To say they’re stunning would be an understatement.
The photos, which capture babies under water during actual swim lessons, highlight this momentous first milestone. Casteel, who is known for his previous photography books Underwater Puppies and Underwater Dogs, told Babble that he found this to be the most difficult one yet:
“Because each photo shoot was a swim lesson, the instructors decided how many times a baby would go under, and for how long. Usually it was once or twice and for a couple of seconds. I only had a brief moment in time to capture a photo and then the opportunity was gone.”
Even though he found it challenging, Casteel confessed he’d rather work with babies or animals over adults any day (who wouldn’t?!) and that he had a blast photographing these moments … and so did the babies! “[They were] laughing, splashing, [and] playing in the water. But as we all know, babies can be unpredictable with their moods, so sometimes a baby was a little cranky.” Yeah, we’re not surprised by that. But can you believe there was only ONE diaper blowout throughout the entire process? Now these are some impressive kids.
While we could coo over the book all day, there is a deeper message behind the photos. Casteel wants parents to use the images as a tool to teach kids not to be afraid of learning to swim. “The danger of the water is real, but the benefits of swim lessons are also real.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Though the 34-year-old photographer doesn’t yet have kids, this project has made him realize he definitely wants a family of his own one day. “Babies are so amazing, but wow, they are such a tremendous responsibility. I want to be in the best situation to be the very best dad I can be.”
Cue the awwwws. While we’re over here swooning, check out some of our favorite photos from Casteel’s breathtaking new book …
1. Have no fear, Super Baby is here!
2. To help get this tyke into character, Casteel blasted “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid. (Yes, really.)
3. This little one is a natural.
4. Note to self: don’t ever forget to bring a pacifier on a deep sea dive.
5. Someone is ready for their synchronized swimming debut!
6. Can we trade places?
7. Where can we get that bathing cap?
8. We wonder if he just found Nemo.
9. Casteel shared that at 4 and 1/2 months old, this guy is the youngest baby in the book, but had the charisma of a veteran swimmer!
10. Who could resist that sweet smile?
11. Fancy meeting you here.
12. There’s probably nothing cuter than an underwater kissing face.
Keep an eye out for Seth Casteel’s next photography book Pounce, which will document cats on land and underwater!More On