I was so excited when I learned that I'd be photographing the stunning Ukrainian supermodel Alla Kostromichova for the September 2013 cover of Condé Nast Traveller (Russia) on the remote private island of Song Saa in Southern Cambodia.
And when I arrived on the island -- a pristine tropical hideaway blanketed in virgin rainforest, fringed by white sandy beaches, and surrounded by coral reefs -- I knew it would be a special shoot. However, I had no idea just how special it would end up being.
The entire team -- an eclectic international mix from Russia, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Canada whom had never met before -- quickly came together as both creative partners and friends.
From the long wooden bridges stretching out across the sea, to the friendly and colourful local fishing village, to the natural waterfall hidden deep in the jungle, every location was a true inspiration.
And Alla herself was an absolute dream to collaborate with and to photograph.
However, we were not without challenges: specifically, it was June and the monsoon season in the Gulf of Thailand was in full swing, which meant we were faced with highly unpredictable weather throughout our time at Song Saa.
The first three days on the island were mostly grey, overcast, and rainy, which caused a significant level of stress for the client, for the crew and, of course, for me. However, on the actual morning we had scheduled to photograph the cover and fashion feature with Alla, the clouds cleared, the sky turned blue, and the sun shone brightly throughout the entire day.
On rare occasions everything comes together perfectly -- the location, the team, the talent, the weather -- and the photographs seem to almost make themselves. For me, this CN Traveller shoot was one of those unique experiences. I can say without equivocation that this was the most amazing fashion photography experience I have ever had.
Visit the following links to see a small collection of candid iPhone outtakes I made during the fashion shoot: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.
Go behind-the-scenes and see the entire creative team at work here.
And bowse more of my fashion photography portfolio here.
Client: Condé Nast Traveller (Russia)
Location: Song Saa Private Island
Model: Alla Kostromichova
Art Direction: Anastasia Kostolyndina
Styling: Andrea Wong
Hair & Make-up: Joey Yap
Photographer's Assistant: Zam
Stylist's Assistant: Brenda Mak
Digital Imaging: Agnes Teo