Sponsored: The temperature drops near zero as models Sergio and Chris brave icy winds in their swimwear before easing themselves into an outdoor hot tub.
I can’t help but test the bubbles with a gloveless hand. ‘It’ll be twice as cold after that!’ laughs Chris. He’s right, of course…
It’s a chilly but clear, beautiful day in Derbyshire, northern England, and I’m behind the scenes on cottages.com’s latest photo shoot.
There’s a great energy on the set, because everyone’s excited that the travel brand is featuring a same-sex couple in its promo materials for the first time.
There’s a lot going on, with photographers and crew members run in and out of the charming Broomhills cottage for kit.
Meanwhile a whirring drone – which, when you hold it in your hands, looks weirdly like a frog – flies overhead for point-of-views shots.
‘We’re on a big inclusivity journey this year’
Laura Town, the cottages.com Content Production and Publication Manager, is probably the most excited of the team.
‘It’s 2018, and we’re on a big inclusivity journey,’ she tells us. ‘The big message is: everybody is welcome on a cottages.com holiday!’
Sergio and Chris, a real-life married couple, are experienced at this sort of thing. The guys previously appeared in promo shots for cottages.com’s sister company Hoseasons.
They’re delighted to be shooting at Broomhills; ‘It’s amazing. We’re actually staying here tonight!’ says Chris.
A tiny two-up, two-down cottage featuring tasteful, modern decor, the property is surrounded by green, rolling hills. The mountainous Peak District National Park is visible in the distance.
Telling us more about themselves, Chris furthermore adds: ‘I’m an actor and do part-time modeling as well, and I’ve brought this one along to go in the hot tub and see this beautiful cottage.’
‘Yeah, I don’t do modeling normally,’ laughs Sergio. ‘I’m a structural engineer. I’ve been designing bridges for a while now. This is a great opportunity for me to get away from work!’
‘He didn’t pull a sickie!’ adds Chris. ‘He took it off properly!’
cottages.com is a client of Gay Star News.