Each trip is different but in broad terms we generally have about 10-12 photographers maximum including myself, a core of regulars and one or two tour virgins. I take a minimum of 2-3 models but regularly aim to take 4 if it's viable financially. We sometimes have models from previous trips joining us just on holiday. So a group of about 16-20 plus can be quite common.
Hopefully there will be blue skies, and it will be sunny and warm, more often than not it is. Sometimes however we have been unlucky and have had the odd day that may be a little on the grey side and chilly, for these occasions we will alter the itinerary and move shoots as best we can to try and ensure that you have the best weather possible for the shoots. Temperatures can drop a little in the night. You may want to pack a jumper just in case. Sometimes we get a little rain – but not a lot.
Where we stay
We stay in the small very friendly village of Vale de Parra which is about 5 miles west from the town of Albufeira on the Algarve coast and about 45 minutes by car, west from the airport at Faro.
There are small shops and bigger supermarkets nearby, a number of restaurants and bars all within no more than 5-10 minutes in the car although most are easily accessable with a short walk. The Algarve shopping centre is a favourite for the girls and ideal if you have forgotten something with a great many shops, again around a 10 minute drive from the villas or you canventure into Albufeira or if you feel a little more adventurous then Faro is a super place to explore.
Similarly for livelier night life we normally go into Albufeira, we normally pick one or two evenings for these visits where the groups slit into two with some staying behind for a quiet evening while the rest go for a boogie in the town's nightlife until the early hours. A couple of the photographers may drive but we advise to pay only a few euros for a safe taxi ride.
The villas are of a very high standard and well appointed, each with 4 or 5 rooms, many bedrooms with ensuite. Each villa has its own swimming pool. The villas are about 1½ miles from the beach. Most of the guys have single rooms but if two friends wish to travel and share we can accommodate this and offer a reduction to both, our models generally share a room (2 per room) with each other unless accommodation allows single rooms.
We generally have two estate cars with a smaller (fiesta/corsa/clio) car for our transport for the duration, if we have sufficient need then a ‘9 seater’ minibus is sometimes booked and one of the estate cars dropped. We use these for airport transfers, to get to the beaches, the restaurants that are not in walking distance, and to the shops. We are lucky to have regular photographers who cover the driving for us. We always need extra drivers however, so please help if you can when you book please advise if you would like to be a main driver or second driver and don't forget to please bring your licence.
If any non-driver needs or wants to go to the shops, into town or down the beach at anytime, one of the guys who drive would generally be happy to oblige if asked nicely. If anybody wants their own car (at their own expense) for the week or just a few days it can be arranged and may give you a bit more freedom of movement especially for location one-to-one shoots, if you are also able to help ferry photographers to and from the group shoots that would be much apprreciated.
We shoot every day (weather permitting) apart from the days of arrival/departure. We shoot twice a day, for 1 hour at a time, in the morning and the afternoon. Times and locations vary according to light, weather, tides, and how busy the beaches are. We shoot in a number of beach locations (and the water is not too cold, honest girls); the occasional country setting; in and around the various villas; and in and out of the pools.
We divide the models into 2 or 3 separate groups for photo sessions each day.
Although a lot of what we do is traditional calendar style photography, we do shoot up to figure nude in group shoots. The occasional model however may be happy to go up to UK mens magazine in a one-to-one session. Over the week however, we take the full range of photos from portrait, fully clothed, lingerie, topless, figure nude and magazine. If girls are happy to do more explicit photos in group sessions this is normally not a problem – certainly not a problem in booked one-to-one’s.
We generally go for full-on glamour – we are not particularly into the girl next door with no make-up look – although cute and sexy is welcome. We expect hair, make-up and nails to be immaculate for shoots. No bloodshot eyes from late nights.