I always thought swimmers would make beautiful portraits

Podcast guest Justine taking a photo of a wild swimmer on the beachMy guest this week is photographer Justine Desmond.

If you read Outdoor Swimmer magazine, you will be familiar with her work as one of her photographs was on the front cover of the February 2021 edition and some images from her project entitled ‘The Swimmers’ are featured in the magazine.

In this episode, Justine talks about the importance of a photo shoot being a genuine collaboration with the person she is photographing.

She explains how important it was to put out the right invitation to encourage swimmers to come forward to take part feeling happy and comfortable with the process, both of having their photograph taken but also sharing their story of why they swim.Front cover of February 2021 Outdoor Swimmer magazine

Crucially, the invitation included a sense of calling out the negative impact that being bombarded with images of perfect bodies and perfect lives has on our self esteem, with the promise that this project would show real bodies and celebrate their real shapes and diversity.

It was an absolute joy speaking to Justine.


Podcast guest Justine during the photoshoot for The Swimmers projectPlease check out her work here, and look at the specific projects she mentions ‘Brighton Peeps‘ and ‘The Swimmers‘, as well as Portrait of Britain.






Work inspired by Justine’s The Swimmers photographs


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