May 16, 2021
Giovanni's Lisa Cote is no stranger to shooting on-location, but her recent direct booking was something completely different. Modelresource asked her about what made this trip unique.
What were the details of the direct-booking?
I was in India just under a week. With travel time (16 hours of flying) and
time zone changes, the entire trip took seven days.
I was the only female model on the trip and the only one from Canada.
The trip included two "crossover" shoots - one for FQ magazine and one for
SIR. For the SIR story, a male model from India, named Niketan, was used.
He met us at the palace for the second day of shooting.
Where would this rank among your modelling experiences?
This trip was by far the most interesting, wild and foreign experience of
my life, modelling related or not. It was like a completely different
world, a dream.
What made this unique?
The shoot was different than anything I'd previously done for many
reasons. The part of India we shot in was like a great hilly desert, full
of exotic animals including elephants, camels and monkeys. We stayed at a
luxurious palace-turned-heritage-hotel and were treated like royalty, with
pleasant, hard-working servants tending to our every need. The locals were
warm and colourful, the children delightfully curious.
Besides the intense culture shock, the crew was also very different.
There must have been about 15 members, some from Toronto and the rest from
India. It was the largest crew I've worked with on a photo shoot and
everyone was fantastic! Even with small crews there is often conflict of
opinion, which can really slow things down and detract from the overall
vibe. But everyone got along famously; things couldn't have gone more
smoothly! Despite the oppressive heat and long days, there was a marvelous
energy that I'm sure will come through in the photos.
Any funny/strange moments?
I finished my shots in a day and a half, so I got to hang around the
countryside while the male model worked on the second afternoon of shooting.
During one of his shots, I sought refuge from the sun in some tall
grass, under a nearby tree. A group of children had been following me
around that day, occasionally sneaking a quick touch of my ridiculously
white skin. A moment after I sat down in the tall grass, a little boy
stepped forward and told me in his broken English that I should move away,
because I was squatting in a snake's home! I'm not afraid of snakes, per
se, but recalling the cobra charmer I'd seen in the village the previous
day, I took his advice and found a more hospitable spot to rest.
Did you learn anything new along the way?
Travelling can always teach you something new. I learned some things
about the culture and practices of the Indian people. The hair and make-up
artist, Deepa, told me about the significance of the cow, about arranged
marriages and the utter importance of education. I observed the
unimaginable disparity that exists between the country's rich and poor. I
realized how fortunate I am to have clean drinking water and (relatively)
hygenic public toilets.
I also learned that the Indian people have nerves of steel when it comes to driving! Anyone who can negotiate a large tour
bus through crowded streets full of bicycles, motorcycles, trucks, cars,
rickshaws, elephants and camel-driven carts, without the assistance of
traffic lights or marked lanes, gets and A+ for driving in my book. The
streets of Delhi and Jaipur make Paris look like a cakewalk!