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Meet Linnea Snyderman of Underwaterlinnea in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Linnea Snyderman.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Linnea. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I began my underwater adventures back in 2012 when I was asked to do some test shots for an underwater film. Even though the dress tried to drown me, I choked on my hair at the surface, and my eyes were bloodshot red from the chlorine, I was hooked. I began reaching out to photographers, and I quickly found out that they like working with dancers because we are easy to work with and know what our body looks like in space. I realized early on that this was something that I was naturally great at. Underwater modeling combined my love and comfort in the water with my dancing, acting and modeling experience.

I come from a line of water babies. My dad won Nationals in rowing, my brother is a fisherman and an artist that depicts mostly marine life and my mom is an avid kayaker and scuba diver. She got my brother and I certified in diving at a young age. The pool in the hotel was always more important than the hotel. So, water has always been a big part of my life.

It wasn’t until I had hip surgery a few years ago and retired from dance that I realized this underwater adventure was the true path I was meant to be on. It is safe on my body and combines so many passions into one. After recovering back home in Berkeley, CA I decided to move back to LA to really give this my best shot. I laser visioned my thoughts and intentions towards my underwater work, and with the help of luck, timing and connections, I started booking bigger things such as music videos with Maroon5 and The Weeknd. I got lucky enough to model on a photography workshop in the Bahamas with Zena Holloway, who is without a doubt, one of the best in this field. One of our images ended up on a billboard in Paris this year!

Although I am nowhere near where I envision this road going, I am really proud of the progress I have made in such a specialized niche without much instruction. I am now signed with MSA as a dancer as well as an underwater model, which may be a first! I recently shot underwater to be on the cover of a major magazine publication and I am leaving in a few weeks to model and free dive in the Cenotes of Mexico for Zena’s next workshop. I am even hosting my first modeling workshop with Elite Entertainment Global in LA on May 19th which has been a long time coming!

I now have hundreds of shoots under my belt and I am so grateful to have worked with numerous photographers at the top of their game. I have shot underwater throughout California as well as the Bahamas, Germany, and Hawaii. I will be shooting in the Cenotes of Mexico in May!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
This underwater path has not been a smooth one. For one, there is no path! I am creating it without much guidance. There aren’t too many people doing what I’m doing. There are famous mermaids for sure, but I call myself ‘a mermaid without the tail.’ Many people who shoot underwater are not trying to make it their career. They have full-time jobs or mainly model “on land,” as I call it 🙂 I am not naturally business minded, so I have had to figure out a lot of the social media and marketing on my own. Thus, it is a slower process than I would like. I have intense trust in my abilities, but it’s finding the work that is the hard part. It’s definitely a growing field, so I’m trying to stay on top of the curve. Instead of hiring a beautiful model and throwing her into the water where she will most likely come across as uncomfortable, I am hoping that directors/photographers will see the value in someone like me who has many years experience.

At one point, I had a full-time office job for six months with no time or energy to do my art. It nearly killed my soul. I think I needed that job to realize I had to create to survive and be happy. Quitting that job was the best decision of my life. I now have a deeper dive and a bigger appreciation for my art.

There is a lot of rejection in this foreign territory and there have been many unanswered emails but that doesn’t mean I will stop! It will only make victory sweeter.

Please tell us about Underwaterlinnea.
I am not an LLC yet, although I deduct numerous expenses for this adventure on my taxes. I am an artist with the hunger to create powerful and beautiful art through the mediums of both underwater photography and videography. I am known for my serene images, which are characterized by my ballet background and my immense comfort in the water. My life has been driven by determination, and this field is no exception. I am so grateful to have found my greatest passion in life and I am proud that I have decided to really give this everything I have and not give up.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Oh man, I am really torn on this question. Part of me thinks if I had to start over, I wouldn’t do anything differently because I needed all the difficulties to grow and learn. But then again, I probably would have taken a social media/marketing course and sent out a lot more emails, which I am still slacking on! HA!

I have met so many incredible photographers, designers, MUA, assistants, etc. and I wouldn’t change that for the world. It’s the collaboration that makes me so excited!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Zena Holloway, Cheryl Walsh, Lola Mitchell, Mallory Morrison, Keenan Hall, Stephan Ernst, Joanna Miriam, Jason Cleghorn, Chad Greipentrog

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