Whole Living Daily

Go Behind the Scenes at Our Ireland Photo Shoot

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In May, design director Matthew Axe and I traveled with photographer John Dolan and videographer Sean McLaughlin to Ireland to create the story in the July/August issue on Voya, a seaweed bath company based on the west coast of the country in a town called Sligo. When I was communicating with founders (and brothers) Neil and Mark Walton in advance of our trip, I laughed when they said that Sligo was like the "Montauk or Malibu of Ireland" but when we got there, I saw that they were absolutely right.

The waves crashed on the shore below the bluff overlooking the ocean that Voya was perched on and surfers walked along the street in wetsuits. We spent three days shooting all around Sligo and got incredibly lucky with the weather—it rained only once, which everyone assured us was extremely rare. As for the seaweed baths I came to write about, I finally got to slip into one at the end of our second day. We had taken an overnight flight to Ireland and had spent that whole day out in the cold shooting along the water (it may have been sunny, but it was chilly!) and I was feeling tired and spent. I can only imagine what I must have looked like before my steam and soak because after getting out, everyone seemed a little blown away by how relaxed and glow-y I appeared. My whole body felt great, my skin was soft, and an achy neck that had been bothering me since the flight was gone the next morning.

Neil e-mailed me when we got back to New York and signed his note, "from not so sunny Ireland." I simply can't believe it—in my mind, everyone in Sligo has a seaweed-infused glow and the sun is always shining.

Below, a behind-the-scenes peek into our trip.

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1 Our destination: The outside of Voya Seaweed Baths.

2 Shooting on a rocky shore, covered in seaweed.

3 Talking to Neil Walton about how they harvest the seaweed. (The seaweed in the picture is what's washed up on shore, they harvest from under the water.)

4 My seaweed bath! That's about ten pounds of seaweed.

5 Voya is very committed to sustainable practices. This sign hangs in every room.

6 Shooting the video (which you can watch in the iPad version) in a local pub, Venue.

7 Design director Matthew Axe prepares the product shot.

8 John and Sean take a break on the rocky coastline.

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