Featured Photographer | Michel Braunstein
My name is Michel Braunstein, I was born in and grew up in Belgium. My passion for the sea came about prior to my 10th birthday as I was watching Jacques Cousteau’s movies, not long after I received a Nikonos V underwater camera as a birthday gift. The first thing I did when I became a diver was rent a Sea and Sea camera and dive in the dark cold quarries and the North Sea. In the mid-90s I had the chance to move to Israel so I could be closer to exotic dive destinations, such as the Red Sea, one of my favourite places to dive.
In the early 2000s I swapped to a DSLR camera and had the chance to dive many fascinating destinations such as Papua New Guinea, the Maldives, and Mexico. Instead of shooting pure underwater scenes, I started shooting models underwater. I have participated in amazing productions either in swimming pools or in the sea, then I have organized, my own sessions.
The models were sometimes professional divers, like Sharon Rainis, but often not. In 2014, the singer Noa, whom I know personally, planned to release a new album which was named 'Love Medicine. I asked her if rather than a regular album photo portrait, she would like to try something more original like underwater, she agreed to try it, and we organized a pool photo session. The album was successful, and her fans loved the cover. A few years ago, I contacted the Israeli synchronized swimming national team trainer 'to suggest some shots together. Since then, we organize shooting sessions either in the swimming pool or in the sea, just whenever we can. I remember once we decided a Friday night to meet the day after in the morning in Eilat, which is a five hours drive from my home. I had set up all the equipment and we met on Saturday at 10:00 on the beach for a photo session with the amazing Eden Blecher in the Red Sea. I went back home on the same day, for five more hours on the road, after our session.
Eden and Yael dancing in the pool
Marina, the underwater tattooed Geisha
Israel swimming team
Eden and Yael sitting on the water surface
The synchronized swimmer's triple jump
The Lady in Red, in Eilat, Red Sea
Eden resting underwater, Eilat, Red Sea
Aiming to the sun, Eilat, Red Sea
Morning gym in Eilat, Red Sea
Diving to check the health of the coral, Seychelles
Mermaid Mor resting on the beach, Seychelles
Noa - Love Medicine
The singer Noa (Achinoam Nini) posing for her Love Medicine album cover (2014)
Sharon the white rose
Sharon Rainis portrait
Find Michel on his Instagram@michelbraunstein