London, United Kingdom
Zena Holloway was born in Bahrain in 1973 and raised in London.
As an underwater photographer and director, her interest in underwater photography started when she was 18 while working her way around the globe as a scuba diving instructor. Charmed by the magic of the underwater world, she began experimenting with a camera and gradually taught herself the skills needed to master this most technical of photographic techniques.
Her images are striking, instinctive and driven by a deep understanding of her medium. She delivers the remarkable, combining the highly technical aspects of underwater photography with superb creative direction resulting in extraordinary, ethereal and magical imagery evocative of mystical fairytales suspended in time. She has taken underwater photography to entirely new depths.
Zena’s renowned underwater photography appears regularly for publications such as How to Spend it, GQ, The Observer Magazine, 125, Tatler and Dazed & Confused.
She has won many international awards and her commercial clients include: Nike, Umbro, Radox, Kyle Minogue, Sony, Epson, Herbal Essences, National Geographic and Jacuzzi.
Zena Holloway has worked as an underwater photographer in London since 1995 when she returned to the UK after 3 years abroad as a SCUBA instructor and underwater videographer.
Born 1973, the daughter of an airline pilot, Zena wanted to work underwater behind a camera from the age of 18. Completely self taught she has carved out a niche market - combining the highly technical aspects of underwater photography with extraordinary magical imagery. Zena has expanded a concept and taken it to new depths.
Her first advertising job came in 1997 with a commission from Faberge. Since then she has been comissioned widely for both commercials and print.
“If you thought that fashion was a highly specialised area of photography. Bahrain born Zena Holloway has somehow managed to take it one step further by focussing her career on the underwater variety. At the age of 18, while working her way around the globe as a scuba diving instructor, Zena began experimenting with cameras and gradually taught herself the skills needed to master this most technical of photographic techniques. Now based in London, she regularly shoots for a range of magazines and advertising clients who appreciate the unique impact of her colourful dreamlike images. Zena has most recently completed a two year project to illustrate Charles Kinglsey’s 1863 novel The Water Babies. Surely confirming her as one of the world’s most patient photographers for her ability to work with both animals and children underwater.”
–125 magazine 2008
Water is at the beginning of my journey. It picks me up and takes me to new places. Underwater I have the solitude and the freedom to capture a different world; Water gives me the opportunity to photograph wonderful people, in beautiful designer clothes. It enhances the collaboration with uniquely talented creative people. I like that I can only visit, that I have to be inspired to catch the moment in front of me
In a world filled with myriad of throw away pictures and selfies, those taken underwater are all the more rare. Time is suspended and in those short silent moments; there is a magical space where it’s possible to stop thinking and start feeling. In the words of Irish writer James Stephens “what the heart knows today the head will understand tomorrow.”
The challenge for me as a photographer is to bring beauty to life through the medium of water. I peel back the layers of reality and as the water distorts the subject and refracts the light it allows me to be creative in ways that challenge conventional expectations. On a blank canvas I can orchestrate a unique world of fantasy in the depths of weightlessness.
2016 Group show, Paris
2015/2016 Solo show Korea, touring all major cities; Seoul, Ulsan, Changwon, Busan, Daegu
2014 ‘Swan Song’ – Saatchi Gallery, London UK
2014 Solo show at Calken Gallery, London UK.
2013 ‘Scattered’ selected for Elle Décor’s show house in Miami
2012 ‘Swan song’ - London Art Fair, UK
2012 ‘Swan song’ - Affordable Art Fair, London UK
2012 ‘Swan song’ - solo show at Bo.Lee Gallery, UK
2011 ‘Swan song’ - Tatar Gallery, Canada
2011 ‘Swan song’ - Schouwburg, Netherlands
2010 ‘Swan Song’ - The Hospital, London UK
2009 ‘Swan Song’ - Cosa Gallery, London UK
Underwater Art photography Elle Style Awards by zenaholloway.com
B&H (Leo Burnett, Mexico), Elle Style Awards, English National Opera, Rita Ora, The Royal Ballet, Kyle Minogue, Georg Jensen, Pepsi, Westfield, Speedo, Radox (Grey), Camay (Leo Burnett, Hong Kong), Rosemount Wine (RKCR/Y&R), Nike, Herbal Essences (Leo Burnett, London), Umbro, Olay (Saatchi & Saatchi NY), Jacuzzi (Y&R San Fran), Greenpeace (Saatchi & Saatchi, London) Dolland & Aitchison (DFGW), Shangri-La (O&M, HongKong) Sony (TBWA), EMI, GlaxoSmithKline (Ogilvy), Epson (Burkitt DDB), BBC
How to Spend it, Harpers Bazaar, GQ, Vanity Fair, The Observer, 125, Stylist, Quintessentially Magazine, Sunday Times, JFW, Twill, Dazed and Confused, Vision, Random, Neon, Rosebuzz, National Geographic, Schon and Cent magazine
2013 11th International Festival of Fashion Photography, Cannes
2012 (US) International photography Awards – Advertising/fashion category
2012 Communication Arts – Frozen, Cent Magazine, editorial series category
2012 Communication Arts – Speedo, Advertising category
2012 Judge AOP Open Awards 2012
2010 Communication Arts – ‘Lyza GQ’ editorial single category
2010 Campaign Photo – Radox campaign shortlisted
2010 Applied Arts Photography Awards – ‘Lyza GQ’ fashion and beauty category
2009 AoP awards – commissioned fashion single category
2009 Applied Arts Photography Awards – ‘observer magazine’ Fashion & Beauty category
2009 Applied Arts Photography Awards – ‘blue tights’ Fashion & Beauty category
2008 (US) International photography Awards – Fine Art category
2008 Applied Arts Photography Awards – ‘Deco’ Advertising category
2008 Applied Arts Photography Awards – How to Spend It, Covers category
2008 AoP awards - short listed for Fashion & Beauty series category
2006 (US) International Photography Awards - Advertising Beauty category 2nd place
2006 (US) International Photography Awards - Fine Art Nude category - 2nd place
2006 AoP awards - 'Angel' series shortlisted for Fashion & Beauty category
2006 Applied Arts Photography Awards - 'Angels' Fashion & Beauty category
2005 IV Moscow International Festival Gold Dolphin for photography section
2004 Communication Arts – Advertising single category
2003 Nikon International Photo Contest - Honorable Mention
2003 30th Festival Mondial de' L'image Sous Marine publicity - Gold
2002 AoP awards - Merit. 'Walking' Fashion & Beauty category
1999 AoP awards - 2 images short listed for Life category
1998 The Royal Photographic Society’s International annual print exhibition. Silver medal
2011 Promax awards – Bronze award for Best Leisure & lifestyle promo category, Katie Price.
2011 AoP awards – short film category
2007 Selected to feature on The Reel, UK
2003 Silver - 'Watermark' audio/visual. Festival Mondial de' L'image Sous Marine
2001 Gold - ‘Unibanco’ commercials. Festival Mondial de' L'image Sous Marine
2001 Recommendation - ‘Unibanco’ commercials. Portuguese Film Festival.
Carlos Reid, M.B.A., M.S. & M.O.T.
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