Category Archives: underwater photography

Define work…

If you spend a day in a pool with 2 lovely models and a talented MUA Kim Gainer, can you call what you do work?  YES, it’s harder then you think.  Most are not experienced underwater models or free divers, some don’t even swim.

This was my third time working underwater with model Vettriano.  We shared a few laughs with “new to underwater” model Che about her first attempt.  The allure for these models is to add something unique to their portfolios.  So Che wanted to try.  Her 5’11” frame made working in the deeper end a cinch.  In the beginning, she had difficulty, puffing out her cheeks when holding her breathe.  She also forgot that she couldn’t wipe the water from her eyes because of the make-up.  Kim was on hand for touch ups.  She created tropical fish looks for the eyes.  The colors popped because of Che’s beautiful skin tone.

I used a royal-ish blue satin for the backdrop.

 

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Vettriano
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MUA Kim and model Che
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Che started to feel more comfortable towards the end of our session.  She even slipped in a smile.  And is up for another shoot.

Praying for sunny days so I can schedule more models…

Mary

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Filed under Life under water, fashion, photography, underwater photography

What makes a model great?

Is it her/his beauty, grace or willingness to give a 100+ percent to the project.  I’m sure many of you have watched “America’s Next Top Model”  Tyra and her team go to great lengths to not only bring out their beauty and poise but to push the envelope.  Many scenarios put them in precarious positions high above, dangling from wires to get that “money” shot.  It’s their determination and fierceness that sets them apart as they complete for a title and successful career.

Basically, its the reason I work with models who have never done underwater shoots before.  It’s a collaboration.  Our goal is the same – to create beautiful, memorable images together – a stepping stone to careers, but more importantly – to be creative.

Raiza doesn’t swim, but she knows what it takes to give me some really cool underwater visions.   It was her vivacious enthusiasm that caught my attention when she answered my casting call on Model Mayhem

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All images are the copyright property of the artist Mary Durante-Youtt

She previewed my underwater series and did some homework on her own via the internet to get a better understanding of poses.  (think ballet)  My only directions or instructions to Raiza was to relax her face, remember to keep her arm from blocking her face, take a breathe, exhale and let her body sink beneath the surface.  Later she confessed that she was surprised she was able to keep her eyes open without looking forced.

She makes it look easy.

Can’t wait to get back in the water again.

Mary

 

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Filed under photography, underwater fashion, underwater photography

Summer time…

My favorite season is when the pools open and the weather turns warm and sunny.  Yesterday was my first underwater shoot of the season.  YAY!!!

Another collaboration with a talented MUA, Gabby and a lovely young model, Raiza.  Unfortunately Gabby couldn’t join us at the pool because of prior commitments, another time perhaps.

Raiza, although not a swimmer, was up for the challenge and put aside her fears of being in the deep end because she thought the concept was wonderful and wanted to add to her portfolio.    IMG_9136 copy copy

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These are my favorites

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All images are the copyright property of the artist Mary Durante-Youtt

 

The weather was perfect, as was the temperature of the 80 degree water.

Thanks Arlene for the use of your home and pool.  Most of all, thank you for supporting my artistic endeavors.  I couldn’t do this without you.

 

And so it begins… another season of shooting underwater fashion.

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Filed under Fashion shoot, photography, underwater photography

Shooting my brains out…

I was hoping to shoot as many underwater sessions this year and had such a slow start.  Mainly because life got in the way.  I was in basement bathroom renovation from hell since April.  The pool I used opened in June but I had family BD celebrations and graduations parties.  A 2 week trip to Italy with 2 teenage granddaughters having us back home and jet-lagged on July 12th.  Mid July, still working on the bathroom and helping hubby with the remaining restoration of his 67 Mercury Cougar from a engine fire.

Finally got around to shooting the last week of July.  Zthebug, a 5’10” mermaid with blue hair.

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Charlotte a 5’1″ dancer was willing to try underwater photography the first week in August.

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I even unsuccessfully attempted a night shoot with my cousin Michael.  That day they had tree limbs cut and the pool was full of saw dust, plus I was shooting almost completely in the dark, using a flash that would send the light bouncing across the waves that were made.  I couldn’t see Michael and Michael couldn’t see me.  We hope to experiment with a night shoot again.  Live and learn.

The weather was a tad unpredictable with clouds and lightning bolts in the forecast for over a week.  Some of the days were sunny and bright, but the storms rolling through were sporadic and how to tell where they would hit and when.  Hard to predict the forecast a week in advance.

Sunday 8/21, I scheduled Stacey, an actress, on one of those iffy days, with the thought that if worse came to worse I would shoot her in our studio/apt set up wearing the gown designed by Janel especially for my underwater shoot.   The early morning rain ended and turned to bright sunshine. We drove to Arlene’s pool in Jersey.

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Monday 8/22, I shot Mr 92, a student, at Pat’s pool.

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Tuesday 8/23, Giordano and I splashed around Arlene’s pool.

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Friday 8/26, my beautiful niece wanted to give it a go again with me.

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Sunday 8/28, Stacey wants a second chance because she realized that in the majority of photos she had clamped her mouth shut.   A gal I shot last year twice, we became text friends, might join us in the pool.

5 shoots in 7 days, that’s a record for me.  Editing, minor retouching, sending images to models, uploading to my port and blogging in my spare time.  Whew!!!!  Sometimes I think I’m too old for this, and then hmmm, maybe this is what keeps me young.

Endless summer – my dream

 

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Filed under photography, underwater photography

Hidden in the depths

Last year a friend and I discussed shooting his son.  This summer I had wondered about doing some underwater shoots, our schedules meshed and we made it happen about a month ago.  The photo sessions  came with stipulations as to how I was to use the images.  I  wished I had known the circumstances surrounding the shoot before hand, giving me time to come up with something creative.  In a studio, I could use shadows to my advantage, but in a sunlit pool I was a little at a loss.

Ready, set, wing-it!

On the plus side of things, he can hold his breathe for about 3 minutes and will become my pearl diver if I ever go back to Japan.  I had to surface long before he did, gasp a breathe and submerge to shoot more.  Not too bad, it was a hot summer day, and my “office” was a cool pool.

It was a beautiful day, we had fun in the pool, it was great seeing my friend again, and I got some images that I can use.

I must now wait another year or move to a more tropical climate with a pool of my own.   Anyone have an indoor pool that I can use for free, let me know.  If not, it will be a long autumn, winter and spring.

Onto other projects…

 

Mary Durante Youtt

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Filed under photography, underwater photography

The most beautiful creatures…

can be found in the depths of the waters beneath us.

Yesterday was what I fear to be my final underwater photoshoot of the season.  The weather and water are turning cooler.   My models let out shiver sounds as they dipped their bodies into the chill.  Yes, I do the same but have more layers of fat to keep me warm then either Caitie or Lillian.  Once submerge and moving around, their bodies get used to the temperature as go to work.

The season was too brief – home renovations that should have been completed by May crept into July and a 2 week holiday in Italy pushed my start date to the end of July.  Oh well, life happens and I am not complaining,  just stating a fact.

Lillian’s first underwater shoot was last year about this time and she remembered that the water was even colder then.

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I met Caitie at last Saturday’s fashion shoot and she was willing to give it a try.   You would never know that she didn’t have underwater experience.  She is beautiful, poised, graceful and so much fun to photograph.

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We could feel the drops of rain beneath the surface.  Pelts of water as the sky had quickly darkened and opened up.   A downpour that pretty much ended our session.   Lillian and Cyre (who stopped by to help as a stylist) gathered up as much as they could and stashed things under the patio umbrellas.

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The sun tried breaking through but when the thunder began to roll,  we retreated to Arlene’s sun room, knowing that our work was done for the day.

Still not sure how I can justify this as work… more like a midday pool party with some fun-loving ladies and a camera.

Mary Durante Youtt

 

 

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Filed under Fashion shoot, photography, underwater photography

Just sprinkle fairy dust…

and watch the magic take place.

I had shot  Vettriano a week ago and again this Sunday.  Although she gave it her all, the first shoot showed a lot of tension in her mouth.  It’s not easy to relax your face underwater, think about the pose and hold it as your body naturally floats out of position.  But she is an actor so she totally understood and wanted to give it another go.  The other issue is that without my glasses, my models are just a blur underwater.  It wasn’t until I review the images on my computer that I could see the problem.  Plus this time, I used goggles – wow, I could actually see her clearly.  (what a novel idea).

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I instructed her to put her hands on her face, exhale, go under and feel what she does with her mouth.  The difference was amazing.  My biggest problem with this shoot was selecting my pics from the dozens of great images that we created.

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A third costume change into the wonderful flowing skirt, designer Janel created for me and  we were done for the day.IMG_8501 copy copyIMG_8518 copy copyIMG_8522 copy copyIMG_8532 copy copyIMG_8563 copy copy

I wish the summer wasn’t ending so soon.  Just when I seem to really get going, it’s time to stop.  I have 2 more shoots scheduled next week and a possible one this week.

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Maybe I’ll spend some time in photoshop and alter the color of the gowns when autumn rolls around.  This was a quick fix.  I will go back and stay within the lines.  I just wanted to see whether it would work or not.  I’m not very adept at post editing.  But learning something new is always a good thing.

Mary Durante Youtt

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