“Just shoot the fucking picture!” he screamed to the photographer as we were all becoming toasted marshmallows in the Caribbean sun – mentally exhausted after a long day of photo shoots, video production, and creative brainstorming.
I am not sure what it is about the Caribbean, but people tend to go a tad crazy in the head there. Maybe it’s the sun? Heat exhaustion possibly? Or maybe it’s the endless supply of alcohol being served? Maybe it’s the whirlwind drives through crowded streets, epic potholes and maniac drivers? Maybe it’s the allure? The salt water? The music? The food? The 16-hour work days? Maybe it’s a combination of everything? All I know is that something is in the water down there!
This was on an epic work trip to the Caribbean for a photo shoot, that I will never forget. Yes, despite the hilarity and fun had, there was work to be done, and a lot of it! But it’s called balance.
I was manic….again…or for the first time, actually. I had just broken up with my boyfriend of ten years (off and on) and he so happened to be on a cruise at that time in the Caribbean. My gears started turning and I was convinced he was going to surprise me and propose, as that was the plan for our trip to Mexico that was going to take place three days after he had broken up with me. That never happened, obviously. But that didn’t stop me from telling my boss all about my grand delusions! Talk about embarrassing.
That was the start. I also had a creditor calling me every five seconds. We got to know one another really well, as he called me everyday. I finally had enough and hung up on him, “No! I cannot pay you your money. I am in the Caribbean sipping on champagne and taking pictures.” That was the end of that, or no it wasn’t. He kept calling and he called my parents too. The calls didn’t really end until I took drastic measures. I jumped off a boat into the Caribbean sea because I needed relief from my sunburn. I have never been so hot in my entire life. So, I jumped ship….and swam ashore to our photo shoot location. On my way in on the waves, I felt this ‘buzz, buzz, buzz’ in my pocket! Yup. My phone was drowning. I remember being far away from the boat and far away from shore…kinda floating out in the middle of the sea, waving my arms frantically in the sky towards my shipmates. “Help! My phone! It’s dead! Save me!” Not sure where we got some rice on the beach, but we did and tried to resuscitate it, but no luck…poor Steve the creditor couldn’t get through any longer. That was the end of that.
Upon washing to shore, a stray dingo came to my rescue. No lie. He was so beautiful and the sweetest thing on the planet. I befriended him that day and sat with him in the sand as my coworkers brought the ship to shore.
We shot pictures on the beautiful white sand beaches for hours, until it was time to take the Helicopter ride for aerial shots. Luckily no one, but my coworker and myself wanted to go up in that thing with doors wide open. I was like, “Helicopter? HELI-yeah!”
We skirted around the world for a while. The photographer snapped breath taking shots of the shore in La Romana. We also flew close to the shore and took aerials of models running happily in the sand with their children. The always elusive family shot, as we called it then. We got so close to the ground that the Helicopter pilot had a scare and had to fly back to home base to drop off dead weight. We were to heavy. And who did they have to let go!? Me. What a way to treat a woman who was already self conscious about her weight! 😉 I was so bummed that they adventured off into the sky without me for the rest of the day.
Now while all this was happening, Josh Kelley was in resort singing for a local radio station that my company had brought down for promotion. I stalked him because at the time, he was releasing a lot of songs that my ex and I loved at the time. He took part in some of photo shoots. We even caught him on camera motioning the tell-tale sign, “where can I get some weed?” We had that in our in photo library as black mail. 😉 He lost his iPod in a drunken stooper one night that had all his soon-to-be-released songs on it. I cannot be held responsible for that.
That very same night, I came clean about my alcohol abuse to my boss and my delusions about my ex, as I sat there drinking a gin and orange juice on the balcony of our room. After I said too much and drank my last night cap, I then proceeded to pass out epically on my bed, diagonally.
After 16 hour workdays packed into one hilarious weekend, I had had enough and on the last day I treated myself to an epic spa treatment. The whole nine yards. Feet, hands, hair, massage, scrub, etc… The masseuse servicing me scrubbed me down with salt and the latest essential oils. Now, she saw everything. And she asks me, “Do you have kids?” Humiliated, I say, “No, why?” “You look like you’ve had kids. Are you sure you don’t have kids?” I thought at that point, spending endless hours under the Caribbean sun that my face couldn’t get any redder. Fat -1, Self Esteem – 0. Ahhh…yeah, how relaxing…that was the end of that and I never will get another scrub treatment again in my life. Nor will I take another Helicopter ride. Nor will I ever jump ship into the sea.
Back to reality. I had to then sift through the hundreds and hundreds of photos…or course only coming out with about 4 that we ever used in our marketing material. Ahhh, but the memories. Now you can’t shoot that kind of chaos. To this day, that was the first and last photo shoot in destination that the company ever funded.