For her first professional assignment, a Dutch real estate company sent Otten and a friend to France to study 15 cities as potential investment sites. "We slept in a different hotel every night," she says. At 22, however, her instincts weren't as refined as they are now — wanting to photograph the sea from above, Otten snuck into the penthouse of the hotel on the upper right. When the maid returned, she slipped out, taking what she thought was a peppermint from the maid's supply cart; it turned out to be toilet cleaner. "At the same time, the manager came and asked what I was doing. I had to run away down the stairs and spit the cleaner out. After escaping I tried to puke and flushed my mouth out 20 times. I felt like I was being punished for my brutal way of photographing. I would never do that now."