Take a look at the behind the scenes video here but be warned, there’s a lot of cute babies:

Behind the scenes with Groundbreak Productions on Vimeo.

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