I tend to shoot fewer resorts nowadays as my work with national tourism authorities keeps me pretty busy – but Sinalei Resort in Samoa is an exception to the rule; I enjoy shooting it and I’d recommend dropping in if you’re heading that way (www.sinalei.com)
Sose, the general manager, has become a friend – as has her brother and co-owner Jo Annadale, a senior Matai or chief (who, by the way, plays a mean Ukulele). Then there’s Jackie, the no-nonsense, loveable Aunt who joins us for the breakfast briefings each morning and an army of friendly staff – most of who know me on a first name basis or call me Ta’vita (Samoan for David) which is kinda cute.
I’ve been shooting Sinalei for more than a decade now – drawn by the aesthetics of the traditional architecture and its two towering Fale’s (Samoan meeting houses – now restaurant and bar – which are carved from timber and lashed together with twine patterned in squid ink). The resort features lush tropical gardens, a glistening pool and a wharf over the ocean from which I’ve jumped countless times into a fresh water spring that rises from the depths of the surrounding coral reef. It’s a lovely property, in my view a model for the style of distinctive, boutique resorts that should be being built in countries throughout the South Pacific to draw attention to their unique cultural heritage.
The purpose of the most recent shoot (preview below) was to update the promotional photo library we’ve built over the years, with some emphasis placed this time on promoting the property to Samoa’s burgeoning wedding market.
Next Assignment: A 10 day South Pacific cruise from Brisbane to Papua New Guinea….I’m packing now.