Photography Roadtrips: A model's experience
I could write about every single day of this incredible trip with vivid detail, but if you want to truly experience what this trip has to offer, you simply need to book yourself a ticket. So, I will just tell you the beginning, the middle, and the end.
Excitement filled the air as the clock neared six o’clock when Helen and Andrew would be arriving in the minibus to pick me up for our road trip adventure, Destination: Venice. Picking up photographers along the way as well as the odd coffee stop, we readily boarded the Eurotunnel and thirty minutes later we found ourselves in France and got some shut eye for a very early morning start in front of the Eiffel Tower.
I had taken my pillow from my bed to have in the bus, so in my dreamy state I awoke suddenly thinking, My! Is the bed moving? - only to remember and partly realise that it wasn’t a lovely dream but I really was on my way to Paris. With only twenty minutes to go until we arrived at the first set, I scrambled through my make up kit, and started teasing my rollers out.
Once parked, the photographers threw themselves out of the bus ready for some landscapes and lighting tests, whilst Helen dressed and styled me to perfection and there I stood, on the Trocadero, in all my burlesque fashion glory and a background to die for.
With time pressing on, we got one more set done, beside the Seine, the red dress flowing, a red umbrella blowing and kicking Helen’s little gold shoes into the air. Less of a shot and more of a painting, it was a wrap, and time for breakfast.
Smiling hosts, grinning photographers, and then there was me still swimming with energy and disbelief... what a way to start your day!
Throughout the week, we all became closer as friends (but what goes on tour, stays on tour, so no details I’m afraid), with never-ending banter, ideas bouncing, discussion of other interests, and just damn good photography thrown in too. When crammed into a bus with a team of people, it might be expected for tensions to run high and cabin fever to arise with all the different personalities, but nope, no one could do enough for each other, every day moved smoothly without a hitch.
Each photographer commented throughout the trip that the Appletons don’t just give you a photography trip but a holiday, and I couldn’t agree more. We got to experience parts of France, Switzerland, and Italy that most tourists wouldn’t find, we soaked up the atmosphere wherever we went, took shots like memories rather than just highly styled magazine-ready sets, yet there was always time to chill, take a nap, have a drink, engage in conversation, or just go for a wander.
Walking through the streets of Venice is an experience in itself, peering into the shop windows at the haunting yet colourful masks, jogging up steps, walking over bridges, side stepping through crowded alleyways, a seemingly endless maze until stepping out in to Saint Mark’s Square. Almost agoraphobic from its vast size and buildings rising up, incredibly beautiful architecture, music swelling from the live orchestra playing outside of one of the restaurants, drinks clinking, people laughing, and the smell of fresh breads and pastries surrounded us. Helen had styled me in pure chic, I felt like a star making her way through the paparazzi only to turn around and be ready for her close up!
Two days later and it’s time to turn around and travel back, but not before making a stop in The Alps. The change in climate is mind-blowing, one minute you’re sweltering in heat and suddenly your reaching for your jumper thinking to yourself where are my thermals? So, there I was mermaid dress on, make up and hair done, pulling my thigh high winter socks and boots on ready to take on the snow and wind. Funnily enough, when the sun came out from the clouds you could have happily sunbathed. We scouted our beautiful location looking for that perfect backdrop for me to photobomb, and we were spoiled for choice, settling on a rock in the middle of snow. Shimmering pool and mountains behind, I made my way out to my pedestal with heels in hand, a scarf tucked under my arm and my photographer's phone which was wirelessly tethered so I could see where we were with lighting and angles to save walking back and forth to each other. Helen was on hand ready to shout instructions for stray hairs, ruffle the dress, or a skew whiff necklace, and that was it we had gotten the perfect shot. Pure job satisfaction flooding.
It wasn’t long until we were all sat on the ferry together, drinks ordered, and seven very happy and content faces around a table in a crowded room. What an adventure, amazing sights seen, impeccable shots taken, great food eaten, delicious coffees sipped, friends gained, and now it was time to go home.
It was a marvellous week that just vanished too quickly, but I couldn’t have enjoyed it more. I watched Andrew effortlessly set up lights, give advice when needed, have a laugh with the photographers, I witnessed Helen transform me from a typical ginger bird to a Hollywood starlet, and I saw photographers hit another level and grow.
Don’t just take my word for it, come and experience it for yourself.
Written by Scarlett Fox