The tem pimenta collection consists for the time being of summer clothes. The prototypes were finalized in early November 2017 in India and will be presented to the public in April 2018. In the meantime, the outfits have to be photographed in a summer setting, while winter is settling in Switzerland. Difficult!
Fortunately, I had planned my Christmas holidays in Mexico with my companion Simon, who (by pure chance) is also tem pimenta’s photographer. The perfect opportunity!
I pack my precious prototypes in my backpack for the trip. They will not leave my sight; not on the plane nor in the many buses we will take to travel around Mexico. No question of losing them or having them stolen!
After a few days into our vacation, we find the ideal place for our photo shooting on the Pacific coast, in the state of Oaxaca. We choose the small picturesque village of Mazunte with its golden beaches, where the waves of the ocean come crashing in.
But for a photo shooting we need models!! I do my casting in a rather particular way. While the sun is high in the sky, I am combing the beach and scrutinizing the silhouettes of bathers. Since I have brought a set of my new collection in only one size, I have to evaluate potential candidates to be sure, the clothes will fit. Hiding my embarrassment, I approach a few people to explain my project. Interrupted in their tanning session most of them are not exactly thrilled by the idea. Finally a young Spanish couple can be convinced to participate the next day in the photo shooting. Next I approach a young Mexican. Sheltered under her big sombrero, she travels the beach to sell her homemade falafels, arranged in a basket. The first surprise passed, Tania shows interest in participating.
Now we have to choose the location. Simon and I find an interesting and little used site for the shooting. We calculate the time needed to move from one spot the next. We plan to use the soft light just before sunset and must therefore establish a precise timing. I pose for the trial shots, while some tourists are observing this little show with amazement.
On D-day, I have to bring the folded clothes from the bottom of my backpack in shape. Luckily, there is an iron in the hotel and I tackle the job in the overwhelming heat of the day. Next an unpleasant surprise: the Spanish couple have changed their minds and cancel… And we have only a few hours left before the start of the photo shoot. I have no choice but to go back to the beach where I spot a young French couple. Unenthusiastic at first, Noanne and Maxence finally agree to try the adventure.
Then it is Tania who announces that she will be late… And while it’s almost time for the shooting, Simon informs me that the chosen part of the beach, deserted yesterday, is today brimming with people … But we have no choice and will just do our best in spite of the last minute disappointments.
Maxence and Noanne show up punctually. Click-click-click, and we have the first of a few hundred pictures. One and a half hour later everything is in the box. Rather timid at first, our one-day models slowly relax and end up having fun. Armed with the reflector, I sometimes have to ask bathers to move a bit, while Simon is patiently waiting for stray dogs to walk out of the frame.
At the end of the afternoon, I am very happy with the result. Our faces are reddened by the last rays of the sun. The evening continues with our models around a good meal and some “mezcals”, the opportunity to get to know each other better, just among tourists.
Thanks to Simon, Maxence, Tania and Noanne!