Oceanside, California-based photographer Myles McGuinness dedicated more than 15 shoots to Aruba Tourism’s ad campaign “Authentic Aruba,” capturing happy, sunny photos of locals in their element. Fending off sand and salt from the beachy environment, Myles produced top-grade images for use in print advertising and digital landscapes.
What was the concept behind this project?
Every year we travel to spend the holidays with the people we love in the places we cherish. You might even say this desire for connection is one of humanity’s most shared qualities. In Aruba Tourism’s new campaign “Authentic Aruba,” more than 140 billboards line the halls of New York’s Grand Central Station with the smiles of local Arubans, reminding travelers that the heart of wherever we go is truly found in people, and in each other.
Can you tell me more about this project and how you got involved?
I’ve been fortunate to work with the Aruba Tourism Authority over the past two years, capturing images where we put the Aruban people front and center and shined the spotlight on them, telling their personal story of why they love their happy home in an honest way. The Authentic Aruba campaign features dozens of Arubans, making a human connection between “One happy island.” We follow the locals around the island visiting their favorite places, music and tasting their local foods. Culture, culinary and romance are part of the focus, also following the wellness, adventure and family niches. The campaign was featured this past November in an installation throughout Grand Central Station, including more than 140 panels.
What were the shoots like?
One of the best scenes from the first year was when we boated over to a smaller offshore island and the crew & client ended up being our talent…I must admit I didn’t think they would deliver, but the local vibe came through… dancing, BBQing and drinking Balashi (the local beer) while watching the sunset on the Caribbean ocean. Travel is all about human connection. It opens up worlds and minds and creates lasting bonds. I continue to keep in touch and stay in contact with many of people I’ve met there.
Did you face any challenges with this project?
Shooting outdoors in the environment always brings something new. Just when you think you’ve prepared for everything, you get thrown a curve ball. Aruba is hot, desert hot, and windy, really windy, like you can only shoot into the wind on the ocean side of the island for a few seconds before your lens is coated with salt and sand. No joke, canned air and lens cleaner are a must. And lots of sunscreen.
See more of Myles at mylesmcguinness.com!
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