Dramatic Portraits of Women Submerged in Water in Photo Series ‘Barrier’


The Vienna-based photography studio Staudinger + Franke’s collection called Barrier is made up of dramatic portraits of women “barriered’ (as the title suggests) from the viewer by a shield of water. An uncomplicated idea but executed flawlessly, the images in the Barrier collection put a new spin on the fad of underwater photography.

Staudinger Franke

Every day, all around the globe, women are linked with water. Certainly, water is at the center of women’s responsibilities in many cultures, and countless women and girls spend their days collecting and preparing water for cleaning, drinking, cooking, in addition to sanitation.

Staudinger Franke portrait photography

In America, it is taken for granted that you simply twist a handle and out pours potable H2o. No doubt regardless of where we live, women are dependent on water for health and to nourish themselves and their families.

underwater portrait photography Staudinger Franke

Staudinger + Franke’s concept of women in more surreal situations with water however is decidedly different. The stunning portraits of women separated from the observer by a barrier of water are strangely beautiful. Tiny waves of water warp the faces of the lady models, altering their looks into beautiful canvases of mirrored light and movement.

portrait photographer Staudinger Franke

Their delicate features are obscured by almost sculpture-like swirls and waves.  The women are transformed into ethereal beings, ostensibly of the deep, with their stares both tranquil and compellingly piercing.

underwater portrait Staudinger Franke

The studio Staudinger + Franke’s  is self-described as much more than just an ordinary photography studio. On their Behance page they say they are “a crew existing of different kinds of artists to realize visual ideas. Every conceivable idea is doable and the whole workflow is supervised by Andreas Franke with 25 years of experience. The range of work covers everything from accurate illuminated productshots to highly complex compositings.”

Staudinger Franke underwater photographer

Their esteemed client base includes entities such as HSBC, General Electric, Nike, Coca Cola, Visa, Ben&Jerry‘s and Heineken, to name but a few.

underwater portrait

See their impressive body of work including Barrier here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.