Behind the scenes on a photoshoot

What happens on the day of a photoshoot?

They say an image speaks a thousand words and with online/digital marketing being so massive these days, great photos are a must have.  They allow you, the customer to get a glimpse of the boats, tours & destinations that you will be treated to without having to commit to handing over any money.


The hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset are what’s known as the “Golden hour.”  This is when the sunlight gives that glorious goldish tint to everything without being too bright.  Makes photos look fantastic BUT it has the glaring drawback that may have already come across your mind.   That early morning golden hour means getting up waaay before the sun does.

Our first shoot was the beginning of February, with the sun rising just after 5 am.  Combine that with getting boats out and on location in time for that means you’re setting the alarm for around 4am.  Even in summer it’s cold at that time!

Cold on Gold Coast morning

The actual shoots are always good fun, the whole point of a photoshoot is to showcase how our customers are going to feel when they use us, ie HAPPY!  So as tough as it may be, anyone that’s getting into photos has to be having fun, messing around and generally enjoying themselves, no-one wants to see a bleary eyed, surly boat driver.

So basically we play about for a few hours, doing exactly what our customers do.  Hopping on and off the boats, playing, relaxing on the beaches, going for a swim, climbing sand dunes, taking selfies.  There’s plenty to do!  In some respects, we’re quite lucky that the pontoon boat is so spacious and comfortable.

Behind the scenes photoshoot

Usually it takes 12 people so we’ve got a ton of space for people, props and gear.  Thanks to the great design of the boat, everything on board stays completely dry, a nice little bonus for the photographer when he’s carrying over $20K worth of electronic gear!

As with everything, you need a bit of luck here or there.  We were out and managed to stop just at the perfect time when the sunlight was reflecting of off a skyscraper, giving a gorgeous golden glow across the water.  Something that you could never plan to catch but as always, if you’re not out there trying, how can you expect to get lucky.

Photoshoot at Golden hour

Another stroke of good luck was this movie prop was anchored up in one of the canals… not something you see everyday!

Movie prop photoshoot

And just to continue the theme of luck, on another day we were out, a GoPro that I’d mounted to the front of the boat managed to pick up some dolphins that were playing around right in front of us!  Not quite the front page, dolphin-jumping-in-mid-air-right-in-front-of-the-camera I’d have loved but it’s still cool to catch them at it.

Dolphins playing on Gold Coast broadwater

Then at the end of the day, you’ve got another shot at the golden hour.  This one has the benefit of not having to drag yourself out of bed for but it also comes at an exhaustion cost.  It’s about 17 hours since you started work that morning, makes for a long old day!

Sunrise to sunset

We have to say a big thanks to Peter Liddicoat at Visual Reality Productions. Normally used to shooting super hi-res 4K wedding videos but he’s great at getting his feet wet and shooting different themes and setups.

If that’s got you excited, why not take a look at our Ultimate Guide to the Islands of the Gold Coast?  It’s filled with fascinating stories, helpful information and how to access every island you see between here and Brisbane!