Described as ‘magically beautiful’ by participants, ‘Underwater Healing : About Face’ is a touching and unique project by photographer Erena Shimoda in which all of the subjects are cancer survivors. San Francisco based Shimoda combined her love of scuba diving and finely tuned photography skills to both create and capture a unique healing moment for her portraits for the series. Erica Yee, a breast cancer survivor who took part said the experience made her feel ‘weightless, ethereal and serene’ and that ‘working with Erena helped me see myself in a way I hadn’t since before I was diagnosed’. Few images manage to be senstive and uplifting with this amount of sincerity, but Underwater Healing manages to seamlessly fall within the category.
Erena continues the Underwater Healing portraits, but is also regularly commissioned for a whole range of projects, from fashion to engagement and maternity photographs.
Words by Olivia Cooley. Images courtesy of Erena Shimoda.