Endless Vacation Magazine and Resort Condominiums International Inc. (RCI) have been clients of New York photographer Matt Dutile for many years now. They have a fantastic editorial team including Art Director Ash Oat and Editor-in-chief Bree Sposato, and Matt has been fortunate enough to work with each of them on different projects throughout the years. Endless Vacation wanted to showcase the secret and beautiful Playa del Carmen and other travel destinations up and down Quintana Roo, a Mexican state on the Yucatan Peninsula.
During pre-production, Matt and Endless Vacation created a seamless schedule, weaving in every production task that was necessary. Because Endless Vacation has collaborated many times with Matt on assignments, they were able to simply send him an email of where the shoot was, a check-list of locations, and a deadline, knowing he would deliver the content they wanted.
I try to keep the images upbeat and present a view of desirable food, fun, and culture. I want the viewers to feel inspired to book travel there as soon as they put down the story.
Matt has traveled across the Yucatán Peninsula several times before, so the project was a breeze to set up. He already had been to each city planned for the feature, knew where he needed to fly into, what car rental agency was best, as well as other logistics. From there Matt divided up the locations with Photo Editor Danielle Lamp, so they each made calls and emails to arrange times to shoot.
The agency, Story Worldwide coordinated with hotels and resorts that were to be featured in the story to arrange Matt’s stay and to see if they can receive a press rate. Matt handled all the transportation-related details such as flights, cars, ferries, etc.
The assignment went smoothly for Matt, and although the ever-present challenge of weather on travel shoots always lingered, some days the weather favored his camera, and other days not so much. The team also wanted to book a model for a morning shoot to add a bit of lifestyle imagery but didn’t have the budget to fly in anyone.
It was a bit tricky, but after coordinating with a local Producer, Anna Paulina, we were able to find talent in the region. Ultimately we booked Ana Herrera, who drove a few hours away (with her entire family) to our location in Tulum.
Endless Vacation, Story Worldwide, and RCI love the images, and several of the locations featured in the story reached out to Matt after the publication printed to say thanks. Matt’s favorite part of this assignment was spending time with the friendly locals and enjoying the delicious food of Mexico. Although he has no further plans for the images at the moment, when the exclusivity period ends, he usually tries to find a home for the outtakes.
See more of Matt at mattdutile.com.