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Trip Report: Photoshoot Day at Shearwater Cove

Predawn light streamed through the window when my alarm went off at 3:45AM. It's photoshoot day! After weeks of preparation, the day was finally here. Fishe was headed to Shearwater Cove, a picturesque adventure resort outside of Seward, Alaska. The objective of the day was concise, yet the list of tasks to be completed was extensive. 5 hours in cars. 2 hours on boats. 50 products to photograph. 3 models to coordinate. By the time the midnight sun finally set, it was our goal to have a cache of photos that could be used by Fishe and Shearwater Cove in marketing materials for years to come. With the boundless energy that comes from an Alaskan summer of everlasting daylight, what could get in our way? 

A job in marketing for an Alaskan outdoor company has certainly provided me with some unique perks. Getting to take a water taxi to what just may be one of the most spectacular places I’ve been to in Alaska, was certainly one of them. And spectacular it was. We all know Alaska is a picture perfect example of the romanticized idea of “the mountains meeting the sea.” As our water taxi wove along the precipitous coastline towards Shearwater Cove, I couldn’t help but to reflect on the accuracy of that superlative. Less than one mile out from our tiny boat, yet more than 4,000 feet up, marbled glaciers of blue and white hung in cirques framed by imposing rock and evergreen trees. As if amongst skyscrapers in a city, we had to crane our necks to take in the grandeur of the peaks cloaking us. It is common for landscapes that marry ocean and mountain to be quantified on a scale of “one to Alaska.” Since moving here 4 years ago, I’ve come to learn that there’s no place like Alaska. I have also learned that there is no place in Alaska like Shearwater Cove. 

Before the photoshoot, my knowledge of Shearwater Cove extended as far as understanding that 1.) it was an adventure lodge in Resurrection Bay, 2.) it was scenic enough to serve as a location for a photoshoot, and 3.) that yurts were somehow involved… While these facts were indeed true, it was impossible before actually setting foot there to fully grasp what an oasis this special place truly is. 

After an hour-long boat ride through the transcendent scenery of Resurrection Bay, we coasted into Shearwater Cove. A narrow corridor just a few times wider than the width of the boat bookended by a dock up to a boardwalk, an oasis of sublime greenery and yurts poking through above. We hopped off the water taxi and began unloading our heaps of baggage onto the dock. From there we scouted the property to craft a plan of how and where we were going to take photos. It was hard to know where to begin. At every twist of the boardwalk, around every picturesque yurt, behind every bountiful salmonberry or blueberry bush we found stunning backgrounds for photos. 

Throughout the course of the photoshoot, Shearwater Cove guests came and went around us. They’d head from their cozy yurts down to take out sea kayaks to explore the nooks of Resurrection Bay. Or bask in the sunlight filtering through the spruce trees of the temperate rainforest. Or to go explore the trail system that weaves through what I imagine is some of the best blueberry picking for miles around. Seeing as getting to spend a work day here was absolutely heavenly, I can’t imagine how great it must be to vacation here… 
As the sun rose higher in the sky and the morning shadows shrank, so did our extensive to-do list. Sea kayaking? Check. Yurt photos? Check. Dry bag photos, leggings, accessories? Check, check, check. The team of models along with photographer Jessica Haydahl Richardson were on it. Moving through product after product like it was nobody's business. As this was my first large scale photoshoot that I had worked on, I was overwhelmingly relieved to work alongside such an effective and efficient team. By the time the water taxi showed up to whisk us back across the bay to Seward, Jessica had snapped thousands of photos between her multiple cameras. As you can see throughout this blog post, Jessica's talent as a photographer in conjunction with Shearwater Cove's scenic background and the hard work of models Becca, Dani, and Staci, we ended up with some pretty spectacular photos.

 

The whole day could not have happened without the incredible Shearwater Cove staff. Their patience and generosity were unparalleled - two important traits for folks in the business of curating Alaska dream vacations. For many tourists that vacation in the 49th state, they only come here once and the tourist professionals that they interact with only have one chance to get it right. A photoshoot is the same way. Our photographer Jessica, visiting from the Lower 48, only had one day to work with Fishe. We also had only one chance to get it right. Charity Lehman and her team at Shearwater Cove understood this, and operated accordingly, displaying the urgency and professionalism requisite to get the job done.

A huge thank you to all that made this wonderful day possible. Having the privilege to work with creative, kind, talented women, to build a brand that creates products for women sure is a rewarding experience! 

 

 

Shearwater Cove's Instagram: @shearwatercove and website

Jessica Haydahl Richardson's Instagram: @haydahlphotoand website

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