Tag Archives: photography

Vintage Hollywood Glam

Marielle has the soft, classic beauty of a starlet.  I decided to play around a little in photoshop to enhance the look that would recreate that sultry era of the silver screen.




Photographer:  ©Mary Durante-Youtt,   Designer/Stylist: Helena Rose,
Make-up:  Arasy,   Hair:  Payton Holbrook,  Model:  Marielle Kehoe


I’m pleased with the way they turned out.

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Filed under Hats and headwear, designers, photography

In the midst of chaos…

comes creativity.

Designer/stylist Helen set up a Face Book group so that she, Ara (MUA) and I can have 3-way text conversations.  I started the project with sending them style boards of where this shoot would be headed.  The designers were given free reign to create the hats/ headwear and the MUAs will create color palettes and make-up application techniques based off of them and my concept.  I initially set the tone, they took off running with it.  Helen shared photos of 4 of her finished creations with Ara and an internet dialog began.

Scouring the internet for swipe photos to give a visual of what collectively will be created.  Ideas and images whizzing across our screens.  A whirling blizzard.  Comments popped up as quickly as they were typed, volleyed back and forth in rapid fire succession.  We were brain-storming.  What do you think of this…. or that, how about….   My thumbs were not fast enough to get my 2 cents in before they were off on another flurry of images and ideas.  I laughed to myself.  If this were a 3 way phone conversation, I could have easily interjected.  I wanted to add some of the images I came across that mimicked my vision, but didn’t know how to attach them from my phone.  That’s when I learned that they were on their computers.  Duh…. I hadn’t realize I could use FB’s messenger via my computer.  I am so 20th century!  I switched to my MAC and could at least type faster using all 10 digits with fewer type-os.  But I still couldn’t keep up with the velocity and dexterity of these 20 somethings.  They were leaving me in the dust.  I was totally amused by their lightning speed.  And thrilled that Helen, Ara and I are tuned into each other.  For 3 strangers, we are of 1 mind.

And I friggin’ love it.  It’s a feeding frenzy, but in a good way.


A little sneak peek of 3 of Helen’s completed hats, I had purchase these materials before
I learned that we would be working together.
A number of her designs will to be created directly on the model

To be continue…

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Filed under fashion photographers, Fashion shoot, photography

The models…

You never know until everyone shows up.

Back Story:   Last year I began working with MUAs. (make up artists)  I scheduled a MUA and 2 models.  Neither model showed.  1 texted me an hour prior to the shoot, she bailed with family issues. the other was a complete no-show.  She didn’t answer my texts or emails until a few days later and said nothing happened.  She didn’t have the address.  It was in the Call Sheet (all the info for the shoot) that I sent her twice and she acknowledged receiving the document. I’m guessing she didn’t bother reading it.  Duh….  The MUA had a hour commute, we sat and waited for an hour and then she went home.  Mind you these are TF collaborations so she wasn’t being paid for her time or effort.  She understood that things happen and didn’t hold me to blame, but I wouldn’t make that mistake again.  
My last mega fashion shoot, I had 10 models show up for the wardrobe fitting the week prior, 3 MUAs and 2 Hair Stylists were booked.  It was a scheduling nightmare.  I had sent photos of the models in the dress they would be wearing so that the MUAs could create a look that would fit their features.  I had 4 models scheduled at 11:00, 3 more an hour later and then 3 after that so the work would flow .  Only 4 models showed up for the shoot.  6 no-shows.   Some arrived later then their appointed times and I had hair and make up people standing around waiting.  We made it work and I shot a second look on two of the models.

For this Sunday’s shoot.  I wound up scheduling 5 models for this shoot, which is a tad overly ambitious for 1 MUA in a day… originally I thought of only one look per model thinking I would get only 3 designs in a weeks time from each designer of with 1  look each, After showing them the material, their excitement grew and so did the number of their creations.  5 days before the shoot, I contacted another MUA who had been interested in working together.  Waiting anxiously for him to  confirm today.

Since I am working with 2 designers and 2 MUAs I wanted to make sure I have models to shoot.  The make-up takes the longest time.  I will allot @ 50 minutes for Ara to work her magic on the first look.  Originally, my idea was to shoot 2 different hats/headpieces and dresses with the same make-up.   We’ll see how it goes and who shows up.

Top:  Janelle, (photographer unknown) ,  Anna  © Victor Travina,
Middle:  Caitie © Mary Durante Youtt, Anisa (photographer unknown)
Bottom:  Marielle (photographer unkown)

As my husband reminds me, things always work out…

An advanced shout out to the addition to our team:

MUAs: Ara  and Payton (keeping my fingers crossed)

Designer/Stylist Helen  (who has been traveling the world for 14 months (1 month, 1 country)  and Designer Fatima

If you click on their names it will take you to their links.

4 days ’til shoot day… and counting.

Mary Durante Youtt


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Filed under fashion photographers, Fashion shoot, photography

A mega production in the wings…

The photoshoot is scheduled and a talented team assembled, my excitement grows.  Along with my excitement comes this anticipation.   I often wonder if it is self doubt –  and if that’s indeed what it is, where does it stem from?  Pre-shoot jitters?  Or is this just part of me pushing the envelope, moving out of my comfort zone that creates these feelings?  I consider myself to be somewhat talented with a good eye for composition and a creative flair.  My fine art photography has sold when I was exhibiting, I’ve won international photographic competitions, I get a lot of accolades from peers, I understand my strengths  and I work to overcome my weaknesses by learning from mistakes.

Once the noseam paper is in place, the lighting tested, adjustments made and I pick up the camera and focus on my model, those nagging thoughts fall to the wayside.  I think I equate it to waiting for the curtain to rise, but we’ve had no auditions, no rehearsal.  Just a group of strangers with a common goal, coming together to create.

The first thing I do even before reaching out to the players is develop mood/style boards of swipe images.  This project is haute couture Vogue style hats and head pieces.

I met with my 2 designers and gave each some materials that I had or purchased and gave them free reign to create.  Their designs will drive the direction of the shoot including the type of faces the MUA will create.

It is my job to orchestrate the shoot.  I set the tone, I give direction to models, most I will meet the day of the shoot…  I reviewed their portfolios, their level of experience varies but it’s their willingness to be a part of my creative process that seems to make things gel.  I am trying to establish a rapport, to build an ensemble, a team.

Working with me is a collaboration, a labor of love, with no money exchanging hands in hopes of building portfolios and having the work you’ve done appreciated so much that the next photographer / client will pay for your services.

Ara, is  Metro NY/NJ based MUA having trained at Media Makeup Academy, New York.  She worked with a photographer friend of my husband and came highly recommended when I was looking for a make-up artist.  She’s worked with me a number of times and I have come to rely on her to understand the look I’m trying to achieve and she delivers – flawlessly.

Helen, is a world traveling designer/stylist who saw my casting call and reached out to me. Not only is she creating hats/ head pieces, she is also playing the role of stylist on set.  I wish she would put her roots down in New York, but then she would probably be so busy with paid work, that I’ve never get to work with her again.  She has given me a sneak peek at some of her creations and fueled my enthusiasm to new heights.

Fatima, is a metro NY/NJ designer.  Her portfolio is more ethnically based, with vivid colors that caught my attention.  but this is a chance for her to create freely.  Some of her head wrap designs will be created directly on the model, and will give me a glimpse of a couple creations on Friday.

If only artists were given grants, sponsors or stipends to live on so that they may wile away their hours creating.  They could work at fulfilling their dreams.

A lot of time goes into a photoshoot,  so much more then the nano second it takes to turn a magazine page.

Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true… (Aerosmith)


Mary Durante Youtt





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Filed under Fashion shoot, photography

Femmebot fashion show

I’ve only done one other runway fashion shoot for the ArtInMotion charity event held in a club in the city.   Ford Model, Monica Watkin’s charity benefiting a Haitian orphanage .  There were numerous designers and dozens of photographers.  The photographers were crammed onto the tiny stage in a club environment.   Trying not to elbow each other was a challenge.  The front row of shutter pushers were crouched down under the lenses of the photographers behind us.  The designers had some terrific creations and the models strutted their stuff.


A text from HMUA, Nicole Pigott asked if I was available for a fashion shoot the next day.   The scheduled photographer had gotten a paid gig and apologized for the short notice, but $$$ takes precedence, because we all have bills to pay.    A quick look at my calendar, yup!  I met and worked with Nicole on a fashion shoot when model, Kimber DG needed me for  House of Sadia‘s  2017 spring line fashion shoot.   That’s also where I met model Caitie one of the runway models for this shoot.


Femmebot  hosted a fashion show at  Ave ~ Clifton, NJ, on October 20th. 


I had no idea what the venue looked like, how the runway would be lit, how many models or photographers would be there until I arrived.  I was the only one.  I am a far cry from an event photographer but always willing to help someone out when I can.

Ready, aim, shoot!

“Wear Confidence” is the motto of Femmebot owner, Tina Setia, who opened her second store at 494 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, NJ.  Her flagship store is at 201 E. Ridgewood Avenue in  Ridgewood, NJ


So if you are looking for some fun casual wear that can go from day to evening, you should take a peek at their fall styles and support your local businesses.   Visit Femmbot’s  website to see what, where and when their next event is.


Tina Setia (back center) with her bevy of lovely models.

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Filed under Fashion Night Out, Fashion shoot, 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).

IMG_8235IMG_8354 copy copy

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.


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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Filed under photography, underwater fashion, underwater photography

Getting dirty…

Remember how much fun you had as a child playing in mud…

Yesterday I had a photoshoot.  My concept was “living sculptures”.  The vision:  Dry cracked mud mask that would look like the model was breaking out of clay becoming human.  I wanted vibrant eye make-up applied to one eye as the POP of color and focal point.  I put out a casting call for models and an MUA.  One very interested model and MUA, a few texts back a forth.  The model took days to respond but always said she was sill interested.  The MUA responded quickly loving the idea and the mood board that I sent her so she could visualize the look I wanted.  I was a tad apprehensive about the model so I booked another one that I worked with before as a back-up because I didn’t want to waste the MUA’s time.  But mainly because I really wanted to shoot with her again.

Bresafe arrived on time.  We chatted for half an hour while waiting for the MUA.  Her beauty was stunning.  Bresafe is only 21 but with the confidence and poise of a much more experienced model.  A pleasure to work with.

The make-up was an integral part of the creative concept so I had to go to plan B.  Hmmmm, except I really didn’t have a plan B.  The mud mask didn’t give me the overall cracked effect of what I had in mind.  Maybe I should have gone to Blick’s art supply and purchase clay (like my husband suggested), but I didn’t want to dry out my models’ skin.


"Living Sculpture"

“Living Sculpture”


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If I were adept at photoshop, I could create a cracked look and maybe I will revisit the images and play around.  A very talented retoucher could even apply colors that would look like eye make-up but since this is not a commercially funded shoot, I probably couldn’t afford the cost.

While Bresafe showered off her mud, Kimber rang the bell.


KimberIMG_3769 copy copy


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The last image of Kimber is one of my favorites, but then again I really love the first one too.

It’s so nice to find models who love my twist on things.  (Not like I’m the first to do “mud”, I certainly am not recreating the wheel).  But I want to push myself to do something different, it’s a learning experience.

Kimber’s friend said “MUD!!!!” when she told them about the shoot.  I will try this again – after I figure out what product will actually do what I have in mind.

Even though it wasn’t exactly what I was looking to create, I think the session was a success.





Filed under art objects, photography