The majority of local photographic artist Ilse Moore’s portfolio is underwater photography, which she specialises in. Currently based in the Vaal Triangle, her art and fashion photography has been published in British Vogue and featured on international sites like Fashion Gone Rogue. Ilse attained her Visual Arts degree in 2009 through the University of South Africa and her work covers commercial, bridal, fashion and conceptual photography, most of it set below the surface.
It was the contrary concept of flight which first made Ilse consider shooting under water. Water is also symbolic of many of the concepts she was working on at the time, being life, transformation and change.
The very challenging circumstances Ilse chooses to work under require extreme focus but there is excitement to be found in the unpredictability of the process. She says, “Regardless of who or what I’m shooting, there remains very little control under water. I can always expect something magical to happen, not only due to the weightlessness and freedom, but it feels like being in another world where I have my own creative playground.
I can manipulate any particular set to achieve what I initially envisioned, but the unplanned visuals that happen under the surface often determine the direction I take the shoot as it constantly changes and forms new meanings. I wouldn’t like to remove this aspect of my shooting, the surprise of the change appeals too much to me.”
Ilse works with a small team on shoots to help her achieve her vision. Elsa Bleda is a regular collaborator and art director for Ilse’s underwater fashion shoots and is also the model in almost all of the images featured here. Ilse’s husband Sean assists and helps to build the lighting rigs she uses when she’s not relying on natural light.