I want to tell the story of those who love swimming.  I want to show off why it’s  an important life skill and why pools and swimming programs are such a valuable asset to any community.

I want to hear how swimming has impacted your life.  What has it helped you accomplished outside of the pool? How does it make you feel?

I want to explore and document why it means so much to such a diverse collection of people.

I want to show off the immersive life of a swimmer.  The early morning practices before school, breakfasts while walking between locker rooms and classes, afternoons in dry land training, evenings in the water, weekends spent competing.

But I also want to show you can be athletic and smart and a person with character who finds time to help others and make the world a better place.

I want to show that it’s never too late to learn to swim and you can keep swimming throughout your life.

I want to create a set of images that depict the facts that:

You don’t have to have a natural talent to succeed.

You don’t have to train for the Olympics to great.

You don’t have to beat anyone but the clock to win.

The truth is you don’t even need to compete at all.

Put in the time and work hard and it’s something you can be successful with throughout life – regardless of speed or age or height or weight or a myriad of things that limit you in other sports.

Most of all I want to show off the beauty of swimmers swimming from a perspective most don’t get to see.  I want to transform their strength and grace and power and technique into works of art.  I want to pull the very best images together and share them with the world. I don’t yet know if this will hang on the walls in a gallery, decorate an aquatic facility, or span the pages of a book.  It could very well do all three. Or something else entirely.

The refined vision for that will come once I take the images swimming through my head and start bringing them to life in the pool.

And that, my friends, is where you come in.

I need to work with a lot of swimmers to make this project a success.  If you could share this post with anyone you know who loves to swim, is learning to swim, or is thinking about learning to swim it would mean the world to me.  I really want to have a diverse set of subjects for this project.


(Updated 5.11)

Phase one session dates (taking place at either Samena or Norwood) are:

Monday May 13 4:15-5:45

Tuesday May 14 4:15-5:45

Wednesday May 15 4:15-5:45

Saturday May 18 3-6

Sunday May 19 3-6

Saturday June 15 3-7

Sunday June 16 3-7

Other dates/times are available if you have your own pool space and can gather several swimmers to participate in the project at your pool. I need about a lane’s width in the pool and enough length to swim about five or ten strokes and it takes about 10 minutes per person for most of these.  Please email me for more info if this interests you.

This first phase will primarily focus on action filled images of swimmers swimming.   I will then pull from my experiences in these sessions and invite select people to participate in longer more story telling type sessions in the second phase.  I haven’t yet decided if this will start in mid July or if I’ll do more action series swimmer sessions first and then do the storytelling in the late summer/fall.

Please also note I’m getting married in a few weeks and will be on vacation May 24- June 14. While I’ve got someone watching my house and my dog I will be doing my best to ignore email and voicemail during this time.  🙂  I will be available June 14 for last minute questions for those in sessions the weekend of June 15 and 16th. It’s going to be a little hectic so I’ll do my best to get as much information out to people before I leave. 🙂

You can access the nomination form by clicking here

Wonder what this might look like? Below are two dozen images I photographed last year and the year before that I love and see as inspiration for what I want to create with this project.

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This year I’m so excited to host my first ever Swim with Santa Underwater Portrait event.

I’m even more excited that all of the proceeds go directly to Soulumination – a Seattle non profit organization that I love beyond words.

When people hear that I’m a volunteer photographer for Soulumination the response is always the same:

“Wow. That must be really hard. But what a beautiful thing you are doing for those families.”

Some ask how I do it. Some comment that they wouldn’t have the strength to do such emotionally and technically challenging job.

In a way I can’t articulate photographing families for Soulumination gives purpose to the loss of my own father.

It doesn’t make me miss him any less – but the experiences with him are probably the biggest reason why I can do this work so well.

I’ve slept in hospital rooms, maneuvered around machines and wires, and been forced to make tough decisions as I watched someone I love disappear in front of me. I’ve fought for – and then documented – the last trips outside and final visits with loved ones – all while while reeling from my own impeding loss.

The truth is I still can’t look at the pictures I took I took during that time with my dad without balling my eyes out. And yet they are some of my most prized possessions.

Knowing how much I treasure and cherish them is ultimately what gives me the strength to push through and photograph strangers in the midst of impossibly challenging times. I’ve learned that the camera makes an amazing shield – both literally and figuratively – and that it’s amazing what you can handle in the spirit of helping someone else.

And since my dad was the kind of guy that kids mistook as Santa (even out of costume…pictured below in costume as Santa with my brother and sister) it just feel like the perfect way to honor him, do something fun this holiday season, and help an amazing organization continue their great work.

To reserve your time to Swim with Santa click the the following link: http://www.supersaas.com/schedule/sachablue/Swim_with_Santa

And then please share this with everyone you know – especially anyone who loves to swim or loves Santa. 🙂

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  • Peggy Kern Hrabar - This is great, Sacha. You are awesome!November 10, 2012 – 2:43 am

  • Soulumination - I am so excited that you are doing this, what a wonderful offering of your amazing talent.November 10, 2012 – 4:00 am

  • Lynette Johnson - We are blessed to have amazing volunteer photographers and the fact that Sacha is doing this for Soul just melts my heart. Thank you from me and all the Soul families that will benefit from your open heart.November 10, 2012 – 4:25 am

  • Da Vinci Photo Studios - Sacha takes the most beautiful underwater photos, and the sentiment behind her charity work makes me love her even more.November 15, 2012 – 9:11 pm




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