Tag 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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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…



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Filed under Life under water, fashion, photography, 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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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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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.


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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Summer is just around the corner…

Although with the temps far from being seasonable, it’s hard to image that summer is coming.  However, I am in the planning stages for my  underwater photography project.

I have a few models, both male and female waiting to begin.  I also hope to work with a couple of interested clothing designers from Model Mayhem.  This is a collaborative effort and for me an exciting one because I have not worked with any designers.  Next week I will meet with designer, Maria Teresa Pena,  at Laria Studio  in Manhattan to work out the details of a gown she will create specifically for an underwater shoot.

The models that seem to still be interested have received style/mood boards and a copy of my model release for them to review.   I had equal number of males interested as females and will do some coupling.


Last year I shot a few underwater sessions and learned a few things.  I found that using a tripod helps, I even bought a divers weight belt to keep me from floating up too quickly as I tried to click the shutter.  I’ve poured over the works of other underwater photographers and although my production is one of a limited budget (no $$$$), that I can capture some intriguing images.

This year I might buy a mask and snorkel so that I can be submerged well before the model sinks down into her/his pose.  This year, most my models have some underwater experience.  I’ve casted for dancers and performers because their movements are more flexible, fluid plus they are aware of pointing their feet and of graceful extensions of arms and hands.


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I have learned to have the model simulate the pose above water first giving them a better feel for what I want to capture.  Sometimes that requires that I demonstrate.


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©ROSE 2015

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It’s a lot harder than it sounds.   Especially without the additional production staff, lights, better equipment and funding.

But I love it!  Shooting underwater has an quiet intimacy with the juxtaposition of serenity and chaos between the world under and above which is felt when the refraction is captured.

So here’s to a summer full of shooting.


gurgle, gurgle




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One last dip in the pool

Summer ended but I managed to squeeze in one more underwater shoot on the 1st day of fall.  The cool morning gave way to 80 degree temperatures, the solar cover on the pool helped.  My model, Lillian, was willing to take the plunge with me.  Several times during the summer, we scheduled a shoot but work got in the way.  She thought I would give up on her but her enthusiasm kept me reaching out.  And I’m so glad that I didn’t give up on her.

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Lillian has a demanding day job and is a circus performer by night and weekend.  A lovely, interesting woman who is keeping her dreams alive…

This may have been my last underwater session of the year but it won’t be my last.  Thank you to all my models for collaborating on my project, to my dear friend Arline for the unlimited use of her pool.  Without them, I certainly could not have done it.


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Going off the deep end…

My new-founded obsession – underwater photography.  I can’t get enough of it.

Monday my granddaughters had a free afternoon which I didn’t find out about until mid-morning.  So I grabbed my camera gear, a few gowns, tops, and props, hopped in my car and drove the 100 miles to their home.  They jumped in my car and we headed 50 miles north to my friend Pat’s pool.  They donned gowns and plunged into the water.  They are not adept at holding their breath and Sara puffed out her cheeks in the majority of the captures.  If I get a couple of good images, then I’m happy.   I got to spend a 1-1/2 hours in the water with them, laughing and splashing around.  Packed up the wet clothes and did the return trip in time for their cheer practice.  Round trip for me was 300+ miles (5 hours).  Whew what a day.

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©ROSE 2015

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Unfortunately the pool was not crystal clear, so we’ll have to give it another go at a later date.  But the girls had fun and loved the outfits, the concept and spending time with me.

Next photo session was with my niece who spent her summers growing up in a pool so she feels comfortable underwater.  We gave it a whirl.




I love the refracted images.  I still have more images to go through.  And I have another shoot scheduled tomorrow.

Thank you Pat and Arline for the use of your pools and for supporting my quest for art.

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