It's been a few days since our last post. Since then we've covered a lot of ground and have been busy taking photos as well as having plenty of fun. Just to round out the rest of the crew on the trip, we want to introduce Courtney and Claire.
Courtney works for our friends at Ray Agency and was instrumental in bringing us on board. Although we had only talked on the phone, we knew we would get along just fine. Courtney has been art directing the entire shoot as well as doing various photo assistant, beer opening, and candy buying duties.
Claire is in charge of the wardrobe, and had a hand in most of the tails we have been using on the trip. Having a background in textiles, Claire and her team have created some beautiful tails and without her the photos would not be the same.
We woke up and headed down to the local hardware store/restaurant for breakfast. After a delicious meal, included fried bologna, we were off. With Dan at the wheel, we spun our MerMobile around and we headed down the highway to Arches Provincial Park. Being able to park close, we were able to easily bring the gear down to the ocean, but the wind was blowing hard and the tide was rising quickly. The whole team went into work mode as everyone held onto a light stand and followed our instructions as we hurried to shoot. The models hit it out of the park and we were able to wrap up with photos in hand and no wet photo gear.
Afterwards we backtracked to Deer Lake and drove up to the Insectarium. It was closed to the public but Mark, one of the employees, was there to meet us. Makeup was applied, the tail donned and photos were taken. Again the crew went to work, this time trying to catch butterflies and hand them to Mark to use as a prop. As with all the photos, good times were had. We wrapped up and headed down the road to our hotel. With all six of us crammed into our hotel room, we shared beers, pizza, and plenty of laughter.
We were up early again as we made our way to the airport to catch a plane to Labrador. After one stop on the milk run, we arrived in Goose Bay. We can guarantee the people in Newfoundland are friendly, but perhaps the folks in Labrador will kick it up even a notch higher? Gabe, one of the Merby's to be photographed, was there to pick us up, along with Sheri from PAL Airlines. We sorted out location options and decided on Gosling Lake with some Labrador Regatta canoes as props (Thanks Myrna!). The models - John, Gabe, Nat and Shaun had all of us in stitches throughout the shoot. Well, mainly Sean as we had him in quite the contorted positions and he had no trouble pointing it out to us! We wrapped up and all of us headed back to Gabe's house for a BBQ dinner, again a wonderful evening with new friends. Gabe and Sean were kind enough to share their homes with us and as it turned out, we each had our own private bed complete with a door!
With a 5:30 am wake up call, we headed down to the float plane dock with a new set of Merb'ys eager to pose for us. We took some photos as we enjoyed the beautiful views and the conversation with new friends. The shot was successful and we wrapped up what would be our last photoshoot of the project. Right now we're sitting in Gabe's kitchen drinking some delicious coffee, clean after a refreshing shower, ready for our final flight back to St John's.
Tired but happy we're finished, we're also a little sad as we know our team will be spreading apart, but we look forward to seeing them all again some time in the future.
There was a whole lotta love and respect being spread around this project. Here's a shout out written by Dan, after he dropped us off at the airport when we flew to Labrador, so he could do the long drive back to St John's with the empty MerMobile. He said it way better than we could have. Much love to the entire crew and talent!
“After five days, eleven shoots, and 2,132km, the island portion of the #merbys2019 shoot is complete. Who would have thought that you could spend a week trapped in a van with five other people and come out of it liking them even more than when you started? Well that's how MerB'ys roll. Hasan Hai, Clare Fowler, and Courtney Elliott, you're all the very finest kind of people. Even greater than that, we have come away having made new friends in Dale Roth and Michele Ramberg of roth and ramberg Photography. Not only are they astonishingly talented photographers, they are friendly, warm, kind, and absolutely hilarious.
It was a hectic week, but I saw parts of our beautiful province I had never seen and met more of the beautiful people who live here. Each and every one of the models, make up artists, families, and sponsors reenforced the values which underpin this project, each bringing their own interpretation of how the calendar can help to improve our society in the present and the future.
My back is sore from driving, my feet are blistered from hiking, my sides are stiff from laughing, and my heart is filled with gratitude for being able to participate in this wonderful project in support of ViolencePrevention NL. Be safe in Labrador!