Category Archives: underwater photography

Summer is over…

I will spend my autumn and probably winter editing through all my selects from the past 3 seasons of underwater photography for an art book that I will create.  So many fabulous models’ images to go through in what I consider to be an arduous task: the crème de la crème.

I will solicit the help of my husband (my biggest fan and critic) along with another photographer’s critical eye for the final cut.

Here are a two more images of Katie, from the last day’s shoot.

(Janel Carlton deigner)

2 piece gown Sequin Hearts purchased at TJ Maxx

If I’m not blogging for a while, it means I am doing the “work” portion of creating.

 

Mary

 

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

The final five…

I shot with 5 models in three days.  With pool season coming to an abrupt end, I scrambled to get as many models as possible scheduled for the 3 days of 85+ degree days.  Everyday the weather forecasts change as the wind blows so knowing in advance if there will be a shift is hard to predict.  The weather gods were with me…

One of my models, Vettriano, contacted some of her performing arts friends.  Aaron and Vettriano (Stacey) studied acting together in NYC. I set up Sunday, Monday and Tuesday shoots.  The sun was shining, the water temp was in the high 70’s and the air close to 90 degrees.  PERFECTO!

Sunday, Vettriano, Natali, and Aaron were scheduled.  This was my fifth shoot underwater with Vettriano.  It was the first underwater shoot for Natali (a Model Mayhem connection, who was not a swimmer) but she tried her best and I almost always get a handful of good images.  Aaron’s dance background was what I was hoping to capture, it was also his first underwater shoot.

The coral ribbon and iridescent green gowns were both designed by NY designer, Janel Carlton.  I love working with designers and already discussed an emerald green creation for next season

Natali (in Janel’s coral flowing creation) and Aaron

Stacey and Aaron

Black lace top from Luxxel purchased at Steps New York
White skirt from Sequin Hearts purchased at TJ Maxx

Natali
white ruffle gown Romeo and Juliet Couture

Natali

Stacey
(in Janel’s iridescent green gown  flowing creation)

Monday, Celine, another friend of Stacey’s (Vettriano) gave it her all.  Her sinewy graceful lines was a plus.IMG_0823 copy copy

Celine
(in Janel’s iridescent green gown  flowing creation)

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Celine
(in Janel’s iridescent green gown  flowing creation)

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Celine
(in Janel’s coral  flowing creation)

(in Janel’s coral ribbon creation)

Celine’s grace makes it look easy. She now has a deeper understanding of the challenges that Stacey told her about.

 

Tuesday, I shot another of Stacey’s performing artist friends Katie who studied dance for years.  After a few feeble attempts, Katie nailed it.

Katie

I adore working with these very talented models.  Thank you all for spending a hot summer day hard at work in a tranquil cool pool.  And thanks Arlene for another summer of letting me take over your home.

Until next season, I will be selecting top images for an art book.

Mary Durante Youtt

 

 

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Filed under Life under water, fashion, photography, 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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