Women submerged in water have always been a fascinating topic and visual, as evidenced by the earliest recorded fiction. Legends and myths of mermaids abound in many different cultures, and to this day, we are captivated by the image of the female persona, immersed in flowing waters. Harry Fayt indulges us in this particular obsession, conjuring-up images of women in both normal and fantasy-like states in his collection of underwater photos.
Credit is due the models for their effortless looking poses, but that should not pre-suppose anyone into thinking that these shots were anything but easy to produce. The model and Fayt himself had to undergo rigorous work which entailed holding their breaths for 15 seconds at a time while both photographer and subject would submerge for the shot opportunity.
Hayt said of the tedious process, “I will take some pictures and then will come back up where I can say what I want the model to do next.”
Being underwater affords the creative photographer many little, subtle tricks that would otherwise be difficult to mount anywhere else. In one of the images where a woman sat drinking wine in a living room set, one can observe the contents from her wine glass rising into a crimson mist. It is a simple but nonetheless remarkable effect as it infuses a dream-like quality into the image.
Fayt is a Belgian photographer with collections that focus mostly on aesthetic research connected with the theme of water. He extensively uses the female form as part of this artistic exploration. Like many before him, he sees the female figure as being inherently part of this fluid environment. It is life-giving just like a woman, while also being a source of complexity and ironic contradictions.
Hayt was born in 1979 in Belgium. By the age of 15 years old, he discovered his passion for fashion photography while leafing thru some industry magazines. In a year he decided to pursue a degree in photography in Namur.
Upon completion of the course, he got into shooting live music performances throughout Europe for the musical press, gaining more confidence in his craft. He opened his first studio in 2006 in Liège. By 2009 Hayt began his love affair with underwater images, initially snapping photos of babies submerged, but quickly shifting to fashion photography underwater. He has been hooked ever since.
See his dream-like images of submerged women in all sorts of situations here.