Celebrity shoots commonly cost $50,000 to produce. Here’s a look at a shoot that’s not just bigger, longer and more expensive, but also a whole lot more fun.

20 models, 4 days, all on Paradise Island.


I went through old call sheets to find a shoot to open this section of our blog and came across one of the funnest, not to mention one of the most expensive shoots we’ve produced. It wasn’t a celebrity shoot, but a shoot for FHM’s Digital Darlings and we thought that for most of you reading this, it would be more interesting than a celebrity shoot.

First, a look at some stats

  • Location: The Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, the Bahamas.
  • Number of models: 20.
  • Size of crew and staff: 28.
  • Number of equipment cases: 19.
  • Number of days: 5 including prep, plus 2 travel days.
  • Number of pages in talent contract, guides and call sheet: 28.
  • Number of pages in crew manual: 142.
  • Approximate cost: $300,000.00+.


Why such a big crew? The photo crew on most shoots is usually 8 – 10 by itself. With content for a micro-site as part of the agenda, we also had a crew for video and sound. With 20 models, the video crew had to be able to cover three locations simultaneously. Again with 20 models, it took staff to coordinate them, as well as prep them with hair, makeup and wardrobe. Lastly, with interviews being conducted on location, editorial staff was necessary.

Why such a high cost? Well, look at the crew size! And think of how many rooms and plane tickets it takes for 48 people in the Bahamas for 7 days and 6 nights. A typical dinner alone averaged about $4,000.00. Of course there were sponsors, and a very generous Atlantis Resort that put everyone in luxury suites.


The photo-shoots:

Each of the three shoot days, 6 – 7 models did their photo-shoots.

The locations and scenes were really amazing; Atlantis gave us full run of the property including closing any areas we were shooting at. All the models got shot mornings in amazing suites, and then afternoons around the stunning and massive grounds of the resort.

On the days they didn’t shoot, they participated in planned activities that included unimaginable sights and experiences.


The schedule:

Shoot Day 1:

  • Photo-shoot in the Bridge Suite.
  • Photo-shoot at the marina (aboard a yacht).
  • Activity: Marina Village shops.
  • Activity: Volleyball on the beach.

Each day everyone got to eat at different and wonderful eateries within the Atlantis complex. This day’s dinner was at Marketplace, a stunning buffet that blew us away.


Shoot day 2:

  • Photo-shoot in the Coral Towers Sun Suite.
  • Photo-shoot on East Beach.
  • Activity: Famous chef cooking lessons at Mesa Grill.
  • Activity: Aquarium tour at The Dig.

After a wild first night, they got smarter and contained us all in the Atlas Bar and Grill where the tomfoolery was better contained.


Shoot Day 3:

  • Photo-shoot in the Penthouse Suite at The Cove.
  • Photo-shoot at the Caine Pool at The Cove.
  • Activity: Prep food and feed sharks.
  • Activity: Water Park.

This was the one day we left Atlantis and went to the docks to eat from local purveyors. Conch and fish that came straight off boats and cooked fresh before our eyes. Served of course, with beer.

Day 4:

The fourth day was mostly about entertainment and that all really started the night of the last shoot day with a private blackjack tournament for the models. A $10,000.00 purse was split amongst them with one luck lady taking home the first place prize of $5,000.00.

The last full day was down time at the Cain Pool followed by a private swim with dolphins including an educational session from the trainers. After a debrief meeting and making sure everyone had their buses and limos organized for the next day’s rides to the airport, a private party was held for the models and crew aboard a luxurious 120 foot private yacht where there were lots of hugs, some crying, and a few upchucks into the ocean.