Photographer Helps Cancer Survivors Rediscover Their Beauty Through Underwater Portraits

About Face - Blue Wave

Erena Shimoda is a San Francisco-based photographer who specializes in helping cancer survivors rediscover their beauty through the healing properties of underwater portrait photography.

I’ve been scuba diving for over 10 years and underwater photography is my passion. For the past 4 years, I’ve been focusing on doing underwater portrait sessions with people and I truly believe that water can heal the mind and spirit. Underwater portrait sessions provide an unique opportunity for people to confront physical and mental challenges – things such as feeling lost after a mastectomy and chemotherapy, fear of water, or physical limitations due to cerebral palsy. In the water, people rediscover their beauty, strength and capability. I love seeing my clients’ glowing faces and smiles when they see their photographs. One person said she felt “magically beautiful.”

After volunteering with American Cancer Society and being a supporter of, I realized that I can further help cancer survivors gain confidence and raise their self-esteem in a way that only I can–through my creative skills as an underwater photographer.

Erena recently launched “About Face“, an Indiegogo campaign to help fund portrait shoots for ten people in California.

There are 10 cancer survivors in the west coast who want to do underwater portrait sessions with me right now. They are in the Bay Area, Southern CA, Oregon and Washington. I need your help to raise money so that these underwater healing sessions can happen.

About Face - Bernadette

About Face - Maillet

About Face - Mermaid

photos by Erena Shimoda

submitted via Laughing Squid Tips