Sunday, August 19, 2012

Working With a Pro

I love working with the models and developing beautiful images together - something that hadn't existed before we put our efforts together and created something the world would never have seen before.  It's a process that gives me a big charge, and even though I like to work with new models, even those that have never taken part in a serious shoot before, there is a distinctive freedom, almost a luxury, in working with a real pro.  I had that pleasure this past weekend.

Through circumstance and a bit of luck I was able to book some time with the lovely Ms. Jacqueline Tang.  We had exchanged a few emails, but since she's not in the San Francisco area full time these days, it seemed it would be difficult to arrange.  However, I got a note from her a few days before this past weekend indicating that she'd be in the area, and had some time to shoot.  I didn't have anyone booked that day, so we quickly put a plan together.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Give the Model Copies - or Not?

Up this this point, I have consistently - each and every time - provided models who've worked with me a copy of every photo we've taken in a session.  Every one of them, except for those I've culled right off the bat for being little more than a waste of storage space (flash not firing, eyes blinking, out of focus, etc.).  The copies I send the models are "as shot", except for maybe doing a white balance adjustment.  They're not large copies, usually between 640 and 1000 pixels on the long side.  Still, large enough for the model to have a good idea of how the shot came out.  There are a lot of reasons I provide these to the model, though recently I'm rethinking this.  Should I really be doing this?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reflections from Recent Trip - Second Installment

I left Bangkok after having completed a shoot with Nardia and Nattimus, bound for Hong Kong. I didn''t have any shoots lined up in Hong Kong, nor in any cities in China for that matter. I'd had a few email exchanges with some models discovered through Model Mayhem, as well as a couple referrals from another photographer in Hong Kong, and an (unsuccessful) attempt to connect through a Chinese language MM equivalent. However, none of these resulted in a clear agreement to shoot, or were in some indeterminate state before I'd actually arrived in Hong Kong.

It would have been quite easy to arrange for shoots in Hong Kong proper, but I had avoided plans to shoot there. Hotels in Hong Kong are just incredibly expensive and/or small, so I didn't want to fork out the huge cash outlay just to shoot in a decent place in Hong Kong, especially because I'd been to HKG so many times already. Also, since I'm able to speak some Chinese (Mandarin), and always trying to learn more, I really wanted to go into China where I would be more compelled to use my Chinese. I also had plans to visit a friend who is currently living in Zhongshan (a small city not far from Hong Kong, but in China), so I figured I'd go up to Guangzhou after visiting my friend.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Notes from My Recent Trip

I just got back, well let's say about a week ago, from my trip and now I'm more or less adjusted to the time difference, and (somewhat) adjusted to my day job.  That is, mild mannered, cubicle confined program manager for a software company.  Whenever I get back from a trip, I feel the withdrawal and the stark contrast of living a "creative" life day by day, and being surrounded by "life" as I wander the streets of various Asian cities.  It's not easy for me to put myself back in a box, and go back to the daily grind.  But, it "pays the bills" as they say, and keeps me funded for travels, photo shoots, and life in general.

During this past trip, I stopped in Bangkok for about four days, prior to hopping back to Hong Kong, which was really just a gateway for me into Southern China.  I only stayed one night in Hong Kong.  I had elected to go to Bangkok for a few days mainly to get away from cold weather for a few days, leaving fairly cool weather back in San Francisco and knowing it would be even colder in Southern China.  I also wanted to visit a few friends in Bangkok, and do a couple of shoots with some models that expressed interest in working with me.  I'm really glad I made the stop in Bangkok, and much as I wanted to stay, it turned out to be just the right amount of time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Getting Ready to Hit the Road

I just booked a ticket a couple weeks ago, and soon will be on my way to Bangkok and then Hong Kong and southern China.  I doubt that the flight attendants working on my flights will look anything like the model (Jessica) I recently shot above, but I like to travel anyway.  Even I enjoy the 13-14 hour flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong.  It is, admittedly, quite a brutal grind, but I use the time to read or write in my journal, and of course, sleep.  I very seldom watch movies on the flights, but sometimes I'll watch one which seems to put me to sleep.  If I'm especially lucky, I'll find someone interesting to talk to on the plane.

My last trip to Asia included very little photography of models, though I did a lot of street photography of ordinary people in some seldom-visited-by-tourists cities.  I was lucky to have a friend along who is a native Chinese speaker, and she translated for me as I interviewed a number of regular working-class people.  I've been gradually writing about that experience, and recording the interviews, though I have yet to publish that anywhere.  A work in progress, and something quite extraordinary.  That trip changed many things about my perception of China, Chinese people, and even the government of China.  That's for another time and place, though (note - check my non-Model link to Flickr if you're interested in seeing some of the photos from that trip:

This trip coming up will be much devoted to photography of beautiful women.