At Roatan Underwater Photography we believe that every photographer's needs and style are unique and deserve to be nurtured and celebrated. We understand that underwater photography is a beautiful form of self expression that reflects your love and connection with the ocean. We believe in cultivating your individual style in the most natural way while instilling fundamental principles to help you achieve your vision and goals.  We're committed to providing the highest level of customer service and creating the most enjoyable, memorable and rewarding experience possible.  Our goal is to help you take your work to the next level and have a whole lot of fun while doing it.  Even beyond your training sessions, we will continue to be an open resource for you and will always be available for questions, advice and ongoing training.

Please take a few minutes to read about what our clients have to say about their experience with us and see some of their beautiful work.

 

  Shot with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II Mirrorless Camera, Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens and dual Inon Z-240 Strobes

Shot with an Olympus OMD-EM5 Mark II Mirrorless Camera, Panasonic 8mm fisheye lens and dual Inon Z-240 Strobes

"‪Francesca Diaco is a really nice person and a great mentor with amazing teaching skills both above and under the water!!  She was able to adapt her training agenda to my goals and my personal time frame. She promptly set up a tailored workshop including gear maintenance, valuable advice, shooting and composition tips, and post-production class!! My training session was very productive and I'm highly satisfied with the great UW pictures I was finally able to shoot during my few dives.  Thanks Francesca Diaco ! Looking forward to showing you my future UW pictures!" 

- Manuel Cabanillas, Paris, France

 

To learn more about how our personalized sessions are run and how we can help you take your photography to the next level... please click here to read about Manuel's experience and see how dramatically his work progressed in a series of our one-on-one personalized training sessions.

 

"Working with Francesca was transformative. I am an accomplished photographer above water...underwater was a whole different story! I was frustrated by the results I was getting in exposure, lighting and sharpness. I had maybe 1 out of 50 shots that I would even consider editing. Francesca showed me the way! From exposure setting to lighting placement, it was a whole new world. And while it helped that I understood exposure from my work above water, I learned so much more about the underwater world and taking great photographs. Francesca got me shooting such that I was at 25-30 shots per 50 that I would consider keeping for editing - this was a big improvement and a really reasonable number of keepers. With her guidance, my photographs were now sharp, well exposed with the appropriate setting and properly lit.  Furthermore, I thought I knew composition from my work above water, but I learned it didn't completely transfer to underwater.  Francesca gave me the direction to create the compositions you want to display. Furthermore, I wasn't even expecting to go over editing techniques in photoshop, but Francesca even made this clear and understandable. Francesca has a wonderful gift for teaching, she is clear, kind, and supportive.  Moreover, her ability to share and make understandable the technical and artistic knowledge is a special gift.  Whether you are new to photography, or consider yourself an experienced semi-pro (above water) like me, I highly recommend you take classes from Francesca at Roatan Underwater Photography!" 

- Jonathan Birnkrant,  Colorado

All Jonathan Birnkrant's images (above) were shot with a Canon 5D Mark III Digital SLR in an Ikelite Housing and dual Ikelite Strobes. You can see more of his work here.

  Shot with a Panasonic Lumix Compact Camera

Shot with a Panasonic Lumix Compact Camera

 

"I had the opportunity to spend four quality hours with Francesca in a one-on-one mentoring session during a recent trip to Roatan, Honduras.  I have been taking underwater photos for the past two years and each time I was diving I found my pictures got better.  My sessions with Francesca however, have taken my underwater photography to a whole new level.  We discussed and touched on ways to improve my skills by reviewing my camera and it's housing, lighting and flash, composition and post production.   Francesca's love and passion for underwater photography is very apparent.  She gave me her undivided attention at each session and left me with an increased understanding of how to better use my camera.  The knowledge I have gained has given me an increased confidence and eagerness to keep taking and sharing my underwater pictures."  - Taren Carroll, Toronto

 

 

  Shot with a Sealife Compact Camera

Shot with a Sealife Compact Camera

"I just returned from my trip to Roatan.  One of the highlights of my dive vacation, was an underwater photography class I took with Francesca Diaco, a very accomplished underwater photographer that has traveled the world capturing images.  I’m a self taught free fall photographer that’s been published several times, so I thought I might get some tips for underwater shooting. Wow, this is the best photography course I’ve ever taken!  I learned more about digital photography than I ever have, and the underwater photography instruction made my underwater pictures go from zero to hero in just a couple days! We started the first day with getting to know the camera, how to shoot in manual mode, what settings to start from, and how to adjust all the applicable settings while taking shots underwater, in order to dial your camera in to make each shot optimal. She covered other theory, and spent a lot of time helping me understand how to compose a picture in an underwater environment.  Next I shot some of my own pictures with the skills I had learned, and we met the next day to critique the pictures and learn from them.  We then went out for some dives together, where she tutored me underwater. This was very productive. The next day she showed me the workflow involved after you shoot the images, how to populate the meta data into your batch of images, how to copyright the images on the spot, how to file and label the images, and simple post production editing to finish off the color, as well as how to compress to internet, so nobody can pirate your images. This is just a fraction of what I learned in the day she tutored me on workflow.

If you’re interested in learning underwater photography, Francesca (Frankie) is who I’d recommend.  She’s extremely skilled, a great teacher/mentor/educator, and the class was a lot of fun. I’ll be going back down for more instruction in September. Wether you want to learn point and shoot, or get into a bigger more robust setup, I would got to Francesca Diaco, and I’d definitely talk to her before you buy the camera."  - Lance Boyd, Texas

 

  Shot with a Canon S95 Compact Camera

Shot with a Canon S95 Compact Camera

"Learning to scuba dive has been a life changing experience for me.  In my fifties, my sons convinced me to try out their favorite sport!  The awe-inspiring beauty of nature underwater in Roatan filled my spirit with a peace and solitude I have never known.  After getting down the basic diving skills, I invested in an underwater camera.  I really wanted to record the memories and share them with family and friends. I thought "I can do this", but dive after dive brought disappointment when the beauty that I wanted to record came back blue and unfocused!

With an outstanding recommendation, my local Dive Shop put me in touch withFrancesca Diaco at Roatan Underwater Photography.  I was only in Roatan for the week but Francesca graciously worked me into her schedule.  At our first meeting, she assessed my blue photos and identify areas to work on.  I began to understand that underwater photography involved not only taking photos, but developing the diving skills and buoyancy necessary to enable me preserve the reef while shooting.  Francesca explained that photography is much more successful when one understands and anticipates the habits of the marine life they are shooting.  She also helped me understand my camera and optimize the settings for better underwater photography.

Equipped with greater understanding and 10 or so tips to work on, I headed out the next day to practice.  Francesca met me at the dive shop on my return and together we reviewed my improving work! The next day, we were off to dive together so she could observe me underwater and give real time instruction. I still wonder how much Francesca paid that Hawksbill turtle who posed while munching the coral for about 15 minutes!!  And if this isn't enough, on my last day in Roatan, Francesca walked me through the basics of using Photoshop to handle files and begin to edit my work. Thank you Francesca.  I returned to Virginia with excitement knowing that I had started my own portfolio of work.  But true growth came in my understanding of visual literacy with a reverence for marine life and the reef that you shared.  You have been a true inspiration to me, and as your eager student, I cannot wait to return in July!"  - Caroyln Brown, Virginia

 

  Shot with Oylmpus PL-2 Mirrorless camera with dual strobes.

Shot with Oylmpus PL-2 Mirrorless camera with dual strobes.

"While visiting Roatan, Honduras this past March, I had the opportunity to train with published underwater photographer and instructor, Francesca Diaco, at Roatan Underwater Photography.  In a brief few hours she taught me how to get the colors and technical stuff just right, allowing me to concentrate and the really great composition techniques she taught me. Though my photos are nothing like her works of art, I thoroughly enjoyed the results of her very perceptive suggestions for further training. The pictures suddenly took on a wonderful view of life in the ocean.  I strongly recommend a hands on photography lesson from this wonderful woman."  - Nancy Patterson, California