I recently had the opportunity to do a shoot unlike any other I’ve done before. A young boy by the name of Josh, on the brink of his ‘coming of age’ ceremony within the Jewish faith, his Bar Mitzvah. The family honored their son’s wishes by pursuing a James Bond theme for his celebration. Everything from the venue down to his professional photographs. When my photographer friends Mike and Lauren called me up asking me if I’d like to be a potential ‘Bond girl’ for his photographs, I obliged.

The family couldn’t have picked a more beautiful location for the shoot. The Portofino Bay hotel adjacent to Universal Studios in Orlando. In a word, breathtaking. The hotel is modeled after, you guessed it, Portofino, Italy. Everything is muddled down to a Mediterranean science, from the cobblestone alleys, the outdoor cafes, the colorful stucco high rises with verandas…there’s even a small lake in front of the hotel, dotted with small rowboats.

Hotel by night

Ducks in the lake in front of the hotel

You really did feel like you were in Italy for that six hour cut out of time.  The interior of the hotel was equally impressive as the outside, the corridors were designed to resemble a night promenade in Portofino.

Even though it was a hotel corridor, there was definitely romantic ambiance.

I met Josh outside in the courtyard which began the shoot. A short 13 year old kid with hair like Justin Bieber. Very quiet, seemingly nervous. The whole shoot Mike was joking with me that I was making this kid weak in the knees by just posing next to him. Haha 😀 Josh was the focal point of the shoot, after all these were for his Bar Mitzvah. So I let him soak up the camera while I played into the Bond girl role, gently cupping my palm on his shoulder, gazing off, a mysterious object in the background…

One of my favorites...

As Josh’s shoot came to a close, Mike, Lauren and I snuck off into unchartered territory of the hotel. Lauren was in love with my red dress and really wanted to get some shots. The Portofino’s architecture, from the winding spiral staircases, the verandas, the archways, everything about that place provided beautiful scenery for piecing together a nice, classy photo shoot.

I love the colors in this shot...

I don’t have a whole lot of red in my closet, it’s not particularly one my sought-after colors. But, looking back on this photo shoot, I must say, it panned out quite nicely…

The night came to a close, and our time was spent at the Portofino. Mike, Lauren and I grabbed some dinner. Even though it’s a hotel, I really think I could live there, just, the atmosphere is so intoxicating-literally. From the constant aroma of garlic in the air, to fresh brewed Espresso, to people jiving away to big band and swing, it’s like my own little Italian playground, right in the heart of Orlando no less. Is that weird? I don’t know and I don’t care, I just know that I love that place. 😀

Advertisements