How did you feel about being invited to the Spain shoot?
Tom: I was really excited to go out to Spain. The shoot at the boathouse had been so much fun that I couldn’t wait to do it all over again, only this time it wouldn’t be much warmer and much sunnier!
Tristan: I was initially quite apprehensive about the whole thing as the prospect of going to Marbella with a cameraman present at all-time had me thinking I was on an episode of the BBC TV show “Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents”, (in which parents spy on their kids holidays to Europe’s clubbing hotspots). In all serious though, having thoroughly enjoyed the summer shoot this year I was thrilled to be invited to Spain.
Is this your first visit to Spain? First visit to Costa del Sol?
Tom: I used to visit Spain a lot as a child as my grandparents had houses there. In fact one of them was very close to where we stayed this time on the Costa del Sol, although I hadn’t been since I was seven, so a lot had changed since I was last there.
Tristan: Yes, I’d always wanted to visit Spain before but never had the chance.
If you have been before, where did you go?
Tom: I had been to Marbella and Puerto Banus before when I was younger but that was 12 years ago. I had never been to the Atlantic coast though, so I had no idea what to expect there. When I was really young my grandparents had a house near Alicante but I can’t remember that really as I was so young.
Tristan: See above! It's my first time.
What did you think the area would be like?
Tom: Well I hadn’t been to mainland Spain for 12 years (I had been to Lanzarote, and I’m in Lanzarote now as I write this!), so I remembered it as being hot and dry. What I hadn’t remembered was quite how hot it could be and how beautiful the mountains are-they are stunning!
Tristan: A lot of my friends had been to Marbella (or ‘Marbs’ as they called it) for drinking holidays in the previous year. It was this, amongst other things, that made me assume we’d be bumping into the cast of TOWIE screaming ‘NO CARBS BEFORE MARBS’ before downing 5 Jägerpints (a pint of Jägerbombs). I was however pleasantly surprised. The area we stayed in was unbelievably beautiful and the local culture was still very much undisturbed.
What were your first impressions of the coast?
Tom: My first impressions were that there were so many boats out on the sea cruising about and that the mountains were absolutely stunning. Where we were staying, the view of the evening sunlight casting shadows on the mountainside and glittering off the sea was incredible. It was also clear it was a very affluent area from the number of boats, nice cars and lovely restaurants.
Tristan: Having grown up in Cornwall I’ve always been near the coast. However, driving past Gibraltar and being able to see the Moroccan coastline is something a bit different!
Where did you do your first shoot? What was that like?
Tom: The first day we shot in the grounds of an incredible house. It was perched like a fortress on the very top of a mountain and had an infinity pool that we shot in that looked right over the town below and towards the sea. At sunset the views were amazing but there were also some lovely seating areas where we took some great shots. It was an amazing house and it was so kind for the owners to let us shoot the-it’s an experience that I’ll never forget. They also had some lovely dogs that followed us round all day, although they weren’t as cute as Fluff!
Tristan: Our first shoot was in a €30 million luxury villa, a nice contrast to my mouldy, student flat in Coventry. There were some fantastic backdrops available to us, and lots of fun toys to play with between shots (although I think they were intended for somebody much younger than us who lived there…oops!)
What other places did you visit for shoots?
Tom: We also visited a beach on the Atlantic coast where we shot some really great photos and got some amazing drone footage as the sun was setting over the beach. It was a bit of a road trip to get there but we didn’t mind as it was along a beautiful coast road with panoramic views across to Gibraltar and Morocco-not a bad commute. On the beach we were doing a film shot where we ran towards the camera and as we started filming a very large group of Spanish girls appeared and stood and watched. After a little bit of embarrassment from both sides to begin with we chatted and had our picture taken with them, but they were pretty shocked when they first realised what was going on. . We also did a few shoots up the mountain which again was amazing. My favourite one up the mountain was when we covered ourselves in charcoal from a burnt tree we’d been climbing and did the Haka. It was the last shoot we did all together and it was really fun.
Tristan: We shot in a plethora of different locations this year, including a beach on the Atlantic coast, two shoots in the hills overlooking Marbella and a bedroom shoot at Angus’s apartment
Which location did you like best?
Tom: My favourite location was the house we went to on the first day as the views were incredible and the infinity pool was the best pool I have ever been in. Although we did a couple of shoots with Angus’s dog Fluff, and they were so much fun as she is the cutest, most excitable, fluffy puppy I have ever met!
Tristan: The Atlantic Coast was great fun. We started shooting away from the rest of the beach goers, so when the call came for us to run into the sea naked, past crowds of locals we were somewhat sceptical about what their response would be. Our initial concerns were clearly misplaced as we were greeted with applause and wolf whistles. A later shot required us to run out of the water in a straight line. However, as we approached dry land we realised that we were heading towards a group of Spanish girls, who were happily taking pictures not in any rush to move out of the way. This resulted in them getting a nice team photo with our naked selves, and a chance for me to practice my favourite Spanish phrase: ‘Dónde esta la fiesta?’
What did you do in your free time?
Tom: In our free time we would either train by going for runs in the mountains or doing body weight circuits (we still have to keep fit on holiday!). We also went out in Marbella and Puerto Banus a couple of times, which was a completely different world to the clubs we’re used to at university. The rest of the time we just relaxed and enjoyed spending time with each other in the warm and sunny area.
Tristan: We went in the peak of summer so the hot tub and swimming pool were great ways to keep cool in our free time. We also had to keep up with our summer training routine, so morning runs in the Marbella hills were a necessary if not gruelling way to wake up. On the last two nights of our stay we sampled the local nightlife, which required us to dress up for once!
Is there anything you didn’t have time to do and wish you had? Any place you’d really like to visit another time?
Tom: I would really like to have gone to Puerto Banus harbour to see all the huge yachts, unfortunately we didn’t have time for that. I would love to get a chance to go on one of the super yachts, because I think you could do some great shoots on them.
Tristan: We managed to squeeze so much into a short week that I left without feeling like I’d missed anything out. Obviously Spain is a country with a rich cultural history and so there are many different areas that I want to explore. Watching El Classico (Real Madrid vs. Barcelona) would also be quite nice.
Shooting in Spain is a fairly new location for the calendar – what do you think it adds to the images and the enjoyment of making the calendar?
Tom: I think it adds variety to the pictures. Barford is lovely but it has very little to make the backdrop for the photos interesting, whereas shooting at sunset up a mountain or on a gorgeous golden beach just adds something else to what are already wonderful pictures. Also in Spain we got to meet Angus’s dog Fluff so that was definitely a bonus!
Tristan: The Spain trip was more than purely a week of shoots. It was a great chance to visit a stunning part of the world with some mates and have fun doing something a bit different. I hope that the enjoyment that we shared throughout the week comes across in the images, and if not I’m sure that the video will contain endless footage of me being hilarious.
You can buy our Spain film for instant download - then you can see for yourself what we got up to in Spain!