Going wild with a VW campervan in Spain

Beautiful landscapes, some sun and an open road in the Basque region of Spain. The perfect excuse for letting your hair down and going wild with a VW campervan.

Leaving the humid climate of Florida is always a good idea in August if you can get away therefore we chose to head to the Basque region of Spain. With it’s green vegetation and fertile land, mountain peaks as well as rocky coves travelling is curious yet pleasantly rewarding with a surprise around every corner. Add to this the decision not to use any organised campsites, instead we would seek out natural spots in forests, by the beach or somewhere wild for an overnight stop with the VW campervan. Of course this meant ensuring we left the spot undisturbed, removing any rubbish and choosing a location which was unlikely to bother any local residents – including animals! If in doubt we were always prepared to ask permission to park overnight.

Joined by friends in a classic 1965 VW campervan we had no plans and an open road. I wanted to capture the freedom and escapism we experienced on this road trip. Although using the technology of GPS systems to help us to an end destination was useful, we also found the old fashioned paper map invaluable to navigate our way through small towns and villages. It added to the charm of this get away from it all vacation.

Carefree moments are captured in the camera from the wind blowing our hair on the open road, baguettes and camembert cheese eaten by the road side and the sausages cooking on a gas stove for breakfast in the pine forests. Getting lost, really getting lost, adds to the scenarios with the paper map saving the day.

Nothing beats the evenings. Our skin tingles from the sun after a few hours on the beach and we have the wonderful feeling of healthy tiredness from a day of fresh air. We sit in our camping chairs with a citronella candle sipping chilled rose wine and looking forward to the next day’s adventures.

Going wild with a VW campervan in Europe may not be everyone’s idea of a relaxing vacation. But there are ways to incorporate it into a a few days away with the comfort of a proper bed and bathroom. Book a hotel on route or even better stay in a rental accomodation eg. Airbnb for a couple of days. This way you will keep refreshed while exploring and you will be meeting the locals who are always ready to share their knowledge of the area.

Our next Spanish journey is to the coastline and white mountain villages of Andalucia in Southern Spain. We are putting together our photography workshops for 2017.

See a link here to more images.

 

A new product needs new dynamic imagery

Lifestyle and motion shots of Talaria 34R a new product for Hinckley yachts
Shots of Talaria 34R on the water

When a new product is created there is the need for new images and promotional material.

Often a rebranding is happening too, so it is likely that a lot of time has been spent discussing, planning and producing between clients and professionals.

As the image producer for a client who wanted fresh new images and a taster video for a bright, new, shiny boat just out of the box. I collaborated closely with clients, augmenting ideas. This accumulated to a two day shoot involving two sets of talent, a stylist, a drone for details aerials that helicopter just can’t achieve, a support boat and me and my assistant capturing both stills and motion.

However, an hour before leaving to begin the project I was notified of a problem with the new product that was out of our hands and would delay the start of the shoot and could even postpone it. Knowing a lot of planning and preparation went into this between everyone I was determined to carry on if we could. Eventually we got word the boat was ready but in a different location! Not deterred, a few calls and rearrangements enabled us to move the people and equipment to the new start location and work continued. The first day was shorter than planned and my shot list went out of the window, but the planning and preparation beforehand was invaluable as we still got great material for the client.

Day two ran according to plan shooting a few more hours bringing the total of the shoot to six hours. In this shorter time I was still able to deliver a bunch of enticing stills to enhance the new marketing of the product and a fun, sizzle video to wet the customer’s appetite. Best of all the client went home smiling!

Bad weather challenges a photo production

 

Family sailing vacation on luxury Hinckley Yacht
Family sailing vacation on luxury Hinckley Yacht

Despite bad weather this shoot has been my most memorable this year so far.

I was shooting for a regular client who I love to shoot for, putting a breath of real life living into the images for their brand of yachts. This image was captured in the last few minutes of daylight on a section of the intracoastal near Stuart, Florida.

However, it almost didn’t happen due to a bad weather front delaying our start by 1 hour. I have never called off a big production/shoot in all the 25 years of my career but this one was touch and go. An unexpected change in weather with heavy rain and stormy clouds challenged me to make a decision with the client. I held out and 3 hours later it paid off with this shot.

It just happened that in the end the ingredients were right. The sky with it’s moody grey clouds reflecting the amber glow of the sun as it descended from the sky and the perfect talent and crew on board all played a part in allowing me to get this great shot.

The talent on the yacht were a real family who live locally and are happiest in and around the water. Having worked with them before I had a good relationship with the children who trusted me with my directions and I trusted them to be confident on the paddle board and not fall in! At such a young age they were so accomplished but if they got tired I just hung on to the back of the board and paddled them into position, still holding my camera to get some great POV shots and wide shots of the boat for the collection. In this one I was shooting from a small boat, a Boston Whaler, with a shallow draft perfect for getting into shallow water and close up when needed. View a short teaser video below.

Sailing around Barbados, a salty photo production

Bow and deck of yacht getting sprayed with water as it leans over during a fast sail
Bow and deck of yacht getting sprayed with water as it leans over during a fast sail

Sailing around Barbados is a dream for many, me included. I was lucky enough to join a crew in the Around the Island race as crew photographer.

A roti breakfast and armed with my camera in a waterproof housing I joined the crew of the sailing yacht, The Blue Peter. It was 7 am, the yacht was being prepared for her voyage, being a competent sailor myself I was happy to help out by loading up the spinnaker and other preparations necessary.

A Bermudan Yawl built in 1899, The Blue Peter was to sail around Barbados for the annual Round the Island Race. Invited for the amazing adventure to be crew photographer along with an experienced crew offered a fantastic opportunity to create exciting on the water imagery .

Leaving  Carlisle bay at 8 am we sailed clockwise around the island heading up the south shore and then turning east at the top of the island into the strong trade winds.  We tightened the sails and with crew weight on the rail I slid onto low side of the deck creating the image as the water rushed along the deck nearly washing me overboard. On the east side of the island we tacked a few times before finally turning to the west with a spinnaker and crossing the line for 1st in class with memorable memories and images in the camera.

Capturing these moments in lifestyle imagery illustrates adventure and draws on concepts of moving forward, motivation and enthusiasm for product and brand awareness. My confidence and competence as a crew member with a captain’s licence allows me to be a successful boat photographer, I have many powerful sailing images I have created on the water, these are in stock libraries which have proven popular with financial industries.

Aviation photography, creating engaging portraits for the aviation industry.

Student pilot standing with his light aircraft on tarmac in Barbados
Student pilot standing with his light aircraft on tarmac in Barbados

Aviation photography, creating engaging portraits for the aviation industry.

I want to build a portfolio of aviation photography to target future clients in the aviation industry. My thinking is to transfer my skills I already demonstrate in shooting luxury yachts for the marine industry, coupled with a wide repertoire of experiences shooting environmental portraiture. I can produce some stunning, forward thinking images, connecting people with their craft to ensure realism that make future clients sit up and take note.

Aerospace businesses needs to have believable aviation photography showing real people in real environments looking experienced, knowledgable but friendly to encourage their clients to trust and believe in them.

To put my claims to the test I met up with a young pilot in Barbados who is currently training for his licence. His knowledge, confidence, and energy  in this environment was remarkable, he will do well with a future of air craft ahead of him. I wanted to make the viewer feel his pride and positivity.

With his help it was quite straightforward, through the Light Aircraft Club, to gain access to a ramp and a small aircraft on the runway very early one morning as the sun came up. The only rule we had to follow was not to shoot towards the main terminal so a little time was taken to manoeuvre the aircraft into position, following this rule and making sure the light would be in the right place.

The fact that this young man really does fly the plane was an important element to capture, I wanted to show the connection and confidence he has with what he does e.g checking paperwork, safety checks. With a model this would be difficult to do as they would not be familiar with actions around the plane. I first asked him to lead me around the plane showing me what he would really do before he got in, how he gets in and demonstrating using headphones and flight maps etc. This gave me an overview of possible scenarios to shoot. Using my skills in directing people as to where to stand, how to stand, using props and body posture and communicating with the pilot I was able to get the shot.  More images from the collection here.

Croatia Coastal Journey.

Father holds his daughter as she steers the yacht
Father holds his daughter as she steers the yacht

The value of production can never be overlooked, a great example is from our shoot Croatia coastal journey.  

Months of communication with local producer, casting talent and hand picking a crew that were not only skilled sailors but competent and versatile to assist in image production too.

We chartered a yacht, a Grand Soleil 43 from NCP Yacht Charters in Sibenik, an hours drive from Split airport in Croatia. We were very impressed with this company, their communication was excellent and they are very welcoming. The marina was clean, efficient and well provisioned with super clean toilet/ shower facilities, supermarket and cafe/ bar.

For the first three days we took models onboard, a couple, a mum and young daughter, then twin 7 year old girls ( Papa came too ) We were sailing and shooting in different locations around the islands which meant picking up and dropping off at different locations in the Islands or on the mainland. We would be sailing from Sibenik on the mainland to Solta, Brac, Vis and Kornati National Park. I had the logistics finely tuned as sometimes the yacht hardly stopped, as we sailed by the harbour wall people leapt on or off the boat!  Also it was important to keep the boat fully provisioned for 8 people eating for 2 days and plenty of water, snacks, beer, wine and sun cream.

With so many crew everyone had their jobs. Production manager Anna styled models, took care of paperwork and fed them all. I directed and took the images, sometimes on the deck, sometimes from the dinghy propelled by assistants Greg or Jens. Whoever was left on the yacht controlled the lighting. Somehow, someone was always available to steer the yacht when it wasn’t the talent at the wheel.

We would usually anchor somewhere for lunch and  enjoy diving into the unbelievably clear blue sea to cool off. As captain I would look for an anchorage using the charts and work out distances and times, thus when we turned the yacht into the little bays we were always blown away at the first sight of the natural beauty of the location. Sometimes there was a cafe or restaurant which we either reached by dinghy or, my favourite thing to do, swim ashore!

When the shooting had finished it was just the crew left, time to really relax and recharge. We all enjoyed a sail to the Kornati National Park  Wow!, the bare rocks rise out of the ocean, a lack of vegetation give a moon surface appearance, it was as if we were discovering a new land.

Hello Croatia

Man standing on bow of yacht with arms outstretched.
Man standing on bow of yacht with arms outstretched.

It’s the summer and we are saying ‘Hello Croatia” as we travel around the islands and explore the salty seas by boat .

We will be photographing lifestyle for leisure, financial and tourism around the enchanting sun drenched islands. On board will be photographer and captain, that’s me. Crew to include Anna the wife, stylist and cook. Jens, male talent, assistant and deck hand. Derek and Greg assistant trainee captains. We will picking up various talent along the way to help us create fresh new engaging imagery to engage your customers.

This popular image happened by chance. It was early morning, I mean early, not even all the crew were out of bed. The light was beautiful. This is the perfect conditions time for shooting using gentle natural light. Assisted by Jens my assistant we untied and manoeuvred the yacht out of the harbour. The light wind was perfect so Jens began to hoist the sails. At that moment I saw the shot, grabbed my camera and started clicking away, directing Jens into various positions and postures. A series of images in this series have been very popular with clients in the financial industry.

The image suggests a vitality and well being of the person, who embraces a new day with open arms ready to take on new challenges.

 

Caribbean travel photography

 

Young afrian american woman stands waist deep in sea in antigua, feeling the water with her hands.
Young afrian american woman stands waist deep in sea in antigua, feeling the water with her hands.

Let the imagery lead you on a  journey of indulgence and immerse yourself in the glittering Caribbean sea.

Last  month we escaped to the island of Antigua for some Caribbean travel photography. We explored the beaches, bays and hideaway homes.I captured Akia, our talent, exploring the natural elements of sea, sky and land. Link to more images here.

Knowing a good location is always important for this type of shoot which would normally mean a day spent touring the island location scouting. However, I knew this little corner of Antigua from previous visits to the island. Ffryes Bay on the east of the island is one of my favourites, it has beautiful water, shallow for a long way out and a clean horizon with the sun setting over the sea. I have shot here before using a variety of different talent. I wanted to photograph Akia in the water to see the contrast of her dark skin against the turquoise water, highlighted by the low light from the sun. She delighted in the feel of the cool water, her hands gently playing over the surface of the water.

I ventured to the east of the island and found another little gem, a private beachfront cottage in Long Bay. A lovely, secluded location perfect for escapism and relaxing but most importantly it was ideal for the next scene in my Caribbean travel photography project. A jetty reached out into the peaceful breezy bay, here I took photos of Akia on the balcony and the jetty just ‘catching the breeze’ and having a real carefree moment.

For all your Caribbean travel photography needs, from production to photoshoot get in touch. With a wealth of knowledge of the Caribbean islands and an experienced team we can assist in locations, bookings, travel and final production.

 

 

Camping lifestyle in Spain

 

Our latest lifestyle photoshoot series revolved around a camping lifestyle in Spain.

Family camping trip in Spain
Family camping trip in Spain

Senior talent and a young family came together in a great location in southern Spain and a talented, fun, adaptable crew included a photo assistant and a stylist. Organising the photoshoot took six months of production with a local producer from Granada. Using a producer added increased production value to the imagery.

The two young boys and their Mum came with us from UK but the senior talent were booked through an agency in Granada. Using a producer helped with the language barrier and he organised locations and permits. A permit was needed to shoot half way up the mountain! Having the young family with us ensured a good relationship with the children and they got to know and trust everyone. Having two boys of similar age meant we could switch them around if one was not ‘camera ready’, for example, still in his pyjamas having been pulled from his bed at 6am! The Mediterranean hours took some adjusting for them. The late nights not being the  problem….

We shot a camping lifestyle in Spain in the Sierra Nevada amongst the snow-capped mountains that formed a background to the playful camping shots. The tranquility of the lake was perfect for the evening shoot with friends relaxing around the campfire.

As always light was the key to the images. Early starts and long evening shoots to capture the delicate light. Luckily we were able to sneak a much-needed siesta!

 

 

Croatia sailing stock production

Croatia sailing stock production

Our itinerary for Croatia sailing stock production.

On Sunday 28th July we travelled to London Gatwick to stay overnight in Sofitel, this was very convenient when travelling with lots of luggage on an early flight. As business class passengers we were able to enjoy breakfast in the BA lounge before our flight at 7:20 am.
Monday
We arrived at Dubrovnik airport at 11 am and took taxi to ACI Marina. This would be our base for a Croatia sailing stock production.
It didn’t take long to do necessary paperwork and board our yacht called Paola, we loaded our bags and equipment then provisioned up, groceries are a bit cheaper in Croatia especially bread, fruit and beer!
We had a meeting with one of our models Lea, so headed off to the bar to meet her and her parents. they had been a bit concerned about the shoot, a strange couple coming all this way to take photos??!!! However, it’s never a bad thing as we were able to put their concerns at rest and enjoy the company of some lovely Croatian people.
That evening we went for a short sail and anchored at Lopud Island for the night. Went swimming in the sea and cooked light dinner which we ate on deck with a little glass of wine.
http://www.lopud.nl/lopud/basis-gb.htm
Tuesday
A good breeze this morning, excellent sailing conditions so enjoyed a nice sail for a couple of hours before anchoring in small bay at Brsecine – swim, sleep, lunch. We noticed wind was picking up so headed for a deep inlet on mainland at Mali Zaton for another night on anchor. Here we took the tender to shore for dinner in a restaurant with sea views.
The night turned into a terror as we woke to seriously strong winds causing the anchor to drag, it was pitch black but we could see other yachts very close to us and moving closer. Only action was to pull up anchor and move to safety. Captain Gary was in control alas we found no spaces to tie up on the dock so decided to head back to main marina under motor. This took 30 mins which passed in silence wearing life jackets, gripping the boat as we crashed through waves at 30 knots.We aimed for the fuel dock feeling certain of a space but other sailors had anticipated the Bora, the cruel dangerous wind and filled it up. We tied up 3 deep to another vessel then checked the time- 2:30 am! An adventurous night.
Wednesday
Shoot Day 1

We picked Lea up as planned from the fuel dock at 5:30 am but winds still high at 40 knots in the channel so decided to postpone today’s shooting and headed for safety of marina for the day. We took the opportunity to visit Old Dubrovnik on the bus. Amazing architecture and history and its survival in recent war. A swim in the pool, a snooze and dinner on board and people watching ( Italian yacht) passed the day and made us forget our trauma of last night.
Thursday
Shoot Day 2

Leah arrived 6:30, wind had calmed, powered out of channel to open sea.. sailing! Shooting on boat for 3 hours in the early light of the sun,anchoring at Lopud Sunj for breakfast and rest then on to Kolocep for lunch. Shore leave to buy provisions and visit a bar for a cold drink. This was a beautiful peaceful place. We left at 4pm to sail along coast to look at Old Dubrovnik from the sea. A few more shots of Lea as the sun went down before dropping her at fuel dock at 7pm and exchanging for Jens, our newest crew member, assistant and model.
Night spent in marina.
Friday
Shoot Day 3

Up and off at 6am, shooting Jens on yacht, headed to coves for breakfast and relax for the day until collecting model no.3 Sara.
There was little wind until we got out to sea then we were sailing again. Sara was captain, she was confident steering and moving about the yacht so Gary was able to get some varied shots of both Sara and Sara and Jens.
Tonight we all went out for pizza, the boat was getting full with 4 people and equipment. Everything has to have its place and be secure for sailing conditions.
Saturday
Shoot Day 4

Today Gary was able to get lots of swimming shots of Sara and Jens in the morning, anchored at Celo bay where Sara was able to get a ferry to return her to Dubrovnik to catch her bus back to Split.
Had our last sail – coffee at Sipa Island , before heading back to ACI marina to tidy and clean the yacht before handover in the morning. The attention to detail and logistics for planning this itinerary for Croatia sailing stock production had paid off.