I don't think in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought I would start any new year off with a trip to the Maldives, let alone a work trip and let alone THE best job I have ever done. How can I compare some of the jobs I have been fortunate enough to do? Well, I will try and break down why in this post, but I just want to concentrate on getting across why this job was so amazing in so many different ways.
- As a quick sub note, those who read my blog and are not following me on twitter of Facebook, feel free to add me and you will be able to see all the images from my trips. Unfortunately due to restrictions of the IPAD I can't get pictures on here to support it, but I am working on it.
OK, so the job itself is for a library/stock shoot. Now what that simply means is that a production company sets up a variety of shots and puts them on a website to be brought by companies. I have no control over the usage of these as thats included in my fee. It's something that many models try hard not to do, just soley because your images can be used endlessly. However, when it involves a trip to the Maldives its a completely different issue as you can imagine! The production companies that have a library stock of images, often do very well for themselves and the benefits for companies buying the images are that they don't have the costs of setting up shots or the hassle with setting up a whole production for a shoot. (Just a bit of information for you all - I'm very informative you see ;-) ha)
THE TRAVEL AND THE CREW
I took the tube to the airport and massively misjudged my travel time and was 30 minutes late getting there to meet everyone! I hate being late so much, means you have that awkward panic, plus always worse when your meeting people you are going to be working with. Anyways, no need to panic as I was quickly greeted by the girl model, Geoegia, that I would be working with. I have worked with her a couple of years back and we became friends after. She was someone that I got on with so well and knew full well that we would have a great time on the trip and it would be a nice stress free one. I also met one of the guys in production, Joe, who I quickly got on with like a house on fire, similar age which always helps and great banter! ha. On the travel there were an older couple too who were modeling. I love older couples on jobs, as they always have some amazing stories from their past and these two weren't any different. The older guy, Alistair, a 68 year old man, got cast for the job after doing a head stand in the audition!!!! Absolutely nuts! Now this may not have been the reason why he got it, but it sure as hell wouldnt have done him any harm at all. Legend!
Now I didn't know during the flight or shall I say flights, that I should of got to know Alistair a bit more. Reason being because when we got to the resort I quickly found out that we were going to be roomies, but not just roomies, BED BUDDIES. Yep, for 7 nights I was going to be sharing a king size bed with a 68 year old man!!!! ha ha. Shocked was one of many words that came to me when I found out, but I thought hey, "when in Rome" ;-) I am obviously kidding!! But I did think that I wasn't going to be in the room very often at all, as I was in the Maldives after all. And to jump the story a bit it ended up being absolutely fine and he was ridiculously easy going and very funny too.
After a long travel day and an hour speedboat journey to our island we had arrived in absolute paradise. Greeted by the clients daughter, the cutest 5 year old ever, though the biggest diva ever too, we had arrived. Quickly met the client and her family and photographer and we were set. A day of chilling, sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling ensued, and what made it even better was the fact we were getting paid for it! How ridiculous. The food was amazing, as was the all inclusive drinks, including Corona. Yep my favorite beer free all week!!! It really was like a holiday! "Luckiest boy alive" something I continued to tell myself throughout the trip!
I got chatting to the photographer, Mark, quite a bit and he told me many stories from his modeling past. Something like with the older couple I love hearing past stories of people who used to model and stories from trips they took. I wish when I get older my memory stays with me and I can relay such stories to others.
I had to pinch myself on many occasions that I was here to work and it wasn't a holiday, something that was pretty tough whilst lying on a lounger on the white sands and looking out to that clear blue sea sipping on corona and a cigarette in hand. We had a very early start most days to get the sunrise and the perfect light for shooting. This included getting a speed boat to a sandbank in the middle of the ocean! An incredible place to shoot, beautiful, exotic, and just absolutely amazing! Then people on the boats going past didn't know what was going on, with this crew there filming. Very strange.
The shoot itself was stills and videos shooting lots of smiling, happy pictures, walking along the beach, lying on the beach, playing with our 'pretend' children, etc etc. Lots of smiling that at the start was very very natural because we were all excited and awake and were having loads of fun. We didn't stop having fun but after 5/6 days of shooting it was pretty tiring and the smiles certainly were a little harder to put on all the time ha ha. Again at that moment when I felt a bit exhausted by it, I just slapped myself round the face (not literally) and reminded myself where I was and I was back to normal.
Oh, and I had a fake proposal, wedding, the lot, all for different shots. One thing it did do is remind me that I want to get married one day on a beach like that, so romantic.
This was the best location for down time ever. In between shoots, I was either lying on the beach, snorkeling, sitting in the sea, in the infinity pool, drinking, eating the lot! The evenings were best, after my hour power nap that became legendary amongst everyone else between 6pm and 7pm, we met in the bar for pre dinner drinks and many of them before a huge starter and main course and lots of wine. Then back in the bar to finish the night off, which happened to get later and later as the trip went on. One particular night I got a little more drunk (no shock I know) and befriended 2 couples and started doing shots with them and drinking lots until 4am!!! I didn't realise how late it was and a stumble back ensued before a long hour and a half sleep before getting up again! BAD JAMES! That morning was a struggle but after a kick up the ass by the client I sucked it up and got on with it! It was a perfect combination of work and pleasure.
I had to write a brief thing on the fish and how unbelievable they were. It was unreal! and not only the fish but the StingRays were the main attraction. The island did a feeding of stingrays every afternoon from 5pm. These stingrays, about 20 of them, used to come to the shoreline at around 4pm waiting to be fed. You could stroke them as well and stand there and let them swim around your legs, slightly scary at first but then just absolutely phenomenal. Once in a lifetime opportunity thats for sure. One that a week previously saw the Beckham family there!
WOW this is quite a long one, I didn't realise how long it was! A sign of how much went on during the trip and what a amazing time I had.
I hope you all enjoy