After a day of dirt biking, how do you unwind?
Writer / Producer / Director / Photographer – Greg Samborski
Model – Kela Louise
Wardrobe / Art Director / Assistant – Sophia Dishaw
Location / Set Designer / Assistant – Adam Kaufmann founder of DubTub
Scouting / Stand In / Creative Assistant – Nic Atobelli
Sophia, Kela, Adam, Nic and I would like to extend a HUGE thank you to all the local brands who supported this project in order of appearance:
Shelter Point Distillery // Ripple Rock Whisky
Tofino Towel // Beach Comber Towel
Picot Collective // Honey Tobacco Candle
Soak & Sea // Green Obsidian Luxury Bathbomb // Bare Bum Bubble Bath
KODO Collection // RESTORE Rose + Resin Mineral Bath Soak // JADE Eucalyptus + Rosemary Body Polish
Green Room Body // Charcoal & Clay Bar Soap
Cure Soaps // Lavender Tea Tree Soap // Cedarwoods Body Butter
I was absolutely floored when the emails and products that came poring in with such kind words of encouragement and enthusiasm. Your beautiful products elevated the story and imagery. I hope to use the leftovers and other items sent on future projects to get you all more photos and exposure.
The ‘Dirt Bikes & Bubble Bath’ concept came to me when I stumbled across a post on a Vancouver Island facebook group. The images featured an old claw bathtub in a forest surrounded by hanging lights. The accompanying text asked if any photographers were interested in using the location.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a photo shoot in an old outdoor fire heated bathtub with cozy lighting? In my case, a romantic couple flashed before my eyes, I pushed the idea away for being too obvious. My thoughts moved on to a moody boudoir session, better but still lacking in storyline and originality for my tastes. A DUDEoir session?! That’s more my kind of crazy but could we still go deeper?
Then it came to me, what if I utilized this bathtub in my 9th instalment of my Bike N Rider series? Yesssssss. What if it was dirt biker? (My favourite style of riding which was totally under represented in my project) Now there would be good reason to feature a tub in the shoot! Then the creative gears really started turning. The shoot could feature a female dirt biker, a strong, independent, savvy, confident rider who goes hard, beats her body arrives home to a TRAILER, grabs the whisky and then indulges in an uber-luxurious self care routine in the most fantasy like setting!!! I love juxtapositions and this way we could work in all kinds of them.
With a concept now taking shape, I messaged the facebook poster, Adam, and pitched him my idea. He loved it and invited me to come over and view the DubTub.
Based on the images Adam shared with me I had fully expected the tub to be way out of the city on some farm or large property. Imagine my surprise to find it tucked behind a house, next to the highway in a typical suburban neighbourhood just minutes from downtown Victoria. It was so urban I actually I had to start rethinking the opening shots of the story and how I could crop out all the houses and cars to make it feel like this was rural.
Adam and I got along right from the get go. We walked around his back yard, beer in hand, as he explained to me how he had started Dubtub in Calgary. Adam’s primary product were crafted luxurious wood boards with cutouts for wine classes, mobile devices and tea lights that could be laid across a bathtub like a small table. The other component of his business was setting up these old clawfoot Dubtubs with fires under them as an event space. His tubs had been privy to all sorts of amazing parties around Calgary and even brought into bars and nightclubs.
Adam’s basic approach to life is “I’ll make it happen!”. Full of energy and creativity, we bounced all kinds of ideas back and forth as we came up with dates and a plan.
Location locked in, the next mission was finding a model. This would be the most challenging part I didn’t just want a pretty face, I wanted a woman who was legitimate dirt rider, and preferably with a few years experience. This was imperative so that the Bike & Rider Project aspect would stay authentic. The catch was this woman ALSO had to be comfortable with getting naked in a bathtub in front of the camera and potentially a small crew of helpers.
I tapped into all my local connections, Bobbi Bjornholt, founder of the Mudhunniez, was hugely helpful in recommending riders she felt checked all the boxes. Figuring, “I would like to take photos of you naked in a bathtub in the middle of the forest at night” might be a tough sell, I created a detailed concept board to clearly explain the vision I had in my head.
After some instagram and facebook sleuthing based on Bobbi’s recommendations there was a woman I really had my heart set on, she seemed a natural for the project based on the lifestyle she presented. When I contacted her with the concept board she said yes and we setup some tentative dates.
At this point the project started gaining momentum. I got in touch with Sophia Dishaw, a wardrobe stylist I met when shooting for Mercedes in Nanaimo, and shared my concept with her. Lucky for me she jumped on board and we started working out wardrobe, makeup, styling and props… yes PROPS!
Likely while in the shower, where a lot of my thinking happens, I contemplated the idea of bringing local brands into the project. If we were going to do all this work anyway we may as well see if we could get some fitting props and promote local businesses. I called my sister Sam, my go to family member for brainstorming creative concepts and marketing ideas. By the end of our hour long chat I had a much clearer idea of what I wanted to shoot and a long list of props that could potentially be sponsored.
Sophia and I researched local brands we felt would be a good fit for Dirt Bikes and Bubble bath and put together a list of contacts. I refined our concept board/pitch and we emailed 10 local companies. I was absolutely floored when eight of them responded fully endorsing the project and asking what address to send their goods to. Shelter Point Distillery even offered up their venue!
I thought I would mention we have a suitable location for a table top landing along the ocean front as well as a unique location for filming. I enclosed pictures of table top area, 100 ft away pillared by old growth and wind shock fir trees. We have a private whisky tasting area – clear all chairs and fire place, replace with tub, your call.-Patrick Evans
Ps lots of mud ( we are on a 400 acre farm forest , trails etc )
I jumped on the opportunity, hit send, and then had to right a new email declining after I looked into the location. I had assumed the distillery would be between Victoria/Duncan/Sooke area, not a three hour drive north past Courtenay! Next time Patrick, we will make something happen with Bikes and Spirits!!!
Everything was cruising along until it wasn’t. Our original model had to reschedule for totally legit reasons and then I had to push things back due to a freshly fractured scaphoid. Then our original model realized that nude shots could possibly put her into a precarious position with her employer but offered to do the shoot in a swimsuit or underwear.
For me the greatest juxtaposition of this shoot twas the fact our rider goes from being fully armoured in motocross gear to completely exposed. I just couldn’t imagine it any other way so we agreed to do a less risqué shoot in the future and I went about searching a new model.
Enter Kela Louise, KTM 250 SX rider, mountain biker, Ottawa Redbacks CFL dancer three years straight and someone who’s not exactly camera shy. Working with Kela was nothing short of amazing. She jumped into it right from the start, literally, jumped into mud bog that MAY have smelled a little manure-y to get mudded up for the shoot. We shot from 6pm to 13 minutes past midnight and Kela didn’t miss a beat. In fact, I told her it was the first time I’ve ever worked with a model who could outlast me on a photoshoot.
So there’s a brief account of how Dirt Bikes & Bubble Bath came to fruition. I left out so many of the preproduction details. I must have scouted the tube area five times to figure out lighting, angles and to work on the set. Looking at my time sheets I put 11 hours of pre production work into the project, much of it spent on creating the mood boards and shoot lists. It is as a result of putting in this time that I feel this session came out so closely mirroring my vision. I’m extremely proud of and happy with the final results.
Another thank you to Sophia who volunteered her time, helped refine the vision and even managed to get Tofino Towel in at the last minute by going to Tofino in person! Adam, you are such a blast to work with, I love the energy and enthusiasm you bring to a project. Kela, you were amazing, fully engaged, incredibly brave and committed to excellence! Brand collaborators your encouragement, patience and wonderful products all helped make this shoot something special.
Looking forward to working with you all again soon!
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