Before diving into this blog, allow me to introduce myself and provide some context to my behind the scenes adventure. My name is Matt and I work with Tourism New Brunswick. Although my official title is Parks Marketing Liaison & Content Producer, you can also find me contributing to our social media accounts, taking photos, filming videos, or in today’s case, writing blog content.
When October rolled around this year, our brand manager Katie asked me if I was interested in coming along to our fall brand shoot to capture behind the scenes content. Since I love to be outside and photographing New Brunswick, it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. And so, on October 9, our adventure began.
DAY #1: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 9
FREDERICTON TO ALMA
Before hitting the road from Fredericton to Alma, I packed my backpack full of camera equipment. As we left Fredericton, we drove through winding roads during golden hour and I was reminded of just how breathtaking the province of New Brunswick is during the fall months. Green trees had shifted to shades of deep red, bright orange, and yellow as far as the eye could see. Road trips like these have always held a special place in my heart as a kid.
Arriving in Alma, we met the film crew at the Octopus’ Garden Cafe, where we discussed our schedule for the following three days. If you’re ever visiting Alma or surrounding areas, be sure to stop in for lunch or dinner here - their homemade pasta is to die for. After dinner and a review our shot list, it was time to get some sleep to prepare for the long days of filming to come. I set my alarm for 5 o’clock in the morning and fell asleep to faint sounds of ocean waves colliding with the nearby shore.
DAY #2: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10
ALMA & FUNDY NATIONAL PARK
To be completely honest, I’ve never been much of a morning person. Far too often, the snooze button is my best friend when it’s time to wake up. This morning was different though. At 5 o’clock, my alarm went off and before the sun had crossed the horizon, I was showered, dressed, and had enjoyed a full mug of coffee. As I opened my hotel door to walk down to the first location, I was greeted by a sky painted with strokes of pink, orange, and purple. My morning was spent capturing behind the scenes images and exploring the quaint village of Alma. The early morning light seemed to cast a gold film across the village and the scenes I found myself shooting. I started wondering if maybe I should be a morning person.
After everything on our shot list in Alma was checked off, we packed our gear and made our way to Fundy National Park. Our afternoon was spent between the Dickson Falls trail and the Point Wolfe Covered Bridge, both of which I would highly recommend checking out if you’re planning on visiting Fundy National Park. As the sun began to set, we packed up our equipment and made our way to a rustic cabin located in the park. Between the wood stove and the front porch overlooking the Bay of Fundy, I was already planning my next camping trip in my head. Following our shoot at the cabin, we returned to our hotel in Alma where I set my alarm and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, looking forward to tomorrow’s sunrise.
DAY #3 - FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11
FUNDY NATIONAL PARK & SAINT ANDREWS
By the third day of the trip, my body finally started to adjust to waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning. Well, maybe all the coffee helped, but I would have liked to believe I was becoming a morning person. After getting ready, we packed our bags and hit the road to St. Martins. The drive from Alma to St. Martins is surreal, especially during the early hours of a fall morning. Upon arriving to Melvin Beach Lookout, our first location, the sun had begun to rise over the horizon and I captured my favourite shots of the day. Next, we hit some of the most beautiful locations in St. Martins including the Salmon River suspension bridge, Fuller Falls, and of course the iconic Fundy Trail Hair Pin Turn. By the time lunchtime rolled around, the team and I regrouped at Coastal Tides for a much-needed meal. If you’re as big of a fan of seafood as I am, this is a must-visit location in St. Martins. I had some of the freshest fried clams I’ve ever eaten, and with a full belly, I was ready to tackle the rest of the day.
The afternoon began at the Hardscrabble Covered Bridge and shortly turned into me being covered in mud. You see, when I’m shooting photos, getting the right angle is always a priority. However, as I’ve learned, sometimes there are consequences to getting that perfect shot. I began to climb down a river bank to capture the film team working on the other side of the river, completely ignoring the fact that it had rained the night before. Within a matter of seconds, I found myself at the bottom of the river bank, covered in mud. Thankfully, my camera survived, and I got that shot I was looking for, so it was worth it in the end. We continued on to capture some St. Martins favourites including Octopus Ice Cream, Red Rock Café, and of course, the sea caves. Wrapping up the day, I packed up my equipment and made my way to the Algonquin Resort in Saint Andrews to regroup with the team for my final night of the trip. After a delicious late-night dinner at the hotel, it was off to bed to prepare for the final morning on set.
DAY #4 - SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12
SAINT ANDREWS & MINISTERS ISLAND
Waking up at 7 o’clock in the morning felt like sleeping in compared to our regular 5 o’clock wake up time. It was strange to me at this point to see that the sun was up before I was. An hour later, we met downstairs for breakfast before setting up to begin filming at our first location inside the Algonquin Resort. Capturing the space, I was reminded of why this is my favorite place to stay in the province – it’s a must see if you’re in the area or planning on spending some time in New Brunswick.
Kingsbrae Garden was the next stop on our shot list and probably one of the only places in New Brunswick that I had yet to visit. With more than 30 various gardens and attractions, I was blown away by the experience. I even got to do a photo shoot with llamas and goats - how can you beat that?
Although the film team continued to Ministers Island, this is where my journey ended. With a packed car, I headed back to Fredericton to spend the last of the weekend with family and friends. I’m very grateful to have tagged along the Tourism New Brunswick fall shoot which allowed me to capture the behind the scenes magic that I did. Who knows, I might have even been transformed into a morning person, I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.
Until next time,