Freediving,  Learn About Diving,  Philippines

Best Underwater Photographers from the Philippines that You Should Follow: Freedivers Edition

Admit it or not – you’ve gone through their photos but you just couldn’t get enough. Their underwater photos and videos challenge you to do this and that, too! But it’s not just what the models do that keep you glued to it. It’s the style and colors that a lot would love to achieve. Indeed, it’s a talent! You might have seen the works of your top favorite photographers but you may still want to explore and check on the others you might have not come across with! With that, here are underwater photographers from the Philippines who freedive that you should check out and follow!

The Best Underwater Photographers from the Philippines

Martin Zapanta

Yes, he’s the guy behind this trending underwater photo of Sarah Lahbati!

Who wouldn’t know the Martin Zapanta in the Freediving community especially in the Philippines? He’s a 15-time National record holder in freediving, AIDA certified freediving instructor and a creative media professional currently based in Panglao, Bohol. Martin has been in this field for several years now making him truly an expert in color grading in both photos and videos. Aside from his fascinating underwater content, he is also quite skilled in photography and film making on land.

From the sharp, vivid and signature blue, Martin has shifted to film style in both his sea and summit content.

If you would also want to learn how Martin does the magic in his underwater photos and videos, you may enroll into his masterclass.

Gillean Ponce & Ian Lujan

It’s a couple goal but seldom right in front of the camera because they usually are the ones behind it! Gillean Ponce and Ian Lujan are these cool badass looking yet surprisingly extremely humble photographers, videographers and colorists based in South Cebu. Their underwater photos and videos are truly enchanting. You would know it’s them behind that photo with that particular shade of blue with a very smooth gradient — all neatly done!

So, if you’re a diver visiting and exploring the watesr of South Cebu, it would be cool to do a high five with them and get a snapshot from them underwater!

Vince Zamora

A budding Underwater photographer would be an understatement. You’ll be surprised to know that this young underwater photographer is using an action camera in most of his photos! Imagine what more could his outputs be if he finally gets to use a mirrorless camera with an underwater housing just like what most of the photographers in this list use?

Vince is a self-taught colorist based in Panglao, Bohol. He does this as a hobby later turned into a passion. He does commissioned underwater photography as he studies. Yes, our guy right here is still a student in a university. On his not-so-busy days, you could find him in the ocean!

May Gumangan

There are lots of underwater photographers out there but the women are only few. May is one of those. This empowered and promising female underwater photographer and colorist started her journey with Martin Zapanta’s masterclass. From there, she progressed and created an identity. A dramatically and artistically poetic underwater photograph is her trademark. May also used to document line training and Freediving courses! So, if you’re doing both and would like to have your Freediving journey documented, she’s the right person to contact to.

May Gumangan is a south Luzon-based freediver and underwater photographer. She is the official photographer of Belle Brillantes — the current Philippine National Record Holder in Static Apnea (Women’s Division).

Mishael Ardona

You might have not heard nor seen a lot from him as he plays it lowkey but he’s just as good as the underwater photographers in this list! Mishael Ardona, a south Cebu-based freediver is quite an underrated colorist and underwater photographer in the community. From that particular sophisticated teal, this talented colorist has been exploring hues and styles now with his main muse – Faith Mari.

Sad you can’t go on a shoot with Mishael in Cebu? Say no more, he also does commissioned edits! So, if you want him to give your underwater photos a justice, you can always slide into his inbox.

Christian Cee

It’s the Belle Brillantes and I right there captured by Christian Cee!

Make those underwater photos you only seen on your Instagram Explore page into reality and your own! Sharp and dynamic – that’s his style. There Cee Goes or Christian Cee is a self-taught south Luzon-based freediver/ photographer. You can mostly catch him around Batangas.

Tacio Bautista

If artistically sultry is your peg for your underwater shoot in Panglao, Bohol, our island guy Tacio Bautista is the one to call! Tacio’s feed is a combination of Bohol’s land and waters in distinct colors and vivid details. Don’t miss the chance of exploring Bohol’s underwater wonders and immortalize the experience through Tacio’s lens and talents.

Nico Gavan

Another lowkey freediving favorite underwater photographer from the Philippines is Nico Gavan. He is a Leyte-based freediver and underwater photographer. Currently, Gavan has been filling his page with film and surfing content that would make you want to live the island life that he is living. There are also diving spots in the province featured in his page that you may want Gavan to take you into!

Jake Alejandre

Jake Alejandre is a Freedive PH-affiliated, South Luzon-based OG freediver and underwater photographer. Jake’s content is a mix of mesmerizing photos of the underwater scenery and human shapes. The photos may look simple at first glance but you’ll be amazed with the angles and composition of it! His Instagram feed features some of the best freediving spots especially in the province of Batangas.

Lars & Ilen Lacson

Lars and Ilen Lacson are Apnea Philippines-affiliated, South Luzon-based freedivers and underwater photographers. Ilen is amazing both as an underwater model and photographer, too. Her Instagram feed is one of those pages that you should check out for underwater photos inspiration! You will be drawn to their awe-striking content without knowing it! Each photo is simply powerful both in colors and composition.

Kevin de Vera

The man behind the dope underwater skateboarding photos of the Freediving coach, Tiger Haber – The Kevin de Vera! There’s more to see than this cool set, though! Those angles, colors and depth in the concept of his videos are among the things that would get you hooked into it. As for the photos, they are just simply amazing!

Kevin is a south Luzon-based, Endorfins Freediving-affiliated underwater photographer, videographer and colorist. Get a chance to dive with him when you book for an underwater photography session with him or when you book your Intro classes with Endorfins!

Parting Words

Did their underwater content made you wanna try Freediving too? Start your Freediving journey today and meet these sought-after underwater photographers from the Philippines! Who among them are your favorites? Do you know any who should also be in this list? Let us know through the comments section!

Anne Elizabeth Gumiran, also known as Queenie, is a 20-something, full-time public school teacher, a part-time travel blogger and a freediver. She started putting her stories of adventures and misadventures into words and pictures in 2017 and continues to do so as she shares her advocacy, Sustainable Traveling.

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