From the moment the wheels touched down on the runway in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic we began our 2016 Carib Tour, capturing images and video of what we knew would be another amazing BikiniTeam experience. Yes, we do experiences, not just trips. This year would be no exception.

It all started at the beginning of November with a quick ride from the airport to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino which was our home away from home for that entire week. Our crew included two awesome photographers, in BikiniTeam Co-Founder John Neyrot and Greg Hunter. Both were tasked with capturing and creating what turned out to be some pretty awesome stuff. Our host extraordinaire, Tyler Suess, also took part in some photo shoot opportunities in between interviews and covering all the action. Chuck Owens was along for the ride to help coordinate the daily activities as well as capture some behind the scenes antics.

We don’t just show up hoping to find some random beauties lying around this spectacular resort. We are the official media partner for the annual Swimsuit USA International Model Search. That’s right, we stack the deck in our favor. We know there will be approximately 75 of the hottest swimwear models in the world all in one place and we are right in the middle of them. These lovely ladies get to participate in numerous activities throughout the week-long event in Punta Cana including hitting up the night clubs, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, calendar shoots and of course the pageant competition. We couldn’t ask for a better setup. Our favorite event that week was the pool party. Take all the beautiful ladies in their swimsuits, add water, foam, cocktails and a hot DJ. Voila, it was an instant classic!

Capturing video and images of these girls at their events is only part of the plan. Selecting a few lucky models to be part of exclusive BikiniTeam features is our main goal. We meet with all of the ladies at the beginning of the week in hopes of identifying a few that stand out above the rest. It’s always a difficult decision selecting who to shoot for our features because they are all deserving hopefuls. This year was extremely difficult to narrow down the possibilities. We were stoked with the ultimate choices we made. We selected five gorgeous women to receive our Model of the Month Award. The photo/video features will be used throughout the beginning of 2017.

Here is a list of who we selected with their respective month and who/where they represented in the Swimsuit USA contest:

Payton Adkins – January 2017 Model of the Month – Miss TF Supplements

Hollie Hoosline – March 2017 Model of the Month – Miss Club Luau (Clear Lake, Texas)

Samantha Mitchell – April 2017 Model of the Month – Miss Manila, Philippines

Heidi Jo Medina – May 2017 Model of the Month – Miss Texas Hoedown (Houston, Texas)

Casey Boonstra – June 2017 Model of the Month – Miss New South Wales, Australia

Every day started out with a pre-dawn call time for hair and makeup so we could head out to the beach for the obligatory sunrise photo shoot. The beaches in Punta Cana are some of the best in the world and they face east making them perfect for catching beautiful sunrises. The water is crystal blue and the sun dances on it in this tropical paradise. At this time of day, we had our own private beach each morning. The only sounds you can hear are the waves crashing on the shore. As the sun rises off the edge of the water on the horizon to start the rest of the day, the crew would quickly take the opportunity to put on sunglasses. The BikiniTeam crew and all of the models at the event were gifted a pair of shades by our long-time sponsor and friends at Dicks Cottons.

The group of models that we hand picked to be part of the Carib Tour 2016 are second to none. Each day we found some pretty awesome locations throughout the resort to shoot. Anywhere from a cabana on the beach or by one of the 13 pools on the property. Of course we got a little creative and maybe even a little dangerous when shooting a few of them high up on a wall with cascading water washing over it. Some of the best stuff occurred with the girls on horseback on the beach.

We also had the opportunity to photograph some of our BikiniTeam Model Search winners from 2016 that were also competing as finalists. These models turned up the heat in their quest to win a photo shoot by reaching out to all of their friends on social media to vote for them.

The 2016 Carib Tour was a memorable one to say the least. We met some amazing people along the way and are very thankful to all our sponsors, event coordinators and models that made this another epic adventure.

Here are the all the models we shot during our Carib Tour 2016: