Don't breathe, and definitely don't say "cheese" - Christmas photo calls are a little different when you are a member of the Royal New Zealand Navy's operational diving team.

It took photographer Chris Weissenborn about three tries to get the shot of the team posing in the Devonport Naval Base swimming pool on the North Shore.

Mr Weissenborn, the Navy's photographic manager, said that after a bit of practice at the poolside, the dive team members sank to the bottom and took their positions around the waiting chairs.

"Everyone knew exactly where they were standing or sitting, and then the divers had to get all the air out of their lungs to try to sink down. A few of them needed the assistance of the odd lead weight."


To accomplish this, they expelled the air out of their lungs and - weighted down - sank on to the chairs and into formation.

Mr Weissenborn said it took three attempts to get right and was made easier because the group were experienced divers.

He was in scuba gear himself to get the shot, and had to wave at the group so they collectively stopped breathing at the same time so as to not ruin the shot with air bubbles.