Three Tips for On-Land Mermaid Photography

Three Tips for On-Land Mermaid Photography

Whether on land or underwater, photographing mermaids has become almost a whole new genre in itself. It has gained popularity in recent years creating whole mermaid communities as well. There are a few tips on creating a great portrait for your mermaid clients. 

During the ClickCon mermaid workshop taught a few weeks ago, participants learned how to photograph adult and teen mermaids. The event supplied mermaids with tails and some models brought their own. Choosing a mermaid tail depends on age and budget. The teen model Lily worked with her own tail made by the Mertailor. A silicone fluke and top is one of the best ways to get a realistic look when shooting. For her age, a full silicone tail is not recommended due to the heavy weight. The tails on the adult models are great for land shots, but will not give the same look underwater compared to shooting with silicone (these tails are from another unknown company). 

Three Tips for Land Mermaid Shoots

The first helpful tip is to make sure you have a great makeup artist to add to the look of your mermaid tails and tops. You can add full theatrical makeup extending to body paint as well or keep it simple. The artist crew at ClickCon worked their magic to a whole new level with their embellishments on the bodywork as well. 

With permission and courtesy of Tetyana Drozhzhyna

The second tip is location. This shoot was held on a public beach on Lake Michigan. While it was difficult to work around public beach goers, it was also a fun challenge to show how getting low and choosing new angles can make it seem as if you are in a private location. 

With permission and courtesy of Patrick McGeough

A third tip is to work with the tails as much as you can. If you are working with full silicone most likely the model will not be able to move around much (unless you have an assistant that can help her once in the tail). Moving around the model or having them use the tail while in place is a great way to get multiple shots within the same pose. Have the model shoot laying down and then sitting up. A favorite is to have them on flip the tail up behind them when on laying on their abdomens. 

With permission and courtesy of Randalyn Weiss

With permission and courtesy of Bobbie Steele Brown

Bonus Tip

A bonus tip is for those skilled in post production. Using the tail with a low opacity brush, clone the tail just above the waist line to create a seamless transition rather than the edge of the material. 

The attendees of the workshop used a combination of natural light and use of the Stella Pro. Some brought external strobes as well. Moving from sunset into early night they were able to get more dramatic looks on the adult models in the water. 

Here are a more examples of the shots the attendees and the models created together. 

With permission and courtesy of Zachary Barilow

With permission and courtesy of Jennifer Shearin

With permission and courtesy of Nicole Rekart

With permission and courtesy of Sherry Ailsworth

Image with permission and courtesy of Lorraine Matti

Hands on conferences such as ClickCon are a great way to get exposure to a variety of photography genres. It allows you to explore different concepts to really find your niche. 

Photographers :

Bobbie SteeleBrown 

Randalyn Weiss

Tetyana Drozhzhyna 

Sherry Ailsworth

Patrick McGeough

Jennifer Shearin

Sherry Ailsworth

Nicole Rekart

Lorraine Matti


Meg Klinger 

Chrisy Alisa 

Marisa Velazquez

Lily Tallerico 

Makeup and hair artists 

Hair Stylists: Leslie Robinson and Evie Rivera-Peterson

Makeup Artist: Danielle Leighton

Jennifer Tallerico's picture

JT is known throughout the International Boudoir Photography Industry and the region for her unique approach to Fine Art Photography. Her underwater work as JT Aqua is ethereal based and conceptual. She is an educator, writer and currently teaching workshops for underwater and boudoir.

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I didn't think mermaids were real. Mind blown.

And then! just when you think! 'I have a super idea for an original photo concept!'
It's already a thing.

Back to the drawing board.

There might also be a Mer-Men community...but...I'm not going to look into that.

But what do they identify as.

They surely have a big tail !

Yes. Spongebob Squarepants fans. For the right money you might be able to get Adam West to pose.

That does look like fun. Personally I prefer to make my mermaids in photoshop. Have you ever seen the mermaid by My Boudoir in England? Her mermaids are spectacular.

#1 rule should be "bring them an aquarium to breathe", you cruel monster !

I was unaware that mermaid photography was a thing. Learn something new everyday,I guess! 😆

Obviously an entirely prejudiced community, only catering to top human/bottom fish. Where are the top fish/bottom human represented?


--"A third tip is to work with the tails as much as you can. If you are working with full silicone most likely the model will not be able to move around much (unless you have an assistant that can help her once in the tail)"

Haha, that reminds of a recent photo from one of our Meetup/Facebook groups:

Three tips for food photography
1st tip: find a young mermaid
2nd tip: dive, alive, into boiling water
3rd tip:Serve cold with a tarragon-flavoured maionese

Ok this needs to stop now. How is no one not offended by this thing being completely dominated by females?! Someone needs to start a company which would only produce photography with males to fix this disgusting discrimination.

Actually, no, nothing needs to stop. The more realistic question is how is anyone offended by this. Oh, that's right. There's these liberal stupid fucks out there that looks for anything to be offended about.

Pull your head out of the sand. Modeling is dominated by females.

No one stopping anyone from producing male versions of anything "dominated" by females. Dude, let's be real now, though. smh

Use your head, not your overzealous radical diversity BS. Can you imagine a guy wearing a mermaid suit. lol Lol LOL!!!

I was hoping that my sarcasm was obvious. 😂 But I don’t blame you. I wrote that cause there was an article about a supposed discrimination of female photographers and how some agency only hires ladies to fight it. To that I say they should start laying bricks and fishing crabs cause that industry is also dominated by males.

Now that's a trash article right there! Great job

After this article, I've deleted my account :)