Behind the Scenes: SS23

Published 17 Feb, 2023

It’s late September 2022 and the summer sun has faded. There’s a distinct autumn chill in the air and forecasted rain showers are right on schedule. For Team Tom & Teddy, it was time for our annual lifestyle photography shoot and the chosen location was an idyllic corner of Southwest UK… Cornwall’s Penberth Cove and Porthcurno to be precise.

If you’ve ever watched the TV series Poldark, you’ll have a fair idea of the scenery we had for our shoot day – think hidden coves, cobbles, rock pools and windswept beaches. Indeed, several of the scenes from the show were filmed right there at Porthcurno. We’d found the perfect surroundings to showcase our latest designs.

For our Spring/Summer 2023 collection, we have enthusiastically embraced a bold nautical theme. Inspired by traditional maritime motifs, these new trunks feature original illustrations of brightly colored flags, bold puffin birds, curvaceous whales and a striped-fish design. Now it was time to bring the designs to life through vibrant photography and action-packed video footage.

As Tom & Teddy is all about having fun outdoors with family and friends, sharing simple times and making memories, we wanted this shoot to really capture a day out by the shore with a nod to life by the sea and good old-fashioned fun.

With a 20-strong crew of photographer, videographer, assistants, models, stylists and a producer, we were good to go. The rain cleared, but strong winds blew in. We held on tightly to our large stash of props, including fishing nets, buckets, binoculars, a treasure chest and even a small drum.

We made swift outfit changes and, scene by scene we captured it all. As with all shoot days, it was exhilarating, exciting and exhausting in equal measure! Special thanks must go to local fisherman James, who so patiently helped us with our fishing boat scenes and supplied the models with their buckets of fresh fish.

Q&A with Ollie & Jago

Our photographer for the shoot, Oliver Symons-Thomas, put our group of models through their paces, including his
9 year-old son Jago. We were delighted to grab 30 minutes with Ollie to discover what it’s like working as a father-and-son duo, and to gain a little insight into the life of a photographer in Cornwall. Read all about the shoot, the behind the scenes action and Ollie’s interview here:


As a photographer based in Cornwall, do you get to do local shoots? There must be a lot of brands wanting to capture the English coastline?

Ive done a few shoots in Cornwall but i'm still shooting a lot in London, more than id like to be honest. Having moved to Cornwall relatively recently i'm still trying to convince clients to come shoot in the SW but I think with the pandemic making it more difficult to shoot over seas people are looking closer to home for their shoots. So hopefully more and more people will want to shoot in Cornwalls beautiful towns and beaches in the future.

Where would you say is the most picturesque place in Cornwall to take some great holiday shots?

There are so many great places to take beautiful pictures in Cornwall. One of my favorite beaches is Kynance Cove with its huge towering sea stacks and beautiful crystal clear blue water. In my mind its one of the best in the country. In terms of towns or villages St ives where I live, is a gorgeous typical Cornish town with its meandering streets, lovely harbor and gorgeous beaches.


Working with your son on set must present some interesting dynamics. What does he say is the best thing about working with his Dad?

It's the second time I’ve had Jago as a model on set with me and I absolutely love it. Being able to do my job, that I love with my wife Suzy styling and my son modelling is about as good as it gets. I think he was just happy to have the day off school and absolutely loved running around the beach with Joss ( the male model) his pretend dad.

What does Jago enjoy most about a shoot?

Jago said his favorite thing about the shoot was trying one all the awesome swimming trunks. He said the prints were very cool.


Is Jago showing any interest in photography, do you think there’s a possibility he may follow in your footsteps?

Jago does enjoy taking pictures however when I asked if he wanted to be a photographer he said ‘no dad I want to be a rugby player’. He has recently joined the St Ives rugby club and is loving rugby more than anything else at the moment. He also said that he thinks photographers (mainly me) stand still to much and he likes running so would prefer to be a rugby player for England.  

Do you come from a creative family yourself?

My father worked as a journalistic photographer for a time in his youth but I wouldn’t say either of my parents are hugely creative. Being a person that is very dyslexic I struggled in school with academic subjects, however I was fortunate that we had a great art department with amazing teachers. They really encouraged and pushed me in art and its where my love of all things creative began.