Biography: Katy Fraser is a twenty three year old underwater filmmaker, photographer and technical diver and is the creator of She Dives Tech.
I took the decision to pursue a professional diving career in underwater film at the age of eighteen, whilst working in Thailand. Recognising the need to become a proficient and respected technical diver as an essential first requirement to fulfilling this ambition, I began my training in February 2013 in the Philippines. Over the past four years I have travelled all over the world gaining different skill sets in technical diving. A lot of my time was spent in Egypt and South Africa assisting on many technical courses, acting as support diver and later surface support for deep trimix dives after completing an IMCA dive medic technician course with the DDRC in the UK. During this time I was also involved with filming, directing and editing dive commercials for Hollis and Ocean Reef which were my first real commercial film projects within the underwater film industry and acted as a foot in the door for my futures ones.
Underwater film is an incredibly competitive industry and there seems to be no right or wrong way in terms of the most efficient route to get to where you want to be. I have no formal training in film and up until this point I have tailored my own path by putting my dive training first and then slowly but surely building my experience level up to the point I am competent enough to start taking my camera into certain environments.
Being twenty three I am viewing these years as my university ones and taking all the great opportunities I am given to gain as much experience as I can within the industry. Flexibility and having an open mind is the key and of course many hours of hard work!
I am currently living in Playa Del Carmen in Mexico focusing on cave diving, filming and photography work. Mexico has proven to be the perfect base for me, the Cenotes themselves provide such an infinite wealth of picture perfect material and I feel incredibly lucky to have this to play with right at my doorstep.
During my time here in Mexico I have been very fortunate to be involved with many kinds of opportunities and projects that keep me constantly growing into the shoes of the career I have chosen for myself. At the moment I am being supported by XDEEP http://www.xdeep.eu and DTEK http://www.dtekgroup.net/. I feel very lucky to have the support of both these brands and very proud that they contribute towards my daily dive gear. I both 100% trust and endorse their products and would more than recommend them to any professional or recreational diver!
Patrick Widmann, a partner of PROTEC Advanced Training Facility, has been a constant mentor to me from day one and is responsible for a lot of the beautiful shots I have been able to take. We have spent many hours training and diving with my camera, working closely with the other members of the team which include Kim Davidsson, Rob Bartlett and Toro-Mazote Urzua to provide a solid, safe and efficient team behind my filming.
Shooting underwater requires quite the team effort to get a quality result. Video light placement, skilled models and a safety diver for myself are all equally important roles behind a great shot. PROTEC has become like a family to me, cave diving is a very specialised sport, which requires a lot of trust and teamwork and I can’t think of a better group of people to be associated with. I will always be eternally grateful for the teams mentorship and support when it comes to my diving, filming and photography. I look forward to continue to work closely with them for the foreseeable future.
Coming from an art background, Film provides me with the perfect outlet for my creative side. Being such a small, niche industry it has allowed me to be able to experiment with lots of original ideas and work with like-minded, inspirational and artistic people.
Running in tandem with the cave and technical diving projects I am involved with, are exciting underwater creative performance arts pieces I have used for producing Music Videos and two Documentaries for Extreme Artist Philip Gray.
I am really at the beginning of my career and aspire eventually to get into documentary underwater film. So many doors have opened for me in a relatively short space amount of time and they keep opening. I have found myself working in a broad range of land and underwater film that is exponentially branching out in to so many exciting areas and up and coming projects. I feel very happy and lucky to be living the life I lead and I am so excited for what the future holds.