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.

By the way, that's Xanny Disjad above, there.  A great model to work with, but I won't be shooting her (I don't think) this time.

I have been so busy lately, as I've had one or two photo shoots every weekend that I don't have my girls, and there is always so much preparation to do beforehand (getting props, wardrobe, preparing my house to transform into a studio, setting up backdrop and lighting,. etc), followed by file management and editing afterward.  So I've sort of decided to not do any shoots for the next couple of weeks as I get myself organized and ready for my trip.

One of the things I spend a fair amount of time on (as I'm sure any photographer does) is getting in touch with and selecting models.  I'm quite particular about which models I want to work with, as I have a certain look I'm going for, and the amount of time and effort is the same whether the model has "the look" or not.  By the time I have a connection with a model and we've worked out the theme, location, and other details of the shoot, I've probably spent at least an hour for each model I've shot (maybe more if I factor in dead ends, and even more if I fold in time spend on flakes...).

I've already booked about five models for the first leg of my trip, which is in Bangkok.  I still have more arranging to do for Hong Kong, and if I shoot in Guangzhou I have to make arrangements for that city.  I'm a bit undecided of how many shoots I want to book for the time I'm in Hong Kong and China.  I like to keep flexible and roam around when I travel, but that is sort of counterproductive if one is trying to book suitable models and decent hotels.  So for now I'm kind of floating once I leave Bangkok.

The last time I included a string of photo shoots incorporated with vacation travel was when I went to Thailand about 15 months ago.  That was still fairly early on in my glamour photography career, and I learned so much by having 5 days in a row where I had shoots planned.  It was quite tiring, but it surely helped me evolve quickly in terms of my style and approach.  So from that standpoint, I'm excited to see where this next trip will lead me.

As far as equipment is concerned, that is also a challenge when it comes to travel and glamour photography.  That last trip I brought one of my monolights, but also had to bring a really heavy line transformer (my lights can't take 220 V).  I also had extension cords, a reflector, umbrella, etc.  Made for a pretty heavy set of suitcases.  I think this time I'm just going to bring two battery powered strobes (I have a pair of Vivitar HV285s), a couple light stands and diffusion umbrellas.  Even that is a bit bulky, but will certainly be a lot less to cart around than a pair of monolights.  I just hope I'm able to get enough punch out of them, or do enough shooting during daylight hours.

Stay tuned.  I should have some good stuff to post, though if you know me, you know it will take me time to sift through all the shots and finally get around to posting some of them.  Now, time to start working on my packing list, my calendar,...

No comments:

Post a Comment