Zena Holloway (1973), the daughter of an airline pilot, fell in love with the water first, photography second. Born in Bahrain and raised between London and pretty much everywhere else in the world, she made her first dive in England as a teenager. After school, she went on holiday to Egypt but stayed on alone to qualify as an instructor at a local diving centre. It was here that she first took a camera underwater, fascinated by marine life on the coral reefs. Zena then realised that she wanted to spend the majority of her waking hours beneath the surface and by the ocean.
“Water has enabled me to fly with eagle rays, dance with dolphins and come face to face with some particularly spectacular sharks. I’ve uncovered 18th century skeletons – complete with military uniform – discovered priceless treasure from ancient wrecks, hitchhiked on submarines and taught a few mermaids how to pose along the way. I like to think of the water as my canvas and the light as the paint. My goal is always to find the heart of every project and let the water create the magic.”
Zena lives on the outskirts of London with her husband and three young children in a converted Ministry of Defence underground torpedo-testing centre. When she’s not underwater taking pictures, she can often be found cycling with the kids to school through Bushy Park or outside feeding their Chalk Hill Blue hens in the garden.
“Zena Holloway's photographic story ….. is a journey to paradise, a return to nature”
“When Zena Holloway was 18 she travelled the world working as a scuba instructor and developed a passion for underwater photography and film. Completely self-taught, Holloway creates images that are striking, instinctive and driven by a deep understanding of her medium. She combines the highly technical aspects of underwater photography with superb creative direction that results in extraordinary imagery”
– IdN Magazine
Over the years Zena has been commissioned widely by advertising agencies, performing arts institutions and blue chip companies including: B&H (Leo Burnett, Mexico), English National Opera, 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, Hong Kong) 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, The Sunday Times, Vision, Random, Neon, Rosebuzz, National Geographic, Schon, Cent magazine and Paris Match.