Say Yes
to New Adventures

How to organise a
fashion shoot
in a foreign country
with no contacts
and no clue....

I believe in putting yourself out to the universe and seeing what comes back.

Organising a fashion shoot on location in rural Turkey with Duo Lingo Turkish Level 1 skills and few contacts was the ultimate test.

It was simply extraordinary what happened next!

It’s a long story that led me from Australia to Faralya in Turkey – arguably my favourite place in the world and where I spend a few blissful months every year.  Faralya is on the Aegean Sea in Turkey near Fethiye and Oludeniz. 
I dont speak Turkish yet and I don't know many people either. 
How on earth do I pull off a fashion shoot, let alone one on location?  

Advice to self:  Take baby steps, remain calm and be logical

Table Of Contents

  • Find a photographer
  • Find a model and a friend to help
  • Find a location
  • Pray it doesn't rain and shoot the shoot

Step 1:  Find a photographer

I found a local photography company in Fethiye from Instagram and set up a meeting. I loved their feed and thought it was highly skilled and artistic.

They were a husband and wife team and we communicated through google translate. It was hilarious but we understood each other. 

It's amazing how creating a vision can be felt.
Despite the clumsy language between us, I knew they felt it.

Already, I had a good feeling about this shoot. 
First random pick of support -big tick! 

This is Fatih the photographer capturing some images of the extraordinary Butterfly Valley.   instagram.com/fatihyilmazphoto/

I walked everywhere and found a hidden valley where the famous hiking track called The Lykian Way passed through. Red and yellow painted marks on rocks indicate the track.  For 500 miles it hugs the coast of the Mediterranean but surely this section must be the most treacherous part as it skirts Butterfly Valley with its ancient escarpment.
I scouted for days with my dodgy knee protesting at every step but found this most exquisite and secret landscape. 

It even had abandoned bee hives - my brand symbol is the bee- all the signs were pointing to this being the place. 

Here is Sukrun the photographer sitting on the beehives.  

Step2. Find a Model

Lesson number two:  It's all about contacts and asking for help!

I asked Sukrun the photographer if she knew a model.  She did - a Ukranian model living locally, whose family has moved here to escape the war.

I contacted her through insta message and she was available. 

This was better than I ever anticipated  So we met up at home and tried the clothes on and discussed the shoot. 

Ivanna, you are a total professional and impossibly gorgeous!   

How could this be so good  - something had to go wrong,,, 

Step 3:  Find a location

This is the hidden side of Butterfly Valley or Kelebekler Vadisi near Oludeniz in Mugla Province Turkey.  There are so many beautiful landscapes to choose from in this one square kilometre - it is a photographer's dream.  It is also near where I live.  Easy choice! More importantly, it reflected the essence of the handbag collection- easy going pieces that are perfect for travel and exploration- tough but elegant crossbody bags.

The Lykian Way winds its way throughout the valley with surreptitious markers of red and yellow on the rocks to show the way.

Here, wild oregano and sage grow amongst pine, spruce and oak trees with a brilliant blue back drop of the Aegean Sea and St Nicholas Island in the distance. The valley is framed by the stupendous cliffs of Butterfly Valley of Faralya and the famous hiking track,  

Step 4:  Pray it doesn't rain and just shoot the shoot.

What could go wrong,,,,?

STORMS - that's what can go wrong.... they rolled in – day after day.

We had to postpone as the rain was torrential and accompanied by lightening.

We rescheduled for May 31 –with rain forecast - but I couldn’t delay it any further. I decided to take the risk. 

There are no fences, and the exquisite Butterfly Valley cove was a long long drop down the cliff. Ivanna took off her shoes and stepped onto the rocks above to take these shots. Lots of laughs with us saying - don't turn around!

Finally Shoot day arrived and we all met at the location.

The photographers were blown away by the beauty of the landscape and instantly understood the textures, light amd colours that drew me here. They took over and I was in their capable hands. What a relief!

My talented friend Nicolet joined me.  She speaks Turkish and English and was herself a former model.  But more importantly Nicolet is the ultimate Boss.  Together we could pull this off!

Alice Bucket Bag - Orange Luxury Leather

  • Italian pebbled leather from the Veneto Region
  • hand made with exceptional skill
  • wide strap and another thin strap - both adjustable and crossbody
  • discreet logo
  • organised interior
  • ethically made

The Alice is a fresh take on this iconic design in exuberant Italian pebbled leather and a wide strap of crossbody length.  It is large enough to be super versatile and small enough for going out and can be carried as a top handle or crossbody. The generous zippered pocket, slip pocket and magnetic closure make your valuables safe and contents organised with everything in reach.  Completed with white contrast stitching and red signature lining. Artisanal details include the bag's exposed edges hand-painted in contrast with the leather.

As always the Alice is a designer handbag with immense style and sophistication adding polish to the everyday.  It is made with care and intent to be practical and used everyday, as well as an object of beauty with excellent craftsmanship.

Height 23 x Width 16.5 x  Depth11.5 cm

By purchasing this product, you are supporting sustainable leather manufacturing through the Leather Working Group. All leather is REACH-compliant and tanned at a GOLD LWG certified partner tannery.

Meanwhile I ate chocolate biscuits! Anxiety overload needed sugar! The weather was perfect with breaks of sunshine, a gentle cool wind, some mist rolling in and rain staying in the distance.

Only in Turkey: A herd of goats almost went through our wardrobe but they were successfully steered towards some fresh oak leaves!
Lykian Way hikers passed by and waved…

Fatih and Sukran the photographers, spoke a hidden language to each other and just knew how to capture the right moments with both cameras firing together.

They matched the bags with the landscape, such as the pink wildflowers to match the pink bags...

... ochre in the rocks to suit the orange bags, 

and the rich brown of the pine tree trunks to match the Forever Alice bag.

The magic was beginning.

We trekked, sweated, laughed. My oohs and aarghs were becoming ridiculous – there were so many fashion moments that took my breath away.

7 hours later we had our shoot with 1090 photos and videos in the bag. Almost all are useable.

Back to my house for vino and olives and we called it a day at 8 pm.

It’s called Kismet here- where everything aligns and flows effortlessly – as it has been written.

I am very grateful for it all and the most amazing team of Ivanna, Fatih, Sukrun and Nicolet.   I loved the hard work, the effort and the team work that was needed to pull this off.  The fact that the results were so good, made it a truly enoyable and significant experience.

I hope you enjoy the pictures we made and the story I have told.

Libby Thomson xxx


Libby Thomson



Australian Designer


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