With so much going on with the boat and trying to keep up just with boat work post, I’d been putting this one on the back burner for months now, but I figured it was finally time to get it up.
For those of you who remember, back in February Matt and I went down to Miami for two days to participate in a photo shoot for the clothing company Vineyard Vines, with their summer theme of ‘Ever Sailor Has Their Story’. Even though the shoot was in February, the catalog photos were not released to their site until May, so I had a few months to wait anyway before I had anything to show.
Well, now that I’m only 4 weeks behind on keeping the blog fully up to date, I think it’s time to get this post out for those of you who actually remembered we participated in this but never had the chance to see any of the photos through either their catalog or Facebook promotions.
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After our very relaxing and luxurious afternoon and evening in the Mandarin Oriental Miami, I made sure to slide between the sheets of our very nice king size bed before 11 pm in order to keep myself well rested for the next day. With a 7:30 call time, it didn’t even matter that I would not be in charge of hair and make up before I arrived in the morning, I still didn’t want to show up looking like I just stepped off a three day passage from one of our boats. Getting up just after 6 am we packed up all our belongings, did a quick rinse in the showers, and made sure Georgie hadn’t lost herself in the couch again before heading down to the main floor for breakfast.
Basically breaking down the doors to the restaurant as they opened at 7, we opted to skip the $38/person buffet (even though the tab was being picked up) for omeletts and Belgium waffles. Big mistake. Although we told our server we were in a huge rush, our food didn’t come for 20 minutes, leaving us only five minutes to scarf it down and throw our room number on the tab before running off to the conference room where we were meeting the Vineyard Vines team. A sprint through the lobby and up a set of stairs, we found we were the first ones there. Waiting for a few minutes until one team member walked in, they said everyone was running a little late and so we decided to use those 10-15 minutes to run up to our room to grab our luggage, as well as Georgie, since it sounded like we’d be checking out of the hotel just after hair and makeup.
Getting back down with all of our bags, and a few strange looks from hotel patrons that just rode the elevator with a cat on a leash, we walked back into the conference room to find it bustling with stylist and production managers. Making our rounds of introductions (“Hi Cat, meet Georgie the cat”), we were placed in chairs as the team got to work on us. Matt had been instructed a few weeks before to let his hair and beard grow out a little to give him more of a salty sailor look, so uneven ends were trimmed; while I settled in for the whole hair and makeup treatment. One woman went to work on my hair with a curling iron to give me soft windswept curls, while another woman started on my makeup to give me a fresh, dewy, natural look. Less than 30 minutes later we were being shuttled down to the lobby to check out of our room and get ready to leave for our first location.
It wasn’t until the valet was bringing our wreck of a van around that the team quickly mentioned it was time to get into our first outfits of the day. Matt was handed a pair of floral chappies (swim trunks) with a gingham shirt, and I was given a striped string bikini with a pink gingham quick dry dress to slip over it. Running back out from the restrooms into the lobby with our new uber preppy clothing on, we packed all our belongings in the van and followed the team in their Chevy Suburbans out to Key Biscayne where a chartered yacht was waiting to take us on the water for the first part of our shoot.
Getting to the marina (of which we’d actually been to before with our friend Ana Bianca, so we were able to recommend it to the production staff), we walked out to the docks to find a 57 ft yacht waiting for us, our pretend home. I should let it be known they originally contacted us wanting to shoot on our own boat….but there was no way that was possible. So this pretend home of ours for the day? HUGE upgrade. Georgie felt right at ease in the marina and jumped on the yacht without a second thought, settling herself in the cushy cockpit with no regard to the 15 team members moving around alongside her. For a few minutes, a set stylist gathered a few of the personal belongings we had brought with us to photograph, while another stylist pulled me aside to figure out jewelry. While this was going on, other team members loaded up the cabin with clothing, cameras, and other equipment that would be necessary for time out on the water.
Before we knew it the lines were being tossed off, and Matt and I were told to relax while a hired captain brought us out of the marina channel and into Biscayne Bay. The sky was a little overcast, and hopes were that it would not begin pouring rain down on us. Getting to know the very friendly crew as we moved further out into the bay, it was fun chatting with them, and finding out more about what their jobs entailed and how the previous shoots of the week had gone. With us being the very last shoot of this session, we got the scoop on the other sailing subjects, including our friend Johannes, whom we had dragged back from the Bahamas just a little early so he could participate.
When we did begin shooting it was all very casual and laid back. A far cry from the very posed shots I was expecting, we were mostly told to go to a certain area of the boat and just kind of ‘do our thing’. In my first outfit I stood near the aft deck where it went into the cockpit, and just kind of twirled around a backstay as I looked out on the water. Matt was seated on the pushpit and was given a piece of rope to tie knots, and also look out on the water and smile and laugh like he was having the time of his life. Each ‘session’ lasted less than five minutes, and then it was time for an outfit change. I was told to keep my bikini on while I switched out my dress for a beach coverup, and Matt was sent below deck to change out of his chappies and into proper shorts. Poor guy forgot to bring his boxers with him onto the yacht after our initial outfit change, and I think the girl styling him was in for a bit of a surprise when she went to properly tuck in his button down shirt. After that point it was all verbal instructions instead of hands on assistance, at least from the waist down.
The clothes kept changing and locations were moved around the deck and cockpit of the boat. Some of the shots were individual, and others had both of us together. We even managed to get Georgie in a few of the shots, as she was loving this luxe life on the water. After every session with the DSLR, a video camera was also brought out to capture the scene, all to be put together for an interview to be shown on the website with the clothing release. One of the best parts for me is they paid close attention to our travels and tried to integrate as many things from our real life as possible into the shoot. For me they incorporated my World Beer Tour, pulling out some Spanish beers for me to sip on the deck as I let the wind whip through my hair. As far as Matt, they tried to recreate his big mahi catch during our Atlantic crossing, pulling out a 50 lb fish for him to pose with up on the bow. I would have LOVED to capture these behind the scene moments with my own camera, but they were not allowed on set since the shoot was happening 3 months before the release of the clothing line.
We were having so much fun during the shoot and it did not feel like work at all. Not one of those ‘You think modeling is glamorous, but it’s so hard’ things. Mostly it was just us on a boat, with the added bonus of having someone steer and handle the sails while we enjoyed the ride and looked pretty. Apparently we did run into an issue though where the camera man told me I smile too much, but I honestly couldn’t find the right mix of facial expressions to look happy or content without a wide toothy grin showing. Any time I *think* I’m pulling this look off, I’m told by Matt that I just look pissed off. I guess I have to work on that more in the future.
There were certain times we did take control of the boat for specific photos or parts of the video. I even steered us back for a few minutes, while being told by the videographer that ‘there’s no such thing as a bad point’. So there we both stood, pointing at the chart plotter, pointing at buoys, and pointing at the Miami skyline. If there’s no such thing as a bad point, I’m going to ride that pony until it’s dead. I really had no idea what else to do in front of the camera other than, well, smile. If anyone else has this mid-range look down, seriously, email me with instructions. Taru?…..Elay?…
We ended the shoot that day with a location change to Monty’s Raw Bar next to Miami Marina. This was to be our fancy shoot where we were gussied up in a few of the fanciest looks the line has to offer. Hair and makeup went to work on us once more, combing out the knots in my hair and slathering Matt in sunscreen to give him that nice dewy look. Customers of the bar sat and looked on as we were pampered, and multiple outfits were pulled off the rack and held up to us to figure out the best look for the shot. I was handed a GORGEOUS linen dress with a beaded detail, along with a pair of Tory Birch heels (the first pair I’d worn in nearly 3 years), and Matt was given a sport coat and bow tie.
Escorting us to a section of the bar which overlooked the water, we were posed for this section of the photo shoot; elbow on the bar, sip your painkiller, give each other loving looks, ect. I think part of the reason for the posing here though was the unbelievable amount of clips keeping us tight inside our clothing. My dress was only slightly loose, so there were about two binder clips pinning the mid section tighter in the back, but Matt had clips running all the way up and down the back and arms of his sport jacket. I’m surprised there were actually angles possible where you didn’t see them.
When this part of the shoot ended, before I could even slam the rest of my Painkiller (and Matt’s too for that matter), we were ushered once again to the restrooms to change back into a more relaxed outfit, and brought out on the boardwalk for the question and answer part of our interview. Something I kind of knew was a possibility after paying attention to the release of their Spring line, but something Matt had no idea was coming. I made sure to keep it this way so he wouldn’t think about it too much beforehand and get flustered. At the end of the interview I think we were both happy with how it turned out. I think we did a good job of answering questions, and hopefully didn’t do too much mumbling or unprepared answers of “I personally believe that US Americans….”.
All in all, we had SO much fun participating in this shoot for Vineyard Vines. The entire staff and crew were incredibly friendly and we had a wonderful time talking and joking with them between photos while just hanging out. The clothes were fantastic, and except for the large yacht we could only wish was ours, they captured us perfectly as we spend our time on the boat and with each other. Only in much better clothes than we normally wear. Although don’t be surprised if you catch us in a lot more of their gear from here on out.
Make sure to check out any of their multiple stores nationwide, and tell them we sent you! We don’t get anything from this, but after working with such an amazing company, we can only hope that you’ll give them a little of your support while staying stylish on the water.
Also, check out the 90 second interview they put together on us from shots taken from the day!
*Just because I know you’re all wondering this, no, we did not get to keep the clothing when we were finished. Not only did they probably put us in a few thousand dollars worth of outfits, but there is again the conundrum of releasing clothing to a person before the line is released through the company. We were however paid in a hefty gift card, of which has now gone toward a lot of great clothing that you’ll be seeing me in once we start travelling again.