Our team included our favorite photographer Scott Smallin, videographers Jason Frahm and Phil Goodrich, hair and makeup artist Angela Clark, and models Crystal, Heather, and Valarie. A student chef from the local culinary school where Tara lives was hired to join the group because Tara loves the idea of helping give attention to potential rising stars. JD was just about to graduate and came highly recommended and had submitted meal plans in great detail for Tara’s approval.
Accompanying the group was, of course, Tara and her husband Rune, their daughter Kirsti, and her husband Brendon. Kirsti grew up with her own attachment to the swimwear industry and has designed two labels which are no longer in production , but landed in the pages of Sports Illustrated in the debut year of her KGB label when she was only 14 . Both were successful trendy junior brands that fizzled when she left the nest to go find her own passions in life . Once married, Kirsti returned and joined the staff as a stylist and retail director while simultaneously bringing along the talents of her new husband, who was equally welcomed in the family-run design house and production facility in Conway SC.
We all flew into San Juan and traveled in a not so comfortable, but very large van, for about 3 hours to the Northwest coast of the island to the town of Aquadilla. This area is known by the surf community for its famous “Gas Chambers” which is only about 11 miles from another famous surfing destination Rincon.
Finally arriving at the very private, yet imposing, Casa Herdz we were greeted by a most accommodating staff with a welcome party, which immediately made us all feel as if we may just want to settle in and relax forever. The sun was about to be lost beyond the horizon, so we enjoyed some time off while Scott and Tara went outside to scout out the best areas to shoot the next morning. JD joined the house chefs in the huge commercial kitchen and before we realized it, a huge display of local fare was served and our first day in paradise was complete.
We all woke to the smells of coffee and breakfast as JD had now claimed the kitchen as his personal territory and we were soon ready to begin shooting the first of the new collection. Crystal, one of Tara’s favorite faces of her label for more than 20 years, looked as gorgeous as ever in the new aqua one piece with placed print covered partially with a new unconstructed caftan against the solid white facade of the exterior wall leading to the pool deck. The first day of organized chaos was well underway.
Rune and JD drove out on their daily search for the freshest catch from which to prepare lunch and dinner, while the rest of the group went about their work, each attending to their specific duties with the obvious skill and masterful ease of experience and confidence. Valarie , Heather, and Crystal worked ever so tirelessly in front of the camera and how Angela kept up with it all is beyond us. She is always up before everyone and creates her magic from the ever so large (and always marked “heavy” by the airlines) cases of make up and hair products.
Tara and Scott work so well together and one seems to understand what the other is thinking (and they both seem to really like each other and respect each other’s talent) so that makes for a really positive vibe from which everyone seems to absorb and radiate. “Positive vibes mean better imagery” becomes the non verbalized theme of the shoot and because I’ve been with Tara through many years of photo shooting, I know that this is most important to her.
ABOUT CASA HERDZ
Set on a very private oceanfront landscape in a beautifully pristine area , Casa Herdz is an exclusive and modern villa located on the northwest coast of the island of Puerto Rico. The massive 7 bedroom compound provided us an escape from a very lengthy daily work schedule. We were able to relax and unwind in the evening while enjoying a private theatre room, 2 jaccuzis, an infinity pool, a fully stocked premium bar, game room, gym, fully equipped business center, and two outdoor kitchen areas all overlooking the best sunrises and sunsets. All of this nestled on our very own private beach!
We know luxury Villas and this is one of the best tropical vacation destinations anywhere... truly a world class destination. We so highly recommend Casa Herdz that we have arranged for you to receive a complimentary gift basket from Tara, as well as a “Welcome Party" complete with cocktails and fresh bites prepared just for you by Casa Herdz's private chef when mentioning Tara Grinna while booking your next holiday getaway!