One of the very best, but equally the most challenging parts of our jobs at Coco Bay has to be the photoshoot. Twice a year we set ourselves the challenge of transporting the entire new collections of swimwear and beachwear to a beautiful location in the name of getting some dreamy lifestyle photography and bringing the products to life.
Moving the Coco Bay office out to the sunshine for a week is always pretty exciting but not without it’s challenges, of course there’s a lot at stake and time never seems to be on our side!
Finding the Perfect Backdrop:
Of course we need to find an idillic, yet practical location for the shoot. In order to do so we have a fairly lengthy list of requirements. For Summer 2018 we en-listed the expertise of award winning travel operators Simpson Travel and hit them with our wish list. In summary, it went something like this:
“We are looking for Accommodation with a short transfer time from the UK, located within easy walking distance of a South West facing beach or bay. Ideally this would be sandy and needs to be uncrowded in June.
Catered accommodation would be a massive time saver, or for self-catered we would need to be located within easy walk of shops and café/restaurant.
Clear blue sea is a must! Plus easy access from and to the airport. A property that has somewhere to shoot under cover would be handy in case of rain. We know the weather is in the hands of the Gods, but ideally somewhere which isn’t renowned for its windsurfing and large waves!”
Simpson Travel were incredibly accommodating and quickly came back with several exciting looking accommodation options. Out of the many European destinations on offer, Turkey and Corsica looked ideal with their sandy beaches and bright blue sea. We immediately fell in love with Villa Hanedan in Kalkan, Turkey with it’s amazing cliff top positioning and spectacular views of the stunning Mediterranean sea. Villa Hanedan is in easy reach of a beautiful sandy beach, as well as Kalkan old town. The accommodation with it’s luxury interiors and impressive architecture looks so photogenic, we might not even need to leave the villa. Thank you Simpson Travel, first job ticked off.. now for the rest..
Finding the face (and the body!)
Beachwear models are hard to find. We never want to intimidate our customers by projecting an image which is totally un-obtainable, yet we still need to find someone who will sell the collections (and of course fit in the samples which are sent in sizes are 8-10!)
We always try to do our best to encourage body positivity and although we know not all of us have model figures (we certainly don’t!) our aim when selecting a Coco Bay model is to find someone who looks friendly and natural, not over gym-ed, or under nourished, and who will ultimately be fun, easy to work with and will get stuck into the long hours in the heat.
After several castings online and in person, we are delighted to have signed up Australian model Casey Vissenjoux for our up and coming photoshoot and we can’t wait to work together out in Kalkan this June.
Finding something to photograph
Now you’d think surely after years of experience under our belts, actually ordering and organising the samples should be the easy part – um, wrong! As the collections get bigger and our list of suppliers grows, the whole process of selecting the right pieces for the collections seems to take longer and gets more complicated. As many of the samples are for next Summers’ collections, our suppliers are still in the manufacturing stage and we are receiving these items straight off the production line.
The week before the shoot is always a mix of chaos and excitement. Waiting for samples to arrive from around the globe is the most nerve wracking part, if we don’t have anything to photograph we’d be in trouble! Not to mention piecing together the tight schedule and keeping an eager eye on the long range weather forecast!
We also have to factor in baggage allowances – it’s hard to travel light when you are transporting the majority of next year’s beachwear collections. (If you ever spot a small, all-female group making their way through passport control each wearing 3 sun hats on their heads.. that may well be us!)
Hair & Make-up
Luckily enough for us we have been working with a talented and lovely make-up artist for the last few years. Faith who never fails to deliver the look we are after despite the heat, rain, humidity or high winds that mother nature tends to throw our way. She always does an amazing job and helps to keep everyone’s morale high.
You can’t predict the weather
Unfortunately this is one thing that is totally out of our hands but can really make or break a photoshoot. And believe us, we’ve had it all. In 2016 we shot in Barbados at the time of Tropical Storm Matthew, which then carried onto develop into a devastating Category 5 hurricane.
We were incredibly lucky that there was no real damage to the Island of Barbados and we were completely safe, despite watching a very dramatic storm raging from the safety of our beach front veranda. We also experienced the whole Island go into lock down for 24hrs. Not exactly what you hope for when planning a photoshoot in a dream location, but we managed to made it work!
We have been assured that the weather in Kalkan will be as safe a bet as any, with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year an average temperate of 22°C in June. We have our fingers crossed and can’t wait to be there!
With all the various challenges aside, we are feeling so incredibly lucky to be able to travel to such a beautiful location, and when the hard work has been done, we’ll be sure to enjoy a few sundowners whilst enjoying that breath taking view!