THE TROPICAL COVER SHOOT | Darrin Henry
A tropical, glamorous swimsuit shoot was always on the cards for our e-magazine, Breeze 3, unfortunately sunshine and clear skies have little respect for well planned projects, even when a beautiful model like Gemma Lawrence is involved.
Behind the scenes video from the Breeze 3 photo shoot:
Superheros Wear Bikinis
Grey, dreary days forced us to play the, ‘on again, off again’ game until the deadline to publish Breeze 3 was almost upon us, and eventually we reached the ‘now or never’ moment – rain, sun or snow, we were going to shoot and get it done, regardless. I packed strobes just in case.
It was a Wednesday afternoon, Gemma had just finished work and after weeks of gloom the Jamestown harbour was thankfully a brilliant blue; sea and sky.
We parked in the shade of double-stacked shipping containers so Sharon could do Gemma’s make-up, all the while I paced nervously around the car, watching the weather and trying not to keep asking, “how much longer, girls?”
We were inspired to use the anchorage for this shoot after seeing a TV show on the sports channel where a swimsuit line was being shot in exotic locations using old fishing boats.
Permissions were easy to obtain. A few of the boat owners joked they might have to come out to ‘help,’ curious no doubt to see just what exactly we were up to.
The ferry picked us up at the wharf steps in somewhat choppy sea conditions. But no reason to panic, Johnny Herne, the ferry driver was like a Faroese pilot in wind shear – we were in safe hands.
First stop, a yellow fishing catamaran, ‘Ocean Gypsy’ operated by fishermen, Henry and Cookin’s. The boat had just finished ‘dry-dock’ maintenance which included being painted so was very clean. It was also surprisingly very stable.
The light was pure gold, couldn’t have asked for better. Like a superhero shedding a dowdy daytime disguise, Gemma was suddenly transformed, looking incredible in a blue patterned bikini. We were soon down to business, clicking through frame after frame, conscious of not wasting the light.
First Class At Sea
Second look was a surprise – Johnny was back to pick us up and had arranged with a visiting yacht for us to shoot on board. Amadou II was a 20m, French made, luxury yacht visiting St Helena for a few days, a very posh number indeed. Chris Bull and Mike were understandably intrigued, greeting us at the top of the ladder before giving us the freedom of the upper deck to shoot. It was an unbelievable bonus. The boat was gorgeous and Gemma, now wearing a black all-in-one swimsuit, looked right at home draping herself across the sleek lines of Amadou II.
Partway through Mike came out to take a few pictures of his own. We exchanged email addresses, posed for selfies and promised to send them a copy of the new Breeze magazine.
Back in the ferry for our last stop – the Enchanted Isle.
The sun was now dipping lower and the light was fading. Gemma changed into a pink bikini and we started ‘working’ the tour boat. For half of these shots we used the natural sunlight; for the other half we fired up a single strobe mounted on a boom. I do love the strobe effect.
On any shoot the conversation bounces from one topic to the other, everything and anything it seems and always plenty of laughs. Sharon decided to record a little quick-fire Q&A session with Gemma as part of our shoot. Just for fun, nothing serious.
Guilty Pleasure? Anything Sweet!
Favorite Quote/Saying? After the Storm comes the Rainbow.
Biggest lesson you’ve learnt? Life is too short to waste worrying on things you should have done or could have done better.
Worst chat up Line? “Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere…Oh, yeah, you look like my future wife!”
Biggest pet peeve? When drivers don’t use their indicators when turning!!!
Have you been told you look like someone famous? Not that I can remember.
Favorite joke? Is Google a man or a woman? A woman, because it doesn’t let you finish a sentence before making a suggestion!
The shoot was wrapped at 6.30pm. Two hours, start to finish. Gemma was starting to shiver; the sun had dipped below the horizon.
We jumped back in the ferry one last time knowing we had been truly blessed with the light. It was going to be a superb cover for Breeze 3 as well as a great spread inside the magazine.
After all our stress, then relief of finally choosing a day with perfect, sunny weather, back on the wharf steps we met a large group of scuba divers preparing to go out on a night dive! What a wonderful world.