Nothing about Zena Holloway borders on the ordinary, with the exception of having a husband whom she’s raising three tiny tots with. Everything from what she does for a living to her career path to her modus operandi is off the beaten track. An underwater photographer and film director, Holloway’s work takes your breath away – and hers for that matter – being plunged under the water for hours on end to capture just the right shot for us to marvel at for mere seconds.

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” So says anthropologist and published author Loren Eiseley whom Holloway would quote when asked why she does what she does and how she feels when submerged in water. Holloway has an unreal knack for transferring the world’s magic through her images, creating surreal, romantic frames of mind-numbing beauty. GQ, Schon, Sony and Nike are some of high profile brands that have picked up on Holloway’s outstanding ability and skills, which she’s honed single-handedly for over a decade and a half.

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A PADI instructor and commercial diver, Holloway fell in love with the water first, photography second. Born in Bahrain and raised between London, Egypt and pretty much the rest of the world, the daughter of an airline pilot was working the boats and paying the bills by giving scuba diving lessons when she realized she’d like to spend the majority of her waking hours beneath the surface and by the ocean. With an unsophisticated underwater camera her mother got her at the age of 18, Holloway decided to chart her own course in an ultra-niche profession. Nobody showed her the ropes; she had to climb them herself, as many told her the route she was taking wouldn’t take her very far. But shortly after braving the water, Holloway secured a job for international jewelry house Fabergé. Her course was somehow set from here.

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