Including how to achieve the perfect sandy-bum

Last week I jumped on a plane from the Gold Coast to fly over to one of my favourite places on earth to document behind the scenes of the Cleo x Billabong campaign shoot on beautiful Gili Trawangan island in Indonesia.

Flying into Sydney with some of the legends at Billabong, Cayleh and Jamie, we meet up with the rest of the crew at Sydney airport. Alissa, the beautiful Fashion Director at Cleo Magazine styled the collection. Jason Ierace is a legendary photographer (chances are if you’ve picked up a magazine in Australia, you’ve seen his work) and his assistant Simon. Then there’s Budi. Budi is the pocket rocket hair and make up genius. He also is the master at creating the perfect sandy bum. After I saw him put together the first look on the model, I was immediately trying to work out a way to convince Budi to come with me everywhere with me I go.

We touched down in Bali and made our way to Sanur where we picked up our amazing model, cute-as-a-button Nat. She’d arrived before us after over 36hrs in transit making her way to Bali from where she lives in New York. Then we were ready to take the boat over to the Gili Islands, a small group of islands just of Lombok, Indonesia.

The best way I can describe the Gili’s is what I had imagined Bali would be like before I had ever been there. On Gili Trawangan, there’s one road around the whole island, no cars, no scooters, no dramas. The only way to get around is by bicycle or horse and cart. The water is crystal clear and a striking turquoise, the people are friendly, the tourists are relaxed and everyone is always smiling.

We got settled into our massive villa after a dip in the private pool with all the gear and prepped the samples, jewellery and bikinis for the next morning’s first day of shooting.

The first day day of shooting was for the CLEO x BILLABONG campaign images. Budi got to work on deepening Nat’s already NYC summer bronze, tousling her hair and giving her a fresh, sun kissed face for the day. We set off in search for the first location which only took us a few minutes to find on the picturesque island. We stumbled upon two white hammocks swinging gently in the breeze between two trees….. The rest you can see below. The next day was spent shooting the collection again, this time in a more stylised way for the Cleo editorial. It was so amazing to watch Alissa, Cayleh, Budi and Jason work to create such different looks for the same garments.

In between lots of swims, lots of fun group dinners and some down time, the team also took the opportunity (and made the most of the stunning location) to shoot two other editorials for Cleo magazine. I’ve never seen a team work so hard in such a dreamy holiday location. See for yourself the magic below!

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(Left to right)
Jason, Photographer | Miann, Blogger | Budi, Hair and Makeup |Alissa, Fashion Director
Nat, Model | Simon, Photography Assistant | Cayleh, Billabong (aka Mumma) | Jamie, Videographer