Shooting on the bare reflective flats of Bolivia, the Wallcandy team was overwhelmed by the natural beauty of our surrounds. Glare and rainbows crowded onto the film, and the aura of nature towered around us. We roamed hot pink lakes layered against a horizon of blue and the mineral silt of the mountains in the distance. Fighting altitude, rugged terrain and exposure, we created the ultimate campaign juxtaposing JETS sophisticated swimwear against the wildish natural world.
Our first night was spent in Uyuni Bolivia, the most common spot in Bolivia to start a tour or trek. Dusty and remote, the town has one tiny airport, and no matter where you come from in the world it’s a journey to get there, with at least one connecting flight. Many of the hotels and restaurants in Uyuni are constructed from tightly packed salt, creating glowing spaces filled with light and local cuisine.
Our team were optimistic as we collated together a plethora of film, camera equipment and the swimwear pieces for a new campaign. The first day we hoped to shoot on the Uyuni Salt Flats. Flooded from the rainy season, the flats were full and long, shining like a giant plane of glass and providing a unique reflective atmosphere cradled within the giant pre-historic basin filling the mountains.
In other seasons, the ridges glow purple in hazy contrast, and out in the centre towered a bizarre cactus island (‘Incahuasi’ – the fish island). Like a mirage, it seemed to appear from nothingness, another stunning locale for our team to create against.
Despite the beauty of Uyani, we were unprepared for the overwhelming spectacle we were to experience on our second day. Even the drive was magnificent, as we crossed stunning arid flats, red mountains, or miles of glistening salt. As we trekked higher (driven by our amazing Nomada Experience guides) we found ourselves amidst valleys surrounded by bright snow-capped mountains and villages where women wore bright coloured traditional clothes and wore tassels from their hats.
As we approached our destination, the Laguna, flamingos dipped their heads in the crystal water and we tumbled out of the cars prepared for another day of shooting. The contrast between the rugged landscape and sleek swimwear was exactly what we had hoped for.
Surprisingly, unique wildlife live happily despite the arid landscape, furry and sweet and just a little strange – like the viscancha, a rabbit-like animal with a long tail, a cousin of the Chinchilla.
That night we stayed at the incredible Tayka Hotel del Desierto, whose stone buildings sit below the mountains on the red earth, and revelled in the remote beauty.
On the third day, we took our last round of altitude sickness tablets and left immediately at sunrise for the Stone Tree, a rock obelisk that has been wittled away by elemental exposure and now stands alone on the flat Siloli desert. As we continued on past the shoreline of the Laguna Colorada, we were met with a vision of rose red water, bright yellow grasses and volcanoes swathed in snow.
Our final shoot location was the Dali Desert, a pastel wilderness of sand and rock, and of course – a mountainous façade that dwarfed us rising fantastically on all sides. Despite the isolation, after wrapping the shoot for the day, it was a relief to return to our accommodation, toast the trip’s success and enjoy the glowing buzz of what was truly an incredible experience.
With the challenge of working remotely and relying on the most exquisite of locations, this was the perfect destination, that allowed us to create a beautiful campaign that would have been possible in very few other places.