Monday, February 5, 2018

Doing Amazing Things With Amazing People.


I was talking with the owner of Parrot Cove Lodge in Belize, about their marketing and the kind of images that would tell their story in a way that stands out. Reading the reviews their guests had written it was apparent that the staff contributed highly to the very favourable reviews they were getting. So many people commented how amazing the staff were and so the caption came to life - “Amazing Staff For Amazing Guests”.

Looking for a way to say this in a picture form and without needing a lot of copy, I came up with the idea of shooting the staff at Parrot Cove Lodge doing amazing things in their roles at the resort.

In the main picture featured in this post is of one of the ladies who works on the Front Desk, and also has some accounting responsibilities. All the models in the campaign are actual staff and there were many funny moments setting up these shots. You should know that all the staff are actually shot in position in the scenes and no one has been photoshopped in. 

So here’s some insight into how the campaign was shot.

We placed a ladder across a corner of the swimming pool and our subject was kind enough to step onto it. I gave her some props and held another in place for where I wanted it in the final shot and with my camera locked in place on a tripod, I fired my camera and lights wirelessly.

After I had all the positional shots I wanted, we cleared the subject and the ladder and props from the frame so that I could expose a clean frame.

By placing the clean frame on a layer below my portrait layer I was able to erase anything I didn’t want in the final image by letting the background of the clean frame layer come through.

To finish of the illusion, I painted in the reflection in the pool and added a tiny drawing I made of a goldfish into the corner of the shot.

It was fairly overcast on the day so I also added some blue sky to match the lighting I had set up for the scene.


So with what you know now why don’t you see if you can workout how I did the rest of the series in this campaign. It’s amazing what you can do when you have amazing clients!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Life Can Be Surreal

My last post was in January 2016 and things have become quite surreal since then.

My photography business is now based in Belize and there is someone named Donald Trump installed as the President of the United States of America. My own country is heading rapidly out of the EU, while drones and driverless cars have become ubiquitous. And we now have not just one dog but two — Jazz and Pepper.

When I set up a photography business in San Francisco in 2009, I knew I would shoot campaign photography, products, portraits, and other things - except for weddings and nature/ landscape photography. However I met a lot of people in San Francisco who wanted intimate small weddings which were more like portrait sessions and soon found myself shooting weddings about once a month.

And now after just over 2 years of being based in Belize, looking through my pictures I see how enchanted I have become by the amazing colours, weather, and the light of the caribbean. Our property is on the beach facing east so I also have a huge collection of all colours and types of sunrises looking out to sea and a large amount of landscape and nature photography. The sights of this mostly undeveloped country are so visually appealing it's almost a crime to go out anywhere without a camera!
So here in Belize I'm shooting campaigns, product, lifestyle, and travel type photography, and am preparing to shoot my 5th beach wedding style shoot in February. I still submit stock photography too and am finding my Belize photos are being licensed quite regularly now too.

So this is to say my blog is live again and talk to you next time!