Well, how did the first trip go?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect on my first shoot abroad with my new company? Firstly I have worked abroad, travelled quite a bit but never the two together. Since I left school I have always worked in an office environment and still do in this job but it also has its perks.

As part of the job our agents based in certain locations will help us sort accommodation and transport. When we (my manager and I) arrived in Madeira we we taken to our Hotel which was a 5* hotel and built by a famous architect in the 60/70’s. The hotel was not dated at all and the interior was stunning. I’ve added some photos at the bottom.

So, we had a shoot plan of what hotels we wanted to photograph and on what days. If hoteliers, car, traffic, public, any other unforeseen circumstances and not to mention the weather, play ball, then you have a perfect shoot! However, we all know that this is not always the case.

Firstly, driving on the other side of the road, WTF. Thankfully I wasn’t in charge of this department on this occasion but driving in Madeira is no easy feat. When you look at the map, that doesn’t show the directions, it becomes a nightmare when you first arrive. There are certain places that you want to turn left or right but there are no signs to tell you cant. Apart from the very help horn from the taxi driver behind. You look at the map and what seems relatively easy turning, turns into 4 different tunnels and a drive half way up a cliff side, 5/6 km detour and then your arrive. Anyone who has driven in Madeira will know what i mean.

All of the hotels that I photographed this past week are hotels that I would visit myself. Some of them I wouldn’t be able to, as they are just way too expensive. However, all of the people that I have met that have shown us around, have been hugely helpful. Some more so than others but one such hotel even put a free afternoon tea on for us that looked something like a visit to the famous Betty’s Tea Rooms. I was sat outside an English inspired Quinta (period house) in a palm tree garden looking over the cliffside to the crashing sea below. It really was a very good perk to the day.

At the moment it sounds like I don’t do any work! I can tell you that some days we were starting at 8am and not finishing until 10pm and only stopping for a bite to eat! Thankfully the temperature was abound 18/19 degrees the whole week with only one cloudy day. This meant that the shooting of externals and pools was made easier. Except for the busiest day which was the day that it was bloody cloudy. Unfortunately I had to rearrange the shoots for another day which meant double the work on an other day, but we are at the mercy of the weather. Not everything goes to plan.

Before I started this job I had been trained in internal photography. I had worked for a marketing company based in York which photographed houses on the behalf of estate agents. I was trained by a very good teacher and by someone who made the job of photographing interiors, really easy. There are many interior photographers who use many individual flashes/lights to photograph interiors and do it very successfully. I, on the other hand, use only one if I can. It’s a specific flash and works incredibly well but thankfully all of the rooms that I visit are already setup so if I can be in and out within 5 mins then great. I use very minimal editing as I make sure that image is complete within the shot.

This allows me to be able to photograph the resorts and the externals really quickly and effectively. More time and thinking has to be taken into consideration for the externals. There could a whole raft of problems the will hinder you in taking the complete shot. Cliffs, were the biggest issue on this job. Some hotels were either on the top and split between the top and bottom of the cliff. That might not sound much of an issue but the majority of the hotels are huge and trying to get a whole shot of the complex can be sometimes difficult. However, that’s what makes the job a challenge.

I can honestly say that this job is going to be extremely enjoyable and I am very fortunate that I firstly, have a job and secondly, one that I enjoy. So if you here me complaining about anything then please feel free to have a go.

I hope you enjoy the images.

Much love

Gav

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