After a 13 hour shoot for their campaign about a month ago, I had to ask Kavina Swimwear to stow a one-piece in my suitcase, in the hopes I would have a chance to bust it out in a new location. We had an extra afternoon in Santorini, so after stuffing ourselves with fresh fish and deep-fried tomato balls while feasting our eyes on a seaside view (we dined on a dock!), we sought out Akrotiri, Santorini’s Red Beach, not knowing how red it would be or how palatable for my camera. We took a rocky trail covered in bits of pumice—the pumice was everywhere!—down to a deserted shore that was colored deep shades of rust and black. A hidden gem in Santorini, more known for its white cave architecture and blue domes, this beach was a welcome, but dark, change to an obscure landscape.

The outlandish colors of the beach, Martian red and Mercurial black, should have been a telltale sign that we were entering a less Mediterranean, more ice age, realm. It seems like I have some sort of uncanny luck during every one of my beach shoots: regardless of the location or time of year, we fight subzero temperatures and Antarctic winds in an attempt to fake easy, breezy, and sunny. Today was no different, even though my usual Norcal backdrop was replaced with Akrotiri’s eerie landscape.

I was yelling tropical stories reminiscent of Finding Nemo and Shark Tale over the wind to a very frigid, but determined, Sarah. The combination of sheer willpower and a bit of my nonsensical storytelling helped distract from the hypothermia and got us to the finish line. Along the way we slid over black pebbles and dusty grey sand, spent a hesitant second in the water, ogled at the beds of dry seaweed that carpeted the sand, all the while feeling small and insignificant under giant iron oxide cliffs scraping the sky.

The fabric separating Sarah from the elements, held together by intricate bungee cord knots, is courtesy of Kavina Swimwear’s SS16 collection. Its arctic silhouette was a piercing counterpart to the red bluffs and Sarah’s resolute frame.

Photographer: Ankur Maniar | Model: Sarah Yue | Swimwear: Kavina Swimwear