L.L. Bean staff, models, photographer and dog at work
Once again, a media call from L. L. Bean came to the QE I to be a prop in another catalogue shoot, this time in Bar Harbor, ME on September 14, 2009. As the booking agent for the QE I, I accepted the assignment; fame can be such a burden sometimes!
First, I had to get the car off the island. That required a trip to the ferry terminal at 3:00 am on the morning of Friday, September 12, to sit in line to secure a spot on a boat on Sunday.
Second, I had to make certain the car would make it Bar Harbor. This necessitated a tune up on Saturday morning, with new ignition components, adjusting and timing the car, and filling up empty fluid reservoirs.
Third, I had to clean the car. Beginning with accumulated equipment in the rear, I then moved to shoveling out the excess bark, dirt, and grunge. Then came the removal of many tools. Finally, I started on the front seats and dashboard shelves.
Fourth came two power washes, one of the exterior and one of the interior, followed by a Waxoyl clay bar treatment to brighten up the drab paint.
After the ferry ride to the mainland on Sunday, I made another trip to a car wash. Then came the auto polishing compound and buffing, the Liquid Glass wax, the Armor-All wipe down of the interior mats and the black goop on the tires. Then it rained for a while.
Sixth came Monday morning at 6:30 am when I waxed the car again and within an hour, started off to Bar Harbor for the photo shoot.
Seventh came the arrival in Bar Harbor, where I finally found the location of the shoot. Elise Plakke, the art director for this catalogue, eyeballed the car. The hoop set which holds up the canvas top did not make the grade, so I spent 10 minutes or so removing it from the car. Then I drove it to the "set."
Behind the waterfront hotels in Bar Harbor lies a sand bar to another island, exposed during low tide. It's part of Acadia National Park, but L. L. Bean secured permission to use a stretch for their photo shoot. Dozens of people walked by all day and wound up watching the artistic staff, production staff, and photography staff order the four models and the trained dog around for the day. My admiration grew as I watched Danee, Kate, Kahari and Blake - professional models all - go through their repetitive paces with good spirits. Diving into Maine's ocean waters in September, all the while pretending it's summertime, requires fortitude. Watching Danee cover herself in all the clothing possible between takes - and shivering - was painful. Professional modeling is not a job for the faint-hearted or ambivalent personality; they're bulldogs in attitude who just happen to look fabulous.
For my part, I stood around a lot and moved the QE I on command. The car elicited a lot of compliments from passers-by, several of whom claimed to own Land Rovers in the past. To the man who said he had a "special 5.11 rear end," I have to say, "I don't think so."
By 3:00 pm, the incoming tide ended the shoot on the sand bar and the crew headed off for lunch - which was terrific - in their 40-ft RV dressing room/dining room. My day was done, but theirs was not; another shoot on Beech Mountain awaited them. A two hour drive SW brought me to a Rockland motel in time for dinner and drinks before catching the next morning ferry for Vinalhaven.
Maine waters do not warm up in Septmeber
A "natural pose" on a piece of driftwood
The most beautiful model of all
"The Land Rover is not a vehicle, it's a way of life."