Tag Archives: underwater photography

in the swim of things….

Sunday’s scheduled shoot was threatened by the weather.  The 5 day out forecast originally called for 89 degrees and sun.  As the day grew closer it changed to partially sunny, then by Saturday clouds and possible thunder storms.  Cloudy is still ok.   I woke up to a mist in NJ.  Texts between us… are we still shooting.  I made up a plan B.  Since I had a MUA and 2 lovely models, lets shoot at the apt if need be.  10:00 meet-up time came and the sun broke through.  YAY – Crossed the Hudson to NJ

During shoot set up and make-up application, the sun was brightly shining and our hopes were high.  By the time Stacey and I entered the water, the clouds rolled in, then out, in and out.

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Stacey made me laugh underwater.

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Just as Lillian entered the water, the skies darkened, the wind picked up and the rain started to fall.  As we gathered our stuff and headed into the sunroom, we were pelted by a deluge.  Perfect time for a lunch break and check the weather radar.  The storm finally let up and the sun and blue sky came back.  Kim touched up their make-up and we shot for about 20 more minutes.IMG_1751-2IMG_1763

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Make up by Kim Gainer
Muses:  Stacey
              Lillian
All images are property of Mary Durante-Youtt and protected by copyright laws.
Use/reproduction with written consent only.
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Making a splash…

I had my first underwater shoot of the season with model Haleigh.  One of my models (thanks Stacey) gave me a bunch of contacts last year and Haleigh and I scheduled a shoot.  It didn’t happen because an opportunity came up that she couldn’t refuse.  I received an email in May, she was still interested in shooting with me.  She was going to bring a magical mermaid costume with her.  Hmmmmmm, not exactly what I was looking to shoot, but what the heck.  At first I thought it might be cheesy, you know wire hanger shaped fin covered with fabric, clam shell bra top.  Wrong!  It was a divers fin and a gold sequin outfit that she made. She wiggled into her outfit and slid into the water. Haleigh is a scuba diver so controlled breathing came natural to her.

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IMG_1460All images are protected by copyright laws and the property of the Artist © Mary Durante Youtt

Scheduling is probably the hardest part of my shoots because the weather is unpredictable and ever changing, some of my models are performing artists with rehearsals or models with day jobs.

The summer is just beginning so I am hopeful.

 

 

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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

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.

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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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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.

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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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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

Mary

mdyoutt

 

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