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The Juneau economy is getting a $70,000 off-season boost this week with clothing chain Eddie Bauer's first-ever photo shoot here.
A 14-person crew, including four models, has been in Juneau since Friday as part of Eddie Bauer's ``brand-imaging'' process, said Kristie Shinn, assistant manager of photo operations for the company. The shooting is expected to wrap up Thursday at the Mendenhall Glacier.
However, while about 900 exposures of film are being taken daily, none of the photos are likely to end up in the winter 2000 catalog, said art director Theresa Wingert.
Rather, the photography sessions are part of the creative process in determining themes and suitable presentations of new clothing lines, Wingert said before the beginning of this morning's shoot at the Indian Cove dock. ``This is like the beginning; this is the generation of the season.''
Photos for the catalog will be shot this summer, which Shinn acknowledged can be a challenge for winter scenes. Last year, the crews struggled during 90-degree weather in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to find appropriate backdrops, she said. ``Every day we were going further up to reach the snow.''
Eddie Bauer sells clothing, accessories and home furnishings through 11 yearly catalogs with a total run of 110 million, plus 570 stores.
Juneau businesses have been doing their best to accommodate the Eddie Bauer entourage, perhaps hoping they can land some of the business that would come with a three-crew-per-day catalog shoot in the summer.
``The people here have been spectacular,'' Shinn said. ``It's really such a communal thing for us. We feel like we're surrounded by friends.''
``They're having an awesome time,'' confirmed local liaison Monica Brandner, who previously assisted a Discovery Channel project and the ``Limbo'' motion picture crew. ``The hospitality has been impeccable.''
The Eddie Bauer crew has used TEMSCO Helicopters to reach remote locations, rented a Nordic tug boat from Kent Fagerstrom, and has been catered by El Sombrero restaurant and Thunder Mountain Cafe, among the local vendors involved. The crew is staying at the Goldbelt Hotel.
Some of the Juneau shots could end up as window posters promoting the lifestyle associated with Eddie Bauer clothing, Shinn said.
But the corporate board needs to review the photos before deciding whether to return to Juneau for the catalog shoot, she said. One factor might be whether photo crews could set up as needed without bumping into tourists, she added.
``We think this is stunning,'' Wingert said. ``It's pretty epic scenery.''
David Summers, manager of tourism marketing for the Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, said good customer service for the Eddie Bauer crew has the potential to bring similar business to Juneau in the future.
``I'll probably make one follow-up call to make sure everything is OK,'' Summers said.