My last modeling gig brought new meaning to the words ‘showroom model’.
On a very cold and snowy Saturday, the 26th of March 2017, I was the much-celebrated and over-photographed Product Demonstrator at the Hydropool Hot Tubs showroom at 335 Superior Blvd in Mississauga, and everyone was really nice and totally professional.
Hydropool’s factory showroom is huge; there’s a dozen or more hot tubs and two huge swim spas on display and the whole place echoes with the sound of bubbling water. It’s like a mini waterpark, and on that cold day in March their sales department was out full force to demonstrate these units in action and shoot set-ups in every one of their unique products. While that was happening, I was paid double my rate to hang out and demo the tubs for customers.
Saturdays are busy at the showroom, and despite the nasty weather outside lots of people came to the Hydropool store that day. Once people saw me in the tub and saw the cameraman taking pictures of me they felt comfortable getting out their own phones and snapping pictures. People were joking and asking if they could join me, I said sure, to see their reaction and share the spotlight with someone else, but they never did. The guys just hung around the water’s edge, adding to the spectacle of this unusual photo shoot.
Joel Levy got me the gig, and that afternoon I think he resented the crowds too, but only because they messed up his backgrounds and prevented him from making perfect catalog pictures. I doubt he gave me any thought at all because that was my deal. I dunked and swam and relaxed on cue as per every setting in these modern hot tub’s programs.
For this shoot, I dropped the ball when I brought only swimwear, a shawl and a pair of flip flops. I totally forgot to bring a towel or gym shorts or any extra clothes. Big mistake. In my defense, I’d imagined they’d have a towel and a robe for me to wear at the store, and they didn’t. So instead of walking about and mingling with customers and staff between set-ups, I would just jump from pool to pool and get my whole body under the warm water when the front door of the store was open for any length of time.
Because the event was happening in the Hydropool factory showroom, there wasn’t a proper change room or showers or a table filled with drinks or craft service of any kind. So in truth there was really no need to ever leave the water anyway.
Consoles with sophisticated settings to improve relaxation are just one of the ways Hydropool separates itself from competitors, and although staff members tried to show me all the settings, they were too complicated for me to remember so I mostly enjoyed the combination testing out the different modes.
The hot tubs can be adjusted in just about every way imaginable, yet they’re nothing compared to the complexity of the swim spa units. These giant tubs have current and buoyancy jets. They are more like swimming pools with programmable consoles, with exercise regimes that can track and measure a swimmer’s performance.
Lots of people were showing interest in seeing all the different programs in the swim spa I happened to be demonstrating, and so I went to work in every exercise setting.
First it was the marathon swim against a stiff current and then I did an extended workout with aquatic barbells while Joel the photographer snapped shots, secretly loving it I’m sure.
And finally, I fetched glowing pucks from the bottom of the pool to delight small children that had thrown the objects (at me?) amid shrieks and wild howls of delight.
When it was over I felt strange, like a fish out of water.
All photos by Joel Levy – All Rights Reserved
Guest Author Bio
Marie Flo is the Director of Operations at Untitled and Co in Toronto where she models and reviews technology and lifestyle products for media publications.