mermaid_florida by Erena Shimoda

Erena Shimoda

San Francisco, Ca, CA - United States


My name is Erena Shimoda.
I’m an underwater portrait photographer and a brand ambassador for Ikelite Underwater Systems.

I work with survivors of cancer, domestic violence, people with PTSD and physical disabilities. I’m also a survivor of a traumatic car accident that killed my father and left me severely injured. My family and friends told me that my father protected me and
I'm a survivor for a reason. Because of this, I wanted to give back to
the community and make my father proud.

When I'm touched by water from 360 degrees, all the worries and
angers, I can let go. Underwater is the space for me to be myself and
be free.

I believe in the power of water and hope. Water replenish and uplift
people's lives.

I would love your help in continuing to spread the word to help me
increase the number of survivors that can take part in my project.
With your help, we can make a difference in their continuous recovery process.

Everybody deserves to feel stong, loved and safe.

Artist statement

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Erena Shimoda received her Divemaster certificate in Venezuela in 2005, and began shooting underwater photographs in Thailand, Bonaire, Bahama, Corsica, Cozumel, Cancun, and Hawaii. She specializes in underwater portrait photography and uses her background in New Media and Fine Art to create unique compositions in different media.

She pioneered underwater transformative photography after surviving a car accident in which she lost her father and was severely injured. As a part of her healing process, she volunteered at the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better program. The program is for cancer patients to reassure there is beauty during and after cancer.

By combining total immersion with portrait photography, she discovered a powerful transformation that can help others who are traumatized by physical disabilities, domestic violence, and PTSD. The transformative effect of her portraits prompted Erena to use her experience in underwater photography to promote recovery, tranquility and freedom. She knows that the power of water combined with the creative process transforms body and mind.

She's been a guest lecturer at Apple stores, City College of San Francisco Photography Department, and her underwater healing project has received widespread media attention, including coverage by NBC Bay Area, CBS News, USA Today, and the Huffington Post. Her work was also on display at a medical conference.

Erena Shimoda - Album: 1000 cranes

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