Costumers & Underwater Models Jessica Dru & Rachel Day

In episode six, host Brett Stanley is speaking with Rachel Day and Jessica Dru, two underwater models and fantasy costumers that have spent the past 10 years honing their skills. Jess & Rachel use their modelling as a distraction from careers in the video game industry, and they regularly team up with other talented people to create amazingly detailed fantasy photoshoots.

They talk about their entry in to underwater modelling, how important safety and communication is, and the best fabrics to use if you want to get that all important underwater flow.

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About Rachel & Jessica – underwater models and costume makers

Rachel Day is a Video Game Special FX Artist by day and a Model and Costumer by night. She has been fortunate in here career at Blizzard Entertainment to work on such titles as Daiblo 3 and Overwatch and now works for Bonfire Studios helping to create their first game. When she isn’t creating visually stunning game art, she is creating armor, dresses, headdresses and much more for her passion as a fantasy model and costumer both in and out of the water.

Jessica Dru is a character modeler for Blizzard Entertainment’s Cinematic Team. She spends all week sculpting and painting characters on a computer. Then on weekends she works to create unique characters and costumes inspired by fantasy, fairytale and myths. All this to bring them to life for photoshoots and film.

Podcast Transcript

Brett Stanley: [00:00:00] In today’s episode of the underwater podcast, I’m speaking with Rachel Day and Jessica drew to underwater models and fantasy costumers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past few years, Jess and Rachel used their modeling as a distraction from their careers in the video game industry.

They regularly team up with other talented people to create amazingly detailed fantasy photo-shoots. We talk about their entry into underwater modeling, how important safety and communication is and the best fabrics to use if you want to get that all important under waterflow, let’s jump in.

In today’s episode of the underwater podcast, I’m speaking with Rachel Day and Jessica drew. To underwater models and fantasy costumers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. Jess and Rachel used their modeling as a distraction from the careers.

Jess and Rachel used their modeling as a distraction from their careers in the video game industry, and they regularly team up with other talented people to create amazingly detailed fantasy photo-shoots. We talk about their entry into underwater modeling, how important safety and communication is and the best fabrics to use if you want to get that all important under water flow.

Let’s jump in.

In today’s episode of the underwater podcast, I’m speaking with Rachel Day and Jessica drew to underwater models and fantasy costumers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past few years. Jess and Rachel used their modeling as a distraction from their careers in the video game industry, and they regularly team up with other talented people to create amazingly detailed fantasy photo-shoots. We talk about their entry into underwater modeling, how important the safety and communication is and the best fabrics to use if you want to get that all important under water flow.

Let’s jump in.  Yeah. rachel and Jessica, welcome to the podcast.

Jessica Dru: [00:02:08] Thanks for having us.

Rachel Day: [00:02:10] Yeah. This is so wonderful. I love what you’re doing with this.

Brett Stanley: [00:02:12] It’s a lot of fun and I’m getting to speak to some really awesome people and  you know, I’m learning a lot just from doing this podcast, which is  the very selfish reason that I started the whole thing.

  so we’re kind of going through this whole covert thing and it’s then it’s a thread that is going through pretty much every episode. I do have this because of, you know, it’s affecting everyone.

Pretty worldwide. Um, but my  questioning around that is, is how is it affecting you guys? Cause you’re creative people, you’re in creative industries, um, you know, not just remodeling and costume making, but you guys have, you know, creative day jobs as well. Right.

Jessica Dru: [00:02:44] well, working from home has been a huge adjustment and that’s fine.  my job is at a computer.   But, um, not being able to do the creative stuff I do on the weekends has really sort of tapped out my overall creative energy, even for my working job.

So I’ve had to. I try to find things to do at home that fulfill that creative need. Yeah. I don’t know  it’s different. Yeah.

Rachel Day: [00:03:10] I kind of just have to echo Jessica there. I feel like the shift for me now that like my work life and my home life are kind of the same thing. Have the separation of, all right, work is over. I’ve driven home. Now it’s time to indulge in my costume making and sewing and fantasizing about the next photo shoot we’re going to put together.

That separation just isn’t there. So the drive is also kind of not there to get to it. It’s, it’s a really strange creative shift for me right now.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:39] I bet because you’re so used to that drive home. Like you say, that’s kind of when your brain can kind of change and shift gears. But if you’re basically going out of your office and into the living room, there’s no real transition.

Rachel Day: [00:03:49] Right? That’s it. We’ve got a couple of steps between home life and work life here now, which is really weird.

Brett Stanley: [00:03:55] So, um, so speaking of the underwater stuff. That’s not kind of where you started with the creation of, of the costumes and hesitant to call it cosplay. Cause I don’t think you guys are really cause players in the official kind of term. You more create your own characters. Is that right?

Jessica Dru: [00:04:09] Well. Yeah, I mean, if you want to be very specific about the words that you use, what we do is just like fantasy costume making and not specifically cosplay because. Original characters. That’s what I get the most energy and excitement from his thinking up who I’m going to be and yeah. Just creating something from scratch.

Rachel Day: [00:04:30] Yeah. That’s so true. It’s, it’s a lot of the like world building behind whatever. Um, photo shoot we’re about to do next. That’s kind of the excitement for me too, is what is this character? What is their motivation? What culture are they from? All of that kind of stuff is the really exciting part for me.

Rather than mimicking something that already exists.

Brett Stanley: [00:04:49] And Rachel, is that something that you’re thinking of? Like when that photo shoots. The opportunity comes up. Is that something that you’re collaboratively kind of thinking of with the photographer and the rest of the team that you’ve kind of got an idea for what these characters are going to be.

Rachel Day: [00:05:02] Yeah, for the most part, um, it’s, it’s kind of an organic process a lot of the time, but most of the time when we’re going to start a new photo shoot, it kind of is a collaboration of. Mood boards and seam, and what sort of real world culture do we want to ping off of to get some sort of familiar look going?

Um, and then it’s just a conversation between myself and Jessica, uh, whatever photographer that we’re, um, involved with. Anybody that’s working on building sets or props or things like that. It’s a, it’s a really, it’s a really cool team involved process.

Brett Stanley: [00:05:39] Right? Everyone’s in there and it’s very collaborative.

Jessica Dru: [00:05:42] Yeah. We, well, we wouldn’t want to kind of force an idea on somebody who wasn’t super stoked for that idea. So  it usually starts with like me and Rachel being like, okay. Yes. Right. And then we’re like, okay, what photographer likes dragons, and, uh, and who’s kind of into that makeup or whatever.

And we just sort of put feelers out there with like a couple of our favorite people. Yeah. Hey, does this inspire you? And we try to maintain and develop that like mutual inspiration and collaboration throughout the whole process. I mean, it usually starts with like kind of a seed. And then as we talk to more people, as we bring more people in it, it really grows into it own universe, its own story and all of that.

Brett Stanley: [00:06:27] Right? And then do you guys go from there? So, so then Rachel will kind of start building her  character based on those kinds of parameters.

Rachel Day: [00:06:34] Yeah, exactly. Um, once we’ve got some, a few, yeah. Borrowed pictures from the internet to kind of inspire us or whatever, to to build the concept around all start looking through my fabric and going, Oh, I think I have something that works like this. You’re a few different shapes that may be work. Jessica, what do you think?

And we’re constantly sending each other work in progress, pictures back and forth.

Brett Stanley: [00:06:56] Is this something that you’ve been doing like for most of your lives? Do you, did you do this when you were, when you were younger as well?

Jessica Dru: [00:07:02] Play dress up. Yeah. Yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:07:05] With, with such determination, with such kind of, you know, like rather than just sort of going through the costume box and kind of slapping something together, have you always been this kind of, I don’t know, organized about it.

Rachel Day: [00:07:18] I think I’ve been organized about most things in my life always. Um, costuming wasn’t something that I. I’ve always done. It’s something that’s always fascinated me. I find clothes really interesting and kind of the expression through fashion kind of thing, really interesting, but it wasn’t until maybe eight or nine years ago now where I kind of got hooked into this whole process of costuming.

Brett Stanley: [00:07:43] The, the creation and that whole  force behind it, and then then the whole encapsulation of the motivation and everything.

Jessica Dru: [00:07:50] well, like when I was little, I made paper dolls because that’s cheap to do and man, being able to buy fabric wasn’t something that I did until I got into college and went to like the Renaissance fair and it blew my mind because there were all these people who were making costumes and I really like learned from scratch.

The little bits and little bits after that.

Brett Stanley: [00:08:12] And is it the same for you, Rachel? Is it the similar kind of process

Rachel Day: [00:08:16] I’m a little bit, that’s like sewing is something that I learned from my mom at a very young age, but it was always like, so a bag or a pillowcase or something like that, but I wasn’t really turned on to like. Creating full outfits and full fantasies and things like that until my sister in law came into my life and she was, uh, she is still a cost player.

Um, and that kind of intro into like, ah, yes, I can create characters and I have this kind of blueprint where I can look and see where some costume designer created game of Thrones characters or what they, what they wear in their culture. And, um, it was wonderful and it was a really great start to learning all of that, but it wasn’t satisfying me for very long.

And it wasn’t until I think Jessica and I really started pinging off of each other to create our own, our own fantasies and our own characters and stuff like that, that I feel like I really came to life in this

Brett Stanley: [00:09:11] So it was more of the creation of your own characters that, that really got you inspired  in this whole  world of creating costumes and characters.

Rachel Day: [00:09:18] absolutely.

Brett Stanley: [00:09:19] So let’s  look at how you guys first got into the underwater world. So I think Jess, maybe your, your history might be a little bit longer than Rachel’s, but what kind of got you into shooting. Underwater and was it with the costume stuff or were you doing something else

Jessica Dru: [00:09:34] Uh, the first time I ever did any underwater photo shoot, I hadn’t actually been in a pool. And like. 10 years or so. Um, my ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend was learning underwater photography and was like, I need a model. Can you come with, and, um, I’m still friends with him and I wanted to be friends with her.

And I was like, yeah, no, that sounds like fun. But I was like, Oh my gosh, I haven’t swam and forever and I’m kind of a stubborn person, so like, I was going to make it work no matter what. And I get there, and it’s in long beach. It’s on the coldest and most rainy day of the year that we’ve had like unexpectedly.

So this is like what April. And um, it was Bryn who is learning how to do photo shoots and Brenda, who was teaching her. Okay. It was a lot of fun and I had a great time and it was me and a bunch of other models that were there that day, but I was the only one that could do it. It turns out it’s like really, really hard.

And being stubborn helps a lot with that. And also cause it was cold. So there was like a lot of ways that that day could have failed or kind of like taking it out of even the most experienced sort of person. But I finished up that shoot with them. I have a lot of fun and Brenda was like, let’s hang out.

Brett Stanley: [00:10:53] Right? And that’s brings us stumped. The photographer.

Jessica Dru: [00:10:55] Yeah. Brenda’s stumped. This was back in 2010 though. This is a while ago.

Brett Stanley: [00:10:59] Oh, right. So then, so that kind of ignited that  joy of underwater

Jessica Dru: [00:11:03] Oh my gosh. Well, like Brenda and I would just exchange like Facebook messages and texts about like, Oh, I have this costume and I think it can go under water. Or Oh, I have this fluffy skirt design. Do you want to come over? And we would just like make a point of meeting up and doing all of that. And um.

One of the very few, like within that year, we went down to the  down in Mexico to shoot, and she had brought a bunch of wardrobe and she brought all of this and it was so cool. And shooting in the snow days was wonderful, but I was like, I can make costumes, I can do some of this stuff. Hold on, let me, let me make some stuff for you.

And that’s when I started kind of pitching my own ideas to her. And the next time we went to the , which was maybe a year or so later, she and I had handmade mermaid tails for myself and another underwater, uh, model who I’ve known for years longer than even underwater photography, Virginia.

Brett Stanley: [00:11:59] and so when you got down there with those tails, how, how was that? Had you swam in a tail before?

Jessica Dru: [00:12:03] So we had, um, we were, so the design I pitched, and this is like me being extracted, extremely cruel. Um, you know, a lot of the tail makers hadn’t existed back then. And so the whole. Kind of troubleshooting of mermaid tails hadn’t existed, and I was trying to make a koi fish sort of style, so it was like a really long fabric fluke and we could swim in them, but it was like swimming with a parachute behind you.

So the tails were, and the pictures turned out great. There’s some of my favorite pictures, but they were a lot of energy and effort to swim around in like very drown worthy.

Brett Stanley: [00:12:44] Certainly if you were going to drown, you want it to look good doing it.

Jessica Dru: [00:12:46] I mean, you know, there are times when you’re underwater, like deep in this and Otay with, you know, a safety domain watching you. And I was like, yeah, this, I mean, at least there will be pictures of my demise that look amazing, so that’s okay.

Brett Stanley: [00:13:02] that’s right. I think that’s the underlying ethos for any underwater photography or cinematography. It’s, it just makes sure, if my last photo makes me look amazing.

And so Rachel was so for you, when did it, when did this come for you? I assume it was like a couple of years later.

Rachel Day: [00:13:16] it was actually, so if, if Jessica was in, uh, would you say 2010. If Jessica was in 2010, she looped me into this about four years later. So it was 2014 for me. Um, and for me, I think Jessica and I had been kind of bouncing back and forth ideas on photo shoots, on land for a year or two at this point. And, uh, right.

And, um, something came up where. I believe it was like Greek gods was the theme for this underwater shoot. And he were like, Oh, Rachel’s got a whole bunch of Greek outfits. We should do this. And again, this was with Brenda STEM. So my first experience was in long beach, hopping into a pool, rigging. I was completely unfamiliar with, uh, dresses, all of that.

And I’m with two pros, Jessica, and I think, Jack, oh my gosh. And all I could do was sit and like watch YouTube, go under the water for what felt like 10 minutes at a time when it was probably like a minute, and I could barely get my head under the water for like 10 seconds. It was, it was such a, I think you’re so right in saying like, it’s tenacity and stubbornness that.

Makes a good underwater model, like you have to force yourself to do something that feels completely unnatural, but by the end of it, like I felt a lot more confident by the end of my like hour in this pool. And so much of it was like, yes, I love this. This is, this is tough, but I love it and I wanted you more.

Brett Stanley: [00:14:46] And w were you like a water person to start with? Like did you love the water anyway, or was this just something that was like, I’m going to do this cause I want to,

Rachel Day: [00:14:54] Well, a little bit that, but, I’ve always been a swimmer. I was a surfer for a long time, so being in the water is completely natural to me. It’s, it’s an element I feel very comfortable in.

Um, it’s very peaceful, um, and very dangerous at the same time, but, but super fun.

Brett Stanley: [00:15:10] And I think that’s, that’s the payoff with underwater is there is this little bit of sense of danger, but, but when you can pull up something that looks amazing, it just makes everything feel so much more worth it in the end. I think.

Rachel Day: [00:15:21] Jessica, and I tell this to all of our friends that want to try this. This is the hardest kind of modeling a person can do that I’m aware of.

Jessica Dru: [00:15:30] Yeah, absolutely. There’s so much you cannot control underwater that it’s just like, be prepared. Okay. Just try and try and try and try it. So it’s exhausting. Oh my gosh. It’s so exhausting. Like I burned so many calories.

Brett Stanley: [00:15:45] Yeah. Yeah, I bet. Cause , you working so hard and every time you go under it, it’s all very intense. And because there’s no direction while you’re under the water as well, you’re basically doing your own thing. And then when you come back up, you, you know, that’s the time when you get to relax and kind of think about what’s just happened.

Rachel Day: [00:16:02] Relaxes. An interesting word to use there because it’s usually trying to hold your head above water, like hold onto whatever ladder is over the pool or hold onto a buoy. Out in the wild or whatever. So you’re still like struggling to maintain life while having a moment of like, Oh, I’m catching my breath now.

Brett Stanley: [00:16:20] yeah. I use the word relaxed quite loosely there, I think, just in comparison.

Rachel Day: [00:16:23] Absolutely.

Brett Stanley: [00:16:25] So Jessica,  are you like a water person as well? Did you kind of come up loving the water as well? And this was just the natural progression.

Jessica Dru: [00:16:32] I almost drowned when I was little. I think a lot of kids almost drowned when they’re little. And, uh, I definitely wasn’t into water. And so I used snorkeling and scuba diving as ways of life, kind of overcoming those fears. And so. When I agreed to go in the pool and all of these other crazy things.

This is after I had gone and learned how to like dive in and scuba and all of that. So like I’d kind of overcome the fear mostly, but going and sinking down in a  like 30 feet under water with like this huge gaping cave behind you. It triggered every single one of those. Like. There’s gotta be a creepy tentacled monster coming out of this.

So like , it was definitely like a re re up on overcoming fear, overcoming things that scare you because you’re so much more focused on what you can do with overcoming that fear and how amazing water and clear water and all of that is. It’s worth it.

Brett Stanley: [00:17:37] Yeah, definitely. And I think especially as a model,  a little bit more extreme, I think, because you’re taking a mask off and you’re taking the air supply out so you may not be able to see anything anymore and you just have to trust what’s happening. and trust the people around you.

I guess.

Jessica Dru: [00:17:51] Trust is actually such an important thing to acknowledge and recognize with this kind of work. Like you don’t just Willy nilly go out into the ocean with, anyone. Okay. Honestly, like I really hope that my friends that I have drown with me, like recognize how much I trust them and hopefully that they trust me to do this sort of thing.

Brett Stanley: [00:18:13] Yeah. Is it the same for you, Rachel? Is there still, is that that cost sort of trust involved.

Rachel Day: [00:18:17] Oh, absolutely. That’s Beyond anything. That’s the most important part about doing this is being able to trust the people that you’re with. Um, when you’re under the water and a giant dress, it could get snagged. Uh, your feet could get tangled. I’ve had that happen before and you can’t reach the surface and you need to trust the people around you to be paying attention, to be attentive, to know how to respond very quickly without having that trust in the people around you.

I would never get into the water.

Brett Stanley: [00:18:45] Have you had experiences where you didn’t trust the people you were with?

Rachel Day: [00:18:49] No, I would never put myself in that situation. Now, I mean, so much of that when we’re planning this too is talking about our safety plans and, uh, what sort of equipment is going to be used? Who’s going to be outside of the pool or who’s going to be on scuba nearby. Um, getting to know those people just as much as the photographer you’re working with.

Brett Stanley: [00:19:10] Yeah.

Jessica Dru: [00:19:10] I love my safeties. I’ve been really lucky though that the photographers and the safeties and the sets that I’ve been on have been very professional and  , Oh no, sorry. Aye. I have one shoe that went horribly and I try not to talk about it because it frustrates me so much.

But yes, I’ve been on one set where it sucked.

Brett Stanley: [00:19:28] And does it frustrate you because it could have been avoided in some way?

Jessica Dru: [00:19:33] Well, we had safety divers there on set. Um, the photographer wasn’t in the water with me, but the safety divers were, they were just dicking around over on the co clear other end of an Olympic sized swimming pool instead of, yeah. Watching me and I was underwater in chain mail, like hi.

Cannot even express how difficult it was to have to get my own self up to the floaty at the time, the surface of the water when I was a good 15 feet under.

Brett Stanley: [00:20:03] So they just didn’t have anyone keeping an eye on you at

Jessica Dru: [00:20:06] Two safety divers were in the pool with me and they were not at all. They’re like, they needed to have been, uh, hands distance out of frame of the shot and they just, Oh, Ooh. It gets my heart racing cause it was so frustrated. Like I had my own safety in my own hands and so I knew what I could and couldn’t do  accomplish what I needed to.

But yeah, that was hard.

Brett Stanley: [00:20:31] So what sort of production was that? Was it something that was like low budget or was it it was a commercial shoot

Jessica Dru: [00:20:37] It was one of the few page shoots that I did, and it’s one of the reasons why very rarely, if ever take paid work.

Brett Stanley: [00:20:44] Right? Because of that side of things that, that, you know, that lack of have control over things.

Jessica Dru: [00:20:51] Yeah, I think because, you know, I’m there for the paycheck and there’s money that it sort of short circuits my own needs. You know? Like I didn’t put myself first because I knew that I was hired on  to be there and I was trying to do my job well, but there were people that weren’t doing their job and I didn’t, I want to be like overly dramatic or any sort of thing like that.

But, um, you know, and I could get to, to the surface really safely, but dang that the safety divers tried to, uh, credit me and like the word they had done with me after that, and I asked them and not so many words that they needed to take that down.

Brett Stanley: [00:21:29] Right, because they’d really not done anything to help you at all.

Jessica Dru: [00:21:33] Nope.

Brett Stanley: [00:21:34] Yeah. See, that’s not great, and  I think a thread of all these podcasts and all these episodes is just reintegrating how much safety is an essential part of these kinds of shoots and these productions. Because if you don’t have safety, then.

You know, things, things can happen. People can die.

Rachel Day: [00:21:51] Right? There has to be a plan and a backup plan every time.

Jessica Dru: [00:21:54] Yeah. I don’t think I would have died on that set. It was a pool. Yeah. Woo. Got me so steamed.

Brett Stanley: [00:22:01] Yeah. So my kind of process with that as a photographer is that most of my mental energy before a shoot is going into to kind of playing every scenario. So I build sets underwater, which you guys know cause you’ve come and shot with me in them. But every time I shoot with one of those sets, I’m thinking about all the things that can go wrong and how I would fix it.

You know, if you’ve got a TV in the bottom of the pool, can someone’s dress get caught on the Ariel? You know, can someone get caught on the edge of a chair? And if so, how can you go and fix that problem? How can you make sure that the set is safe?

Rachel Day: [00:22:38] That’s, that’s exactly correct. I remember when we were building, um, the say on set the. Yeah. With the crystal ball and all of that. We had a lot of things, some horns and things that were coming up and yeah. It’s really comforting to hear now that you were considering all that stuff too. Because in my own head, I’m like, okay, the dress I’m wearing, uh, how can I rip it properly in case it gets stuck on this horn?

What part of the set will come apart easily if I end up getting stuck here or there or the other thing? So I had my own set of like three or four different plans for if this worst case scenario happened, how I would react. And I think there’s something comforting about. Playing those scenarios in your head before you go in, just just in case.

I already know. I don’t have to think about it. I’ve already thought about it.

Brett Stanley: [00:23:22] Yeah. I think having an exit plan for yourself, um, and looking after your own safety, you know, is kind of, is pretty paramount. Is it the same for you, Jessica? Are you kind of gonna running all the scenarios before you do a shoot to see what’s going to go? What could go wrong?

Jessica Dru: [00:23:36] Yeah. Um, well, like when I first started, I didn’t know what could or couldn’t go wrong, but I had the most amazing safety that I was working with pretty consistently for the first couple of years. So he was telling me, okay, you need to pay attention to this, this, this. We’re going to go down on scuba. This is what I’m looking for.

And. That sort of trained me up on a, on a number of things. And I also got to experience what it was like to have something get caught on a rock under water and all of that. So, I don’t know, like I was really lucky with the training that I got firsthand so that I have like all the, um, the reactions kind of like like programs like ahead of time. Second, like what Rachel says, like you know what to do when you get into a pickle so that you’re not going to hurt yourself or hurt others. Oh my gosh. Cause Rachel and I have done plenty of stuff together and that’s also like another added level of complication and safety concern.

Rachel Day: [00:24:36] Yeah. When when we’re doing tandem shoots, there’s always the conversation beforehand like, Hey, if I’m tapping your back, it means I’m ready to go up, or whatever. All of that communication is super important.

Brett Stanley: [00:24:48] Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s, you know, having preplanned with those sorts of things, especially if you’re like one or two or more people, um, in a, in a group,  do you, are you guys kind of making a plan beforehand, like you say, with, with taps and gestures and stuff, have you got kind of a system of communication while you’re under the water?

Jessica Dru: [00:25:06] Well, like oftentimes we’re so close, we can kind of see. Not fully like somebodies expression, but like we can kind of sense what they’re doing. Like oftentimes we’re posing while holding each other. And that’s definitely a situation where if I feel any sort of like tug or something that they need to go, like it’s a full release and up also or help and assist them if they need to.

Cause depending.

Brett Stanley: [00:25:29] Yeah.

Rachel Day: [00:25:30] Yeah. I think one of, one of the, one of the questions we get a lot when people see our photos for the first time. Or kind of experiencing a, what an underwater photo shoot is like they kind of get this notion in their head that we’re down there on scuba tanks or on air and like we’re down under the water for a very long time, which just isn’t the case.

We’re only down for like 30 seconds to a minute maximum when we’re doing these shoots and. Constantly coming back up to the surface to have conversations, and a lot of those conversations are around, okay, I’m going to sink lower than you this time. I’m going to be looking up into the left. You make sure to look down into the right and having these light posing conversations so that time spent above the water is, is just as important.

Brett Stanley: [00:26:16] Yeah. That’s your time to  get the direction of the shoot and kind of keep, keep the communication going that you can’t do while you’re under there.

Jessica Dru: [00:26:22] Especially for that. Cool posing. Yeah.

Rachel Day: [00:26:25] it’s impossible to kind of change direction while underwater. You kind of have to go down with the plan.

Brett Stanley: [00:26:30] Have you been in situations where you’ve worked with someone that you don’t know very well in terms of the other model?

Jessica Dru: [00:26:36] We’ve worked with new people all the time, but luckily they tend to be people that we’ve had a conversation prior to that day. Right.

Rachel Day: [00:26:45] Yeah, for the most part. Um, I think for me, um, the first time that I worked with Jake underwater, I had only met him just that day, but I know, but, um. We talked for a good half hour to an hour before we even got into the water again. Doing this planning and this like kind of getting a sense of have how much of this have you done before?

How comfortable are you in the water? Just by talking to somebody, you can kind of tell if they’re nervous about doing this or if they’re feeling confident and that kind of like. Informs my behavior on how I’m going to be with that person under the water. So that was, I think that was the first time I had done a modeling session with somebody I didn’t know super well, but we had the conversation leading up to being actually in the water and it made it so easy.

It was, it was almost like the subtle communication that Jessica and I have now. I had with him almost immediately just because we had had the conversation to start with.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:44] Right? you already had a connection emotionally, just from having that conversation.

Rachel Day: [00:27:49] Even if it was only a half hour, it made all the difference.

Brett Stanley: [00:27:53] Did you go through your kind of communication system, like with the touches and the taps and kind of go through, if this happens, then we’ll do this sort of situation.

Rachel Day: [00:28:01] Yeah, exactly. Um, this was one of the dresses I was really concerned about because it went pretty far past my feet and was kind of heavy material. So I just let him know, Hey, I’m concerned that my feet are going to get wrapped up in this with both of us kind of being turbulent and the water. So, um, there’s a possibility that I won’t be able to lift myself up out of the water.

I may need your help. I’ll signal to you that I need. That helped by grabbing onto your hand and squeezing onto your hand. Um, yeah, just having, telling him what my current worries are, um, and then how I would signal that just made all the difference.

Brett Stanley: [00:28:34] And is that the same for you, Jess, as well? Have you kind of gone through those situations with a partner that you might not have known very well.

Jessica Dru: [00:28:40] Mmm. I usually am bringing friends into the water with me. Um, but I’m usually also the one that’s training them up, so I have a lot of conversations. On like the day one with any new person. But it, it always is hand in hand with training them to go underwater. And oftentimes the best way to help somebody go underwater for the first time is to go under water.

Then just kinda like holding the pools side by side. I feel like the conversations I have are definitely different because I’m, uh, helping people out in a very different way than, um, just limited to. Like safety in the water and yeah. How to handle some of that communication, like, yeah. I think I just approach it differently than Rachel, but I love it.

Hearing about how she communicates.

Brett Stanley: [00:29:30]  and everyone has a different way of doing what they need to do. I think, um, as a photographer, I’m constantly having to evolve because every model or every client that I work with has a different way of, of understanding and a different way of, of kind of learning what needs to happen.

So I think if you can kind of, um. You know, kind of change or evolve depending on the people you’re working with. I think that makes things a lot easier.

Rachel Day: [00:29:54] I think that’s one of the reasons. Um, I really like bringing people that are kind of new to this actually to you, Brett, because you have a very clear way of explaining. What your process is, what they can expect as they go under water, all of that kind of stuff. I think you have a really good way of talking to people that are fresh to this.

Brett Stanley: [00:30:12] Oh, thanks. I think a lot of that for me comes from trying to understand it myself. Like it’s, it’s, it’s such a foreign concept that until you actually go under the water and try and oppose, you really have no idea what it’s going to be like.

Jessica Dru: [00:30:25] None at all. Oh my gosh. Right. I went to an audition for a, a mini short film, right? And they’re like, it’s an out of water audition for an underwater part. And they’re like, okay. So we’re going to try to give you some direction, but you have to pretend like you’re underwater. And I’m like. This is impossible, like I’m going to move really slowly.

And I looked ridiculous and they kept on being like more a theorial, more a theorial. So for the longest time, that used to be like my go to, okay. The thing between me and my husband were like, we’d be doing something. He’d be like more theorial, more theorial.

But it’s so impossible to try to share the experience out of water at all.

Yeah. You have to get in the water and try it yourself.

Rachel Day: [00:31:09] a completely different world. You can, you can describe it as much as you’d like, but until you’re in there experiencing it, you don’t completely understand.

Brett Stanley: [00:31:16] No. And, and I think it’s, I think people who grew up sort of swimming or a good in the water think that they have a certain understanding of it, of what it’s going to be like to be. Modeling underwater, but it is totally different. You know, if you’re, if you’re good in the water, you might be great at swimming from one end of the pool to the other, but you might have your eyes closed.

You might be holding your nose, you know, you have no idea what your face is doing. All these things just

don’t translate.

Jessica Dru: [00:31:46] So the like the bubblegum face, the holding your breath. Hope.


Rachel Day: [00:31:51] Yeah, the Blowfish. Chipmunk. We’ve got so many words for this. This look, it’s a very common look for new people.

Jessica Dru: [00:31:58] And it’s unconscious.

Rachel Day: [00:31:59] Oh, completely. You know, that’s another thing that I think, um, being new to underwater modeling people. Don’t think about, but when you’re going underwater, you have to spend so much time regulating your breath and your buoyancy, so you have to do the unnatural thing of letting all of the air in your lung out before you go under water.

So people who are really strong swimmers and all of that are used to keeping as much oxygen as possible in their lungs, which is the complete opposite of what you want when you’re modeling.

Brett Stanley: [00:32:26] Yeah, absolutely. And is that kind of counterintuitive newness of going under the water to model that your body is kind of, not your body, but your brain is kind of fighting against these kinds of urges. You know, like to sink under water, you have to let all your air out, but the first thing that your brain wants you to do when you go under is take a breath.

So teaching people and training them to not take that breath is really hard.

Rachel Day: [00:32:50] like re rejecting your natural tendencies completely.

Jessica Dru: [00:32:54] Oh man. And the body has so many natural tendencies to do underwater, like raising your arms above your head, bending your knees, wanting to keep your lungs full. There’s like so many things that just like, if you think underwater, it’s like a checklist of habits.

Brett Stanley: [00:33:11] Have either of you guys done any, any free dive training? Have you sort of done any kind of education. Around this to , make yourselves hold your breath for longer.

Rachel Day: [00:33:20] I have not.

Brett Stanley: [00:33:21] Yeah. That’s interesting. So, so Jess, you have done some free dive training. What did that involve?

Jessica Dru: [00:33:26] Oh man. Um, it’s everything from in water rescue, so I know what to do if somebody is struggling in the water or passes out. Worst case scenario, right? Passes out in the water. Mmm. Two, knowing what the biological response to not breathing. What to watch for, where it’s like, this is your body doing, this is the carbon dioxide buildup in your body and  the whole system is going to respond in this way further than this becomes oxygen deprivation and it’s a whole other thing, like the safety in regards to working underwater, it was really important to me.

And so the free diving training that I went, yeah, two, it was half safety focused. Okay. And then half. Um, skill honing. And I really loved all the safety stuff because like I’m not diving yeah. At all for any of this photography stuff, but I have a really good understanding of like, what is safe for my body to do and also how to help other people should they become in distress.

And I, I value that training so much. But, um, also that training. Taught me, you know, don’t hyperventilate. Here’s the reasons why. Like I learned a lot. And having that grounded scientific knowledge has really, um, helped me, cause a lot of people want to offer advice. And so much of the advice that people who mean well, but have never done this offer is actually incredibly dangerous.

So I’m so happy to have had the good training that I can always share my knowledge. Okay. Others that are around me cause I want them to be safe as well.

Brett Stanley: [00:35:03] Yeah. And if you can make them safe in, in your, in the way that you’re safe, then it means that you understand what happens in that situation.

Jessica Dru: [00:35:11] A hundred percent I mean, I wish that I was a better free diver. The moment you get me out on the open ocean with the waves. I, uh, this is so gross to talk about, but like, I immediately started vomiting on one of our deep dive days. It was terrible. I had taken Dramamine, but just swimming out from shore and being in the, um, the waves of the ocean, I just couldn’t.

Brett Stanley: [00:35:33] So just a pure seasickness.

Jessica Dru: [00:35:35] I am the most seasick person you will ever meet. And the fact that I’m like, Oh, I do verbiage and stuff is so like

Brett Stanley: [00:35:44] Yeah.

Rachel Day: [00:35:45] It’s so funny because it’s exactly the same for me. Uh, Jessica and I both have friends that are trying to get us to go out on boats and do other fun oceany things, and we’re like, no, we’re okay. Even though we spend so much time in water, I get so seasick. It’s horrible.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:00] It’s quite a common thing actually, and I think, like for me, I’m, I get. Reasonably seasick as well, which

is, you know, my, my, my career is being in the water and on the water. Um, but even speaking to Hannah Fraser, who’s Hannah mermaid, she gets seasick as well,

Rachel Day: [00:36:15] I feel much less terrible about this whole thing, and that’s a wonderful.

Jessica Dru: [00:36:19] I seriously don’t fess up. That’s amazing.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:22] Oh yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s more common than you think, and we just all try and fight through it because it’s our job.

Rachel Day: [00:36:30] Yeah. I think so much of it is like, no, I want to be tough. I want to will this feeling away. We’re so stubborn about it, but Oh man, is it there?

Jessica Dru: [00:36:38] I’m amazed cause yeah, it is about being more stubborn than the elements that you put yourself in. But I’m shocked that you and him, you guys make me feel so much better.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:49] Okay. This is group

Rachel Day: [00:36:51] Yeah. This has been therapeutic. I appreciate that.

Brett Stanley: [00:36:56] Um, Um, and so, Rachel, you haven’t done any sort of formal training. How did you get your breath hold to where it is? Cause I mean from memory, the book, the two of you are really, really well. You know, you’re down there for a long time. Possibly up to up to a minute.

Uh, when we’re, when we’re shooting, how are you getting your breath? Hold to be so long.

Rachel Day: [00:37:16] So, um, Jessica just talked about all of the scientific information that she got while going through courses and things like that. And she’s been kind enough to impart all of that onto me. So while I’ve not done the classes myself, I definitely have a, a partner in crime that’s willing to. Tell me what she’s up to and what she’s learned and all of that.

So I have the information she has just without the proper training, I should totally do it sometime. I just haven’t. Um. But when it comes to like practicing your breath hold and getting a strong breath hold, it was kind of two parts for me. One, it’s, um, it’s a muscle. You’re, you’re training your lungs to behave in a certain way and all of that.

And then the other one is that it’s kind of a mental exercise. Um. When I’m down there, usually the first 30 seconds or so are just incredibly natural and it’s a lot of like, make sure the dress is straight, make sure the wigs not flying off, like kind of maintenance stuff. Um, and then it turns into, okay, I’m, here I am, I’m down here and I’m posing and I’m being a serial, or whatever it is.

Um. And it becomes a mental exercise. I tell myself, I’m fine. I have enough oxygen in my lungs. Um, I feel completely okay and just kind of mentally reminding myself that this is a perfectly natural thing and I’m totally fine and I can stay down there for a long time. And it’s not until I go, Oh, okay, this, this feeling is starting to change.

Maybe it’s time to head up to the surface, then I, then I

Brett Stanley: [00:38:42] Right? Yeah. So do you find that your brain is, is really trying to sabotage you a lot, and you’ve got to try and turn that brain off a little bit by getting lost in the posing and going to distracting yourself.

Rachel Day: [00:38:55] Early on, um, the distractions and the thinking about. Being under and telling myself, I’m fine. That happened a lot more early on nowadays. Um, it’s a little more natural. It’s, it’s kind of muscle memory. You just know what your body can handle and what it can’t handle. Um, and when to go up and when to stay down and all of that.

It’s, it’s much more of a learned behavior than it is something that I’m constantly telling myself with the mantra at this point.

Brett Stanley: [00:39:21] So you’ve got, you’ve kind of built it into yourself now it’s a lot easier.

Rachel Day: [00:39:25] Yeah, exactly.

Brett Stanley: [00:39:26] Do you guys do any, any kind of physical training outside of the water? Do you do any, any yoga or anything with the purpose of getting your breath hold longer?

Jessica Dru: [00:39:34] I mean, we both work out and stuff just because it’s good for you and it feels good. I think the most beneficial thing I could do would be cardio and, uh, uh, don’t do at all. I hate running. I hate it.

Rachel Day: [00:39:49] I’ve been, I’ve been anti cardio for a long time, but not until the last year or so. I’ve kind of embraced cardio and what it can do for your body and all of that, and I bet it has helped my breath hold. I haven’t really considered it being like training for a breath hold, but absolutely it’s got benefits.

Brett Stanley: [00:40:05] I think for me, cause I’m,  I’ve said this before on the podcast, I’m a bigger guy. Um, and my breath out is, is pretty good, but it’s only when I’m static so I can sit on the bottom of the pool all day. But as soon as you have to make me swim across that pool, my breath hole disappears. And I think for me, it’s got a lot to do with my cardio, cause I don’t do a lot of that.

Um, so I think my body’s not really very good at, at burning energy.

Jessica Dru: [00:40:28] Yeah. You’re burning through your oxygen the moment you start moving. Cause yeah. Like your breath holds can go for hours and hours. Like really if you’re not moving at all. But with those dang dresses or mermaid tails, all the modeling stuff. Burns through your oxygen so quickly.

Brett Stanley: [00:40:45] Yeah, cause it’s all creating drag and you’re not moving through the water as fast as you normally would. Rachel, you mentioned wigs before. What’s it like working with wigs under the water? What, what sort of considerations do you have to have when working with

Rachel Day: [00:40:58] Yeah. So part of the reason, um, I like working with wigs underwater is that it’s all S most of the time it’s synthetic material that can hold a curl and like keep shape. That’s another question I get a lot on my social media. How do you get your hair to look like that? It’s because it’s plastic. Yeah.

Right. Um, I guess people don’t consider it when they’re first looking at it, which is all part of the illusion, which is wonderful that we can create that kind of illusion. Um, but when you’re considering putting a wig under the water, um, you have to consider how it’s going to stay there. Um, so a lot of it is Bobby pinning and just.

Getting it. I always braid my natural hair underneath the wig before I put the wig on for underwater so that I have an anchor to pin into to make sure it’s going to stay in place. Um. Another thing is like adding a head dress or a crown or something else on top. It looks cool, but it’s also kind of functionally helpful for kind of keeping everything in place.

You just have more anchor points, and Jessica and I have both sewn. Crowns and things like that into into each other’s hair and wigs and like fishing line to get everything to stay in place. It’s just securing it and making sure it’s, it’s going to stay exactly where you want it to stay.

Brett Stanley: [00:42:12] Right? What’s, what’s the thing that’s going to pull it off and why does it have to be so well anchored on.

Rachel Day: [00:42:18] Oh the second you dive. Oh, this is so such a thing. When you’re wearing a wig, you have to go into the water in a way that you’re. Forehead is not leading the way, or it will rip the hair right back. Um, so often when I’m wearing a wig, it’s always feet first, kind of poses, um, things where I can kind of keep the flow of the water from getting underneath the wig and pushing it up.

Um, yeah, there’s, there’s a lot of little tips and tricks there for sure.

Brett Stanley: [00:42:47] And, and it’s just about kind of sliding under the water slowly and gracefully, rather than kind of shoving yourself

Rachel Day: [00:42:53] Right. Exactly. Yeah. The more turbulent, uh, the water, like, I don’t think people realize this either, but there are like currents and things that happen underneath the water and the second something kind of with spy and grabs the edge of your wig, uh, it’s gone.

Brett Stanley: [00:43:07] Oh yeah. And so what about costumes and fabrics and stuff? So just when you’re building or designing a, an outfit for one of these photo shoots, are you taking that sort of drag and those currents into consideration.

Jessica Dru: [00:43:18] Oh cause the drag and the currents are part of what makes fabric look so darn beautiful. Underwear. Like I have kind of like my favorite underwater fabrics and they’re all uh, evoking kind of like a different feel flow or movement. The number one tippy top favorite fabric is chiffon and always like a polyester.

You want to go cheap cause you’re going to go for volume. But like chiffon moves and flows beautifully but also is kind of sheer. So it gets like overlapping tone and you get a lot more of that depth. But then there’s also like. A Shar moose looks really beautiful, some like silk  look really beautiful, but tool has kind of like this effervescent sheer cloud, like luminous quality, underwater light, the fabrics you use for underwater R a a hundred percent different than what you would use.

Out of water and how you use them, like you’re using tons of yardage underwater because you want flow and volume and puff. And I mean, the more volume of fabric you add underwater, the more you’re going to be hello down by it. So that  kind of spooky or concerning, but the look is the reason you do any of this.

So that’s what it’s all about right?

Brett Stanley: [00:44:40] And are you choosing fabrics depending on what the character is as well. So say if you’re doing a like a Grecian kind of character, are you choosing fabrics that will  work with that outfit but also still flow nicely as well?

Jessica Dru: [00:44:54] Oh, yeah. Um, like for the Grecian stuff that we’ve done. Yeah. You’re going to be using like whites and like how you’re pinning and tucking the costume in the first place. Uh, what did I use most recently for some Grecian stuff? I had this really nice silk crepe, which was a little bit more opaque because white gets naked really quickly.

But, um, um, yeah, what t-shirt contest under the


Rachel Day: [00:45:19] yeah.

Jessica Dru: [00:45:21] But yeah, I mean, the, the costumes that we make, almost everything I make, and probably the same for you too, Rachel. Like even if we’re shooting it out of water for the first. Shoot. We make it hoping to put it in the water one day.

Rachel Day: [00:45:38] Oh yeah. Every costume I make is like, okay, well I can’t use real leather cause that’ll fall apart and water. Let me find a synthetic material I can use instead.

Brett Stanley: [00:45:47] Right. So this is always in the back of your mind now, even if you’re not designing stuff specifically for the underwater.

Rachel Day: [00:45:52] Yeah, completely.

Jessica Dru: [00:45:54] It’s like, make it just a little bit longer. Make it just a little bit more full.

Rachel Day: [00:45:58] Oh, that’s a funny thing too about creating costumes for underwater is that I’m constantly making them. So I couldn’t, if I was wearing these dresses out in, uh, the non-water world because of the real world, I would be tripping over myself because they’re always like a foot or two longer than I am tall, just so that they can have the flow in the water.

But, uh, walking on land, I’ve got to pin stuff up constantly. It’s, yeah, it’s a little silly trick.

Brett Stanley: [00:46:23] So you guys  what you’re most well known for is probably the work that you’ve done with, with Cheryl Walsh, which has all this very fantastical. Um, and generally in pairs, but it’s a lot of fabric flowing around. He has this very kind of classic painter kind of look to her work. How does that affect how you guys are posing?

Are there things that you’re doing for this work to kind of get the fabric to look how it does? Are you picking it up and throwing it or, or is someone coming in and, and rustling that fabric for you?

Jessica Dru: [00:46:52] I think the. The biggest thing that we do is we sink to the bottom of the pool and just kind of balance. And that for the most part, gives the fabric and the wig and everything that we’re wearing kind of lift and fluffiness. I mean, there’s a lot that you do for fabric manipulation, but that’s like one of the primary building blocks for good fabric.

Rachel Day: [00:47:15] Yeah. The, the looks that you want is really when you’re descending rather than going back up. It’s the, like the water is kind of catching the fabric from underneath and creating this like jellyfish, like motion with the hair and all of that kind of stuff. It’s the going down. So when you’re under the water for 30 seconds.

Two a minute or so. You kind of like Jessica said, you kind of bounce a little bit like, okay, let me go up a little bit and then let it settle so we can get the cool shot and then go up again and then settle again. Um, there’s all sorts of little little tricks that you kind of learn to, to get the shot looking right and the fabric looking right often with a long dress.

Um, I’ll take the fabric. In my hands as I’m going down and when I’ve reached the bottom of the pool or wherever I’m ready to shoot, I kind of let it go so that there’s the moment of weightlessness right before you take the shot. Yeah. All sorts of fun stuff.

Brett Stanley: [00:48:08] Yeah. I tend to think of it like, like either you’re on a trampoline or you’re on the moon, and when you want to be able to sink to the bottom of that pool, and if you just do a small hop, like a. You know, like a moonwalk kind of little hop and as you go up everything kind of looks pretty boring. But then as you start to drop again, everything kind of puffs out.

And that’s the magic moment is when everything kind of catches the water and flows out. And you kind of have, I don’t know, like two seconds of that. Every time you hop up.

Rachel Day: [00:48:35] Yeah. And you want to just create as many of those opportunities as you can while you’re under the water.

Brett Stanley: [00:48:39] which is done by having a, a breath hold that’s long enough to give you time to be able to get through those sorts of things. Right.

Jessica Dru: [00:48:47] Yeah, I mean, the shortest breath hold that you can get like a usable picture. And this is usually what I say to calm somebody new down is like you just need 15 seconds. That’s enough to like sink under, kind of like fluff your hair and just look. Yeah, it’s all the time that you need for at least one good shot.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:08] Well, that’s, that’s interesting cause a lot of my clients are people who have never done this before. They’re regular people and they just want to have an underwater photo shoot and they’re worried about their breath hold and they’ve set on the couch and held their breath for 30 seconds.

And they were like, well I did really well. But what I tell them is that I can work with any amount of time that you’re under there. So long as you’re prepared. If you only have a five second breath hold, but it takes you, you know, you can get into the pose in one second, then it’s great. You know, I only need to take one shot, so it doesn’t really need to be long.

You just need to be prepared and have, have thought through what you’re going to do when you go


Rachel Day: [00:49:47] That’s why that that communication beforehand, that preparation is so important.

Brett Stanley: [00:49:51] Absolutely. And are there things that you would want photographers to know from your point of view? Are there things that if you’re working with a new photographer that you want, either want to get from them or that you would want them to understand about how to get the best out of you?

Rachel Day: [00:50:09] So I think when working with a new photographer, like I keep saying this over and over again, but it’s so important is just to have that moment of communication before you both get in the water. Um, when I’m working with someone new, I want to show the idea that I want to get across, or if it’s a collaboration piece, what are their thoughts?

What kind of emotion are they trying to evoke? In creating this, this photo because the photos that we’re making together really are a collaboration of art. It’s, it’s my skill in creating a costume and the posing and, um, athletics of modeling underwater and your skill of creating an image. And. Doing all of the work afterwards.

So I want to make sure that whatever photographer I’m working with, we have an aligned vision. Um, yeah. A lot of that comes in, here’s my source material. Here’s something I was thinking of. I think, um, the first time you and I worked together, Brett was on that. Thor. Um, right. So I remember we talked a little bit about the comic and kind of what it meant to me and, um, the female Thor and the struggle that she’s going through in this moment where she takes mule near and becomes the bad-ass and all of that.

And what does that image look like in my head? And what kind of emotion does that evoke? And you were kind of sharing your own story of like that comic and all of that. So I felt like we had this understanding of what this moment was going to be like.

Brett Stanley: [00:51:31] Yeah. And I remember that day, I remember it. Coming in, I’d never, never met either of

you before. It was the first time we shot together. Um, and I think it was one of those things where you’ve kind of got to, you’ve got to like feel each other out. Cause you know, from my side, I’m not sure, you know, how experienced are you guys?

Like, do you say that you’re a good, but maybe you’re not that good? Um, and, and from your point of view, you’re probably feeling me out in terms of, does he even know what he’s doing? Is this guy safe?

Rachel Day: [00:51:57] Great or it like there’s a lot of effort that goes into it. Is this a waste of my time even? I have no idea.

Brett Stanley: [00:52:03] Yeah. Because there is a lot of effort that goes into it from both sides. But from a, from a photographer’s point of view, a lot of our, our effort is going to be after the shoot, um, in terms of post production. But for you guys, it’s making these outfits and getting there and doing makeup and getting the wigs on and all that sort of stuff.

And then to get in a pool with someone that you’d never. Shot with before and realize this might’ve been a waste of my time is really hard. Whereas the photographer, it’s, if we realize it’s a waste of our time, we just won’t do any work on it. You know? I feel like you guys are more invested up front than we

Rachel Day: [00:52:36] We are, and that’s, I think that’s why it’s so important to have this be a, for me anyways, it’s about the collaboration. Like I want to make sure you’re just as invested in the thing that we’re about to create as I am, because I’m putting forward the upfront work and then like you said, it’s on you to do the finishing work, to take it from the point where we meet in the pool, it’s now your project.

So I want to make sure that it’s a shared vision going back and forth.

Jessica Dru: [00:53:01] Yeah. That mutual inspiration is key to kind of keep that, um. That momentum that like excitement for the thing after the shoot has ended after the, like the whole big moment has en carrying forward without the crowd, without each other in that moment it’s, yeah.

Brett Stanley: [00:53:18] So speaking of inspiration, where do you guys get your inspiration from for these kinds of, um, shoots and these outfits? Is there. Are there other  photographers that you’re looking at and seeing their stuff and thinking, I want to do something similar. I know a lot of it comes from, you know, from popular culture, like comics and, and films and that sort of stuff.

Are there things that really drive you to create the things that you create

Jessica Dru: [00:53:41] Myths and fairy tales and stories. I don’t know. I’ve always been kind of like a fairy tale kind of girl. So like pulling from really interesting, like stories of different cultures and gods and goddesses and Fe, all of that light. Yeah. Super inspires me.  also like D and D characters and whatnot. I’ll be like, Oh, I’ve been pretending to be this character for three years and now I’m gonna make the costume.

Rachel Day: [00:54:13] Yeah, it’s, it’s a lot of that, a lot of the myths and the fantasy and the warriors and the warrior women and all of that kind of stuff that, that get my brain going. But I think there’s an artist too, that Jessica and I kind of share is, um, a visual inspiration, which is Alphonse Mooka, who’s a. Art nouveau artist, uh, the last, the turn of the last century.

Um, yeah. His work is incredible. It’s a flowy pastel, um, flowers interwoven and all of that kind of stuff, I think has inspired a lot of our work.

Brett Stanley: [00:54:44] Yeah. That’s great. And are there things coming up that you’re working towards while you were, while we’re all in lockdown, have you got projects that are coming up that you kind of, you know, starting to work on now.

Jessica Dru: [00:54:53] Hmm. Uh, sort of, um, like right before the lockdown happened, we were just about to like, dead serious the night before we were about to drive up into the mountains to do with things. Mmm. But it was one of those ms G designs, so Kaylee had made some head dresses and then we were pulling from our closets and making a couple things fresh to go along with them.

It was kind of one of those, it’s a little bit harder to capture that kind of like buyer now that we don’t even know when. We can go outside or meet up for anything. So like a lot of our stuff is based on seasons, like flowers right now, or snow in the winter, and then when summertime comes, it’s beach and underwater.

Uh, we don’t even, no, if we’re going to get, get summertime in the pool this year. So it’s, it’s a lot harder to like make costumes without a goal.

Rachel Day: [00:55:51] Yeah. The drive is not there right now. I’m, I’m in the midst of creating a, um, 18th century ballgown that I was intended to wear at the palace of Versailles next month. But that’s not going to happen now. So I’ve got a year to make this thing the most Epic dress I’ve ever made, but also, uh, it’s so sad, but like also, I don’t know, kind of incredible too, that I’ve got all of this extra time, but I’m making it.

Knowing full well that after I’ve worn it at one or two out of water thing is going straight into the bowl.


Brett Stanley: [00:56:27] That’s great. Hey, thanks guys. This has been really awesome just to have a chat with you and kind of go through your experiences and kind of get some knowledge just from the model and costumer kind of point of view. It’s really nice to sort of get your voices into the mix of this conversation that I’m kind of having every week at the moment.

So thanks very much for being available.

Jessica Dru: [00:56:46] Oh, it’s super our pleasure or my pleasure, for sure. Yeah.

Rachel Day: [00:56:49] Mine as well. Absolutely. This is so fun. Thank you so much for having us.

Brett Stanley: [00:56:53] Jessica drew. Rachel Day. Thank you so much for being on the underwater podcast and, uh, hopefully we’ll speak to you soon.

Thanks for listening everyone, and as always, if you liked the podcast, please subscribe. If you’d like to connect with us, you can hit our or on Instagram or Facebook. Also check out our regular live streams on YouTube links will be in the show notes.

If you’d like to know more about my underwater photography workshops and mentoring, you can find

The underwater podcast is presented and produced by me, Brett Stanley and our music is Neo by old boy.

Well, that’s it for me, stay creative, everyone and I’ll see you in the water. 

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