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The LL Bean crew at work. Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy of Adirondack Daily Enterprise
The LL Bean crew at work. Photo: Chris Morris, courtesy of Adirondack Daily Enterprise

LL Bean likes the Adirondack light

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A crew from one of the country's most famous clothing companies has been at a historic Adirondack great camp this week to shoot photographs for its fall and winter 2012 catalog.

A crew of about 20 from L.L. Bean, based in Freeport, Maine, was at White Pine Camp on Osgood Pond on Monday and Tuesday. The rustic Great Camp was built in the early 1900s and served as the "Summer White House" for President Calvin Coolidge in 1926. Chris Morris dropped by the set.

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Chris Morris
Tri-Lakes Correspondent

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Marcia Minter is vice president and creative director for L.L. Bean, which is currently celebrating its 100th anniversary. She says her team has been interested in staging a photo shoot in the Adirondacks for a while. “It is so reminiscent of Maine and has all the natural beauty of Maine,” Minter said. “Plus, with the Adirondack mountain range and the gorgeous lakes, the density of the woods, and all of the camps, the historic camps here with the wonderful patina and character and history that they have, they’re just so well suited for our brand.”

Monday afternoon’s session was held at the Japanese Tea House, a small, gazebo-like structure that’s among the White Pine Camp’s most idyllic settings.

Minter says the catalog always shoots for its seasonal catalogs far in advance. She says the Adirondacks in May still look and feel like autumn. “This is one of the few areas in the United States that holds onto a fall quality of light,” Minter said. “The vegetation changes much slower than it does in a lot of other areas of the United States, so that’s one of the reasons why we came here in the month of May.”

Minter says her crew didn’t do anything specific to give the shoot a fall feel. She says her photographers simply tried to work with the natural light they were given.“We just work with the elements - we’re an outdoor brand,” Minter said. “So part of what we sell and everything we offer is really about helping people to be comfortable in the outdoors, no matter what it brings.”

Minter says she used some local talent for some of the kids clothing, although Monday’s session was focused on men’s and women’s casual clothing.

Representatives of the company came to White Pine Camp last year to scout the location. Aside from clouds of black flies, Minter says the experience this week was wonderful.“This trip, it’s been incredible,” she said. “No matter where we’ve gone, people have been really welcoming. The L.L. Bean brand and reputation goes far. I think that folks in this area really relate to it. So we’ve felt very much at home and the hospitality has just been wonderful, so we’d like to say thank you to the area.”

The L.L. Bean team had a little local help on Monday. Tyler Ellithorpe of Tippy Canoe Productions in Lake Clear helped photographers find Adirondack-style props for the set – things like Christmas trees and canoe paddles.

Ellithorpe has been working as a producer for six years, and helped produce a music video last year with British boy band One Direction. The band filmed parts of that video at White Pine Camp. “This is a very easygoing group, so it’s nice,” he said. “It’s very small compared to what I’m used to.”

Anne Warner, a representative of White Pine Camp, says the location is popular among photographers. She says other catalogs, like J. Crew, have staged photo shoots here. “Osgood Pond that we’re overlooking right now is so quiet – it’s not a huge populated lake,” Warner said. “There’s not a lot of boat traffic out here. You hear the loons in the morning. There’s not motorboats out here, there’s not waterskiing out here. So it is like a true Adirondack kind of hideaway. It’s not overly used, so that makes it special because it is quiet.”

 L.L. Bean will continue shooting at other locations in the Adirondacks throughout the rest of this week, and crews plan to return to White Pine Camp this weekend to wrap things up.

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