Tag Archives: underwater fashion shoot

H2O = life

I live for summer, days that I can immerse myself in underwater photography.  Its like entering into another realm, where a calmness surrounds and envelops you in its sanctuary.
I shot Haleigh again, she is fantastic to work with and yes, it is work, even though she makes it look effortless.  Haleigh is a performing artist/model who is aware of her body movement and poses.  Her scuba and free diving experience is a big plus because she is so comfortable underwater.  I rarely have to give direction, except to remind her in the beginning of the shoot to relax her mouth.  Her enthusiasm is matched with her innate desire to create. 
As a scuba diver, she has an underwater housing for her Sony a6000 and she let me shoot with her camera all day.  The a6000 I believe is a step up from the Sony NEX7 which I was interested in getting a few years ago.  Something to consider.
We played around for a few hours with a lunch break and a basking in the sun break after the third wardrobe change.  I had a lot of wonderful images so we called it a day.  I still have raw images to go through but I couldn’t wait to post a few of my favorites.  
To change things up a little, I decided to go in for the close-ups.








More to come, the summer has just begun.


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Filed under photography, underwater fashion, 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.




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Filed under Life under water, fashion, performing artists, 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.



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.



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.



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

A mermaid in the making…

Yesterday, I had another underwater photoshoot, this time with a petite dancer/model that I met through Model Mayhem.  Although Charlotte had underwater listed as one of her genres, she had never done one before.  That is true of a lot of the models, they list things that interest them and so I took a chance with this lovely little redhead.

What the heck, the shoot was a collaboration, I supply the pool (thanks Arline), lunch, sunscreen, towels, robes and gowns, time and effort.  They supply their time and effort too and Charlotte quickly discovered that underwater modeling is more challenging then she expected.

She wan’t comfortable in the deep end of the pool so I moved the blue backdrop to the 4′ end.  Getting a breathing technique and timing down pat was the first issue she came upon.  She had worn her contacts and didn’t bring the cleaner or case with her so she wore them underwater.  There’s a lot to focus on as a model.  But we got a few really good shots and managed to have some fun while working.  Although the chlorine bothered her eyes a bit, she didn’t complain or let that stop her from doing her best.

Here are a few of my favorites:IMG_7151

Even though her hair fell upon her face, I really like the feel of the image above.

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A wardrobe change with time to warm up in between.

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I’m still going through more images, but wanted to get these images posted and out to her because my weekend is full of more fun things.

Another shoot tonight – my first attempt at underwater night photography.  Can wait to see how things turn out.


Mary Durante Youtt

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Filed under underwater fashion, underwater photography

Underwater fashion shoot on a shoe-string…

All the online research I’ve done for underwater fashion shoots are big productions.  Feeling deflated and in over my head before I even started, I wondered if I could accomplish anything that I could be proud of.  I don’t own scuba gear (other than a diver’s weight belt that I purchased for $32.00).  I don’t have expert divers with tanks to fill the models’s lungs with oxygen while they wait, no underwater lights, no hair/makeup artist standing by, no designer willing to donate gowns, no expensive underwater camera or housing.  None of the things that these commercial or art photographers have at their disposal .  My models have come to me TFP from family members, Craig’s list or Model Mayham, with little or no underwater experience, but with a willingness to collaborate.   Donating their time for a lunch with the hopes of adding something a little different to their portfolios.

I’ve managed: using my husband’s Canon G-12 with a Polaroid underwater housing that cost me $99.  The housing for my Canon MarkII 5D was beyond my scope $1500-1800.  Several gowns, and outfits purchased at Good Will for anywhere between $8.49 and $19.99.  A black muslin backdrop from Rose Brand for $36.  Fall foliage garland $24 (on sale at Michael’s) . We entwined & secured the leaves to a rope to use as a swing and a neon hula hoop from Toys”R”Us for $12.  I had silk scarves, chiffon and gauze material from previous shoots.  My husband at times acted as my one and only assistant lying on the diving board, holding the rope and once in a while manned my GoPro Hero3+.  With access to a friends’ pools, I was all set to dive in.

I may never reach the level of underwater photography that other underwater photographers have exceeded (I am not at their skill level, nor do I have the budget for their big productions)  but I will continue to improve as I go and have fun along the way.  The summer is coming to an end and I will put what I have learned into effect next year.  It was suggested that I try to find some underwater models through agencies to do a trade off for studio head shots or just to build their portfolios.  But I am not an approved model agency photographer so I think that might be a deal breaker.



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I had another photoshoot yesterday with a “Model Mayhem” model.  I am working on editing her images and here are a few that I like so far.


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The salmon and aqua gown was problematic. While we both love the colors and the flowiness, the gown’s fullness made it billow underwater and did not cling to her lovely figure.  The morning’s chill and clouds overhead cut our time down to less than an hour and half.  Goosebumps and chattering teeth certainly are not ideal.  She was willing to continue, but no need to risk a late summer cold.  A big thanks goes out to her grandmother who graciously offered up her pool, yard and basement.

I have one more tentative shoot with another MM model who was too busy with Fashion Week to fit into the warmer days.   Maybe it will happen.  If not – that’s just the way it goes.

It’s been so much fun, I haven’t spent this much time in a pool in 25 years.  Thank you Arline for letting me disrupt your life time and again for my creative endeavors.  And also Pat, Rose and Sara for putting up with me.  Your friendship and support have spurred me on.    And to my husband, Jene Youtt for being my assistant, second shooter and for helping me in post editing.  (Hopefully something will sink in and I will retain the lesson in layers and masking).

Now it’s time to edit and put a book together.  I want to solicit a local hotel with an indoor pool to see if I can shoot there for free.  (If you don’t ask, it can’t happen, so I will take my chances and see if I can be persuasive enough.  Hey, ya never know).

Until next time…  as Dori would say – “just keep swimming”


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Captured a merman…

while trolling craig’s list and my husband, Jene Youtt’s Model Mayhem casting calls for mermaids.  I got several responses from females.  All interested in underwater photoshoots but so far, after emailing my phone number and asking them to call – no response – nada.

I was hoping to pair this young man with a female model because I thought it would be interesting.  The weather is a factor in scheduling, after a number of texts, I called Hubert @ noon and picked him up about 1:45 for a hour’s shoot.  Nursing a hangover, he gave it his best and I got a few images that I added to my portfolio.  He’s not really a model, but has done some modeling for his photographer friends a while ago.  He was s pleasure to work with and a real nice guy.

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I’m new to underwater photography and haven’t been able to figure out how other photographers manage to shoot without all the bubbles spewing from the models.  Are their images that heavily photoshopped or just experienced underwater models?

A sweet wanna-be mermaid contacted me, the selfies she sent did not impress me but after speaking to her, I couldn’t help but say yes, let’s give it a try.  She stepped out of her car with a warm hello and bright smile.  So much prettier in person.  We did a fitting at my house, she followed Jene and me to my friend, Arline’s pool and stepped into the Jessica McClintock shimmery pink ball gown.  Stunning was the word that popped into my mind.



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The sun played peek-a-boo and then the clouds rolled in ending our session.  What I loved about Livy was her eagerness and forethought of the pose before slipping under the water.  Such a sweetheart.  I am planning a reshoot with her, using the black backdrop so that the pattern of the pool liner does not distract from the shot.

As my husband says, you never know who will walk through her your door.  So many times, you are shown portfolios and the model shows up looking nothing like their photos.  Although that was true with Livy… the selfies did not show her radiance.

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