18 Apr Unexpected Freelance Adventures in Yucatan
I don’t like to pass up a good opportunity, even if it means I have to change plans at a minute’s notice or try something completely new. So, when one of my freelance writing clients told me about his brain child, an amazing luxury travel project in the Yucatan, I was enthusiastic to say the least. But how he planned to involve me … that was a complete surprise.
Tale A Guest and their luxury travel site is revolutionizing the industry. With a stellar creative like D. F. Favela at the helm, I’m not the least bit surprised. Part of his magic has been capturing the makers of the exquisite travel dream in their element, through on-site photo shoots with Spanish photographer Ruben Ortiz.
Favela had decided to do a luxury travel feature in the Yucatan at the spectacular Hacienda Temozon. But, shaking things up a bit, he’d given this one a theme – Alice in Wonderland. After story boarding for a month at a yurt in the jungle he knew exactly what he wanted to achieve. So, how did I fit in? As his staff writer, naturally, I’d write the text to accompany the photos – a playful fairy tale incorporating the energy of the agent’s personalities and the gorgeous scene, but it was more than that.
“How would you feel about being the stylist for the shoot?”
“I don’t really do that,” I said.
“Sure, you do! I’ve seen your stylings.”
In a sense, he was right, but I’d never thought of myself as doing it professionally. In San Miguel, I model quite a bit and most of my clients request that I do my own makeup because they like how I do it. I’m also part of a circus troupe and a belly dance troupe and, in both cases, do others’ makeup as well as my own. As he pointed out, with a theatrical shoot like this one the outlandish looks I create for performance would be a perfect fit.
The challenge was on! I couldn’t resist. And so we commenced the planning to make a book, Extraordinarily Off the Beaten Path.
I spent lots of time researching the looks that I would create. While I wanted it to be Alice in Wonderland, I also wanted it to be unique, artistic, and not pull too much from Tim Burton’s recent depiction.
The costume designer (and my friend!), Debra Bigge Holloran, and I flew out to Merida together. We spent one night is a beautiful jungle hut where Favela had been hiding out for the last month, gathering inspiration from the jungle and cenotes.
Then we bunked together at the grand Hacienda and turned it into a high-fashion dressing room, styling 6 agents for two shoots a day. Before and after, we sipped cocktails and shared delicious meals with our amazing team …not to mention – hello! – Hacienda Temozon, in the heart of the Mexican Yucatan region, is an incredible location with delicious food, great service and style for days.
At the end, we were sad to leave. We’d made such great connections, bonded with all the brilliant minds involved in the project and new we’d miss them once we left. They photos were a grand success and the book just premiered in NYC on the 14th! Next up, Mexico City.
Just goes to show, in this crazy life it behooves you to follow your gut. I’m so grateful that I did! Until the next one …