“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
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.
A few years later, Zena saw a film crew carrying a model dressed as a mermaid into the sea to shoot a commercial. With that, her path was set. Using the same unsophisticated underwater camera her mother gave her at the age of 18, she decided to chart her own course in an ultra-niche profession. Nobody showed her the ropes; she taught herself.
She is known for her hard-working, can-do attitude and 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 has exhibited worldwide and her recent solo show in Seoul, Korea is due to tour four other major cities during 2016.
Zena’s devotion to this medium has led to many innovative international campaigns and features with the likes of Paris Match, The Sunday Times, Nike, English National Opera and Pepsi. Her work has been displayed around the globe and continues to be collected by institutions and private individuals. Her images are available as limited edition prints, each signed and numbered. She has won numerous international awards for her underwater photography and films, including Campaign Photo, Applied Arts, Communication Arts, The Royal Photographic Society, PDN and many Cannes awards. She is frequently invited to be a juror for photography competitions and speak about her work.
Over the years, Zena has worked for many celebrities, global advertising agencies and blue chip clients. They include:
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