Updated: Aug 26, 2019
The Virgin Islands--downtown Christiansted, St. Croix in particular--has so much potential for amazing fashion and artistic photo shoots. I live in the Christiansted area so I spend a lot of time in now. At my new job as well, I will be in downtown Christiansted. When walking through town, I can't help but notice that the buildings--though lacking some maintenance--are structurally beautiful. Between the arches, colors and the overall landscape, I wondered why we haven't been using the area as a prime photo shoot location.
Shooting in the Virgin Islands, we tend to stick to beaches and flora. While I understand that it is an island, there is no reason why we have to portray this idea that the only dope locations are those and the rain-forest. Then, when we go to Christiansted, we tend to immediately choose Fort Christianvaern as the location.
I want us to move away from that.
What I think happens is that people see one or two decent photo shoots at these locations and then, in hopes of having the same result or better, they keep choosing them. It's like selecting the default tab.
I can name a few others as well such as: Buccaneer Hotel (the windmill area), Carambola golf course, and Frederiksted Clock Tower.
We have a few modeling agencies in the territory--such as JG Management USVI, and Faces of Gemini Modeling Institute--and many people who are interested in fashion. However, I tend to hear people say that we don't have a market for those types of shoots or industry in general. But why not? I see no reason why we can't be, and if it doesn't exist, why can't we create it?
That's one of my many goals. Hopefully, one day we can market the Virgin Islands as not just a tourism hub for beaches, but also one for models and fashionistas looking to build their portfolios.
Sunday morning at about 10 a.m., Deidre Dubois, a local model from St. Croix, and I picked a small area in downtown Christiansted to shoot. We began at some old ruins across from the St. Croix Foundation.
Next we shot at inside an alley way between two buildings and then moved to what is called Sunday Market Square, or Time Square. We also shot at a building that is home to a spa, a dance studio and an inn.
From there, we then shot at a small balcony and ended it at a staircase on a nearby building. The locations were essentially right next to each other in a small square.
Shooting as early as we did, the lighting started off great, but then once 11:30 hit, the sunlight became too harsh and it was hard to get any photos that weren't over exposed or that caused Deidre to squint from the light. I'm a natural light photographer so I have to take these things into consideration. To combat the sun, I had to move her around a lot. Finding shady areas that allowed light to come through was my next option ad everything turned out well.
It was a fun shoot and I'm pleased with the results. Hope you all like them too. I plan on searching for more locations in downtown Christiansted for shooting. Maybe some store owners would be willing to open up their venues and courtyards as well because I've seen some gorgeous ones, but you can't access them. I'll try asking.
Till then, Happy Shooting!