Tuesday, July 28, 2009
So back in The Big Smoke. Not sure why it's called that - I guess back in the day it was pretty smoky here during the 'ol industy revo - so glad we have "clean coal" now - Ha! Oxymoron if I ever wrote it.
Anyway. Finished two shoots with Mallory in Milan which went great. Ended up connecting with the airplane meeting Marcello's girlfriend's sister, Julia. She was great and her clothes looked amazing, we also shot the designer Walter with all his mens designs. All with agency models who looked amazing, had great personalities and I'm happy with the shots. Can't believe the good luck we've had while over here.
Also we had a great night out with Marcello and his girl in Milan, even though we got eaten up - who knew Milan was a mosquito haven.
So first shoot was with the designer, Ludo - from Naba school of design. His stuff was great, whole concept was travel and adventure. We locked down this amazing location, had to pay for it - but worth it, which was a restaurant with lots of cool locations. Ludo came through at the last minute with a fantastic model from Elite - she was beautiful, didn't speak any english and was very sweet. We also had a male model, Marco, who was super chill and you couldn't take a bad picture of him.
We ended up running a bit long at our location so we moved to Ludo's friends house with a balcony that we were able to make look like a little Moroccan patio - I think the shots are gonna be great.
Next day we shot with Walter and Julia - Walter had men's wear and Julia had womens. I heard about this cemetery in Milan which is amazing, the monumental cemetery it's called. Mallory and I scouted it a couple days before and it looked great, but not friendly (as in allowed to shoot there) to photographers.
We ended up splitting our team into a couple different groups so we didn't look like a photo team. Made it in the back and shot in the crematorium - looked so freaking cool, I can't wait to photoshop the images - the clothes fit and the models were on point.
We ended up getting kicked out cause they saw what we were doing, but by that time we had already gotten the shots we needed - they were yelling at us that they would call the police and confiscate all our equipment. The great thing about not speaking Italian is when someone is yelling at you - you have no idea what they are saying. :)
In London now and feeling a bit burned out. Off to New York in two days and hope to get a shoot together there. Would like to shoot tmrw if I could, but feeling a bit behind on photoshop work.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Man I love pasta. Had two meals here that have blown me away. Tastes so much better than anything I've had in the states.
Mallory and I are off to meet with Major Models in Milan today. Hopefully will get some agency models for our shoots on Weds and Thurs.
Yesterday we scouted out this amazing location, the Monumental Cemetery - gonna shoot there and hopefully not get arrested or step on a mourning widows foot.
The designers we met with were amazing and really cool peeps. The quality of their work and love of the craft is obvious. Mallory and I were talking about this yesterday and it's always so interesting how a clothing designer can have a story built into the clothes.
Ludo - who has designed some women's and men's wear - talked to us about this whole vision of travel and adventure and class. We have this great location inside that looks like a library and church and bar and we will be able to shoot for the entire day to get a lot of different looks and locations. Get the sense of a story being told of adventure - some props we still need to get.
Walter - HIs designs are for men's and had this inspiration of colonization and a slight militaristic feel. Looks very cool and serious. We are working on mixing his with another designer with women's and shoot two models together - that'll be in the cemetery.
Looking forward to it, and we have a Make Up and hair lined up for Weds. Still working on Thurs.
Just bought my ticket back to London, so I'll be there this Friday as I start making my way back to California. New York the next week.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Cleaned the apartment - did some laundry (so sweet) and met with Jerome who was in charge of the apartment in Paris we were staying at. Nice guy but we ended up talking with him for a long while instead of planning our arrival into MIlan.
We had a 7:45pm flight and would arrive at 9:25pm. We hadn't made any plans yet as far as how to get to the city, we had no map, no idea of the subway system, trains, nothing.
We knew we had to meet Marco here in Milan to get the key to the apartment we were staying in. We weren't too stressed cause we were confident in our travel abilities but it was pretty poor planning on our part, but it did work out - better than we could have hoped.
After we landed (rocky flight btw) Mallory turned to the gentleman sitting at the window seat and asked if he was familiar with the subway and how to get to the center of Milan. He was very nice and after a brief conversation he smiled and offered to drive us into town! His name is Marccello and he was in Paris on business, he works with the French for an IT company and his car was parked in the lot outside.
We all hit it off and after a wait for the bags and a lost car we were on our way. We got to talking and then find out that Marccello's girlfriend's sister, just graduated from the Instituto Marigoni - one of the top fashion design schools in Milan. Mallory and I are not sure but I think Brooks has already been in contact with them about setting up a class with them next year for some fashion / photography exchange program.
He called his girlfriend and she was very excited about the idea and is going to talk to her sister about getting together make up and models and everything. What a chance encounter - it's always amazing when you open up to people and remain open to experience where it will lead you - I'm so glad Mallory talked to him!
Funny how stuff like this happens on trips and not at "home" - I remember talking with someone about this phenomenon - I think it has to do with the fact that you are more open to new things in another country or adventure. At home we seem to close off and get into "our" world. Think a good goal would be to get to that state of mind all the time.
Apartment is great - we are right on a canal! I guess this a a happening spot cause it was a big party scene last night outside - it's a pedestrian only street and filled with cafes and bars - Friday is the night for Milanos I guess. Quiet outside now, just some random shouts in Italian and some workman whistling outside.
Off to have coffee with the designer from Naba (another fashion school here) who sounds great - we couldn't make it to the party last night with him - too tired.
Random side note: had a great dream about Gordy (my little dog, for those of you who don't know him :) last night and he became best friends with a cat - could never happen in real life of course for all who know Gordy - but the twist was that the cat was so in LOVE with Gordo that he was all annoyed at his new sidekick. The cat was always scratching his back and trying to be his best bud. Haha! Thought it was funny but made me miss the little bugger, family and Redwood Shire.
Much love to all.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Packing up to head off to Milan this evening. Gonna miss this apartment - and Paris has been so good to us.
Couple highlights past week -
Dinner with Casey and friends.
Lunch with Nichoas and his Lovely wife Vanessa - who are moving into my brothers place and happen to be Parisian - they were so helpful with places to eat and shoot at.
Photo shoot number one was a blur of a weekend and so many shots to go through - shot over 700 images in one day. Mallory's went amazing as well - and the shots look sweet.
Realizing when walking with a team of Stylist and her assistant, make up artist and model that Mallory and I didn't know any of these people two days ago and now here we are all trying to get some amazing images together as a collaborative team. Very cool. Julie the stylist was pulled some amazing clothes.
Dinner with Lisa Zane and her boyfriend Joel, hadn't seen Lisa in close to 6 years and Joel had been since Budapest which was almost 8 years ago I think. We had an amazing dinner at La' Amour Hotel - Joel kicked my ass at Foosball, just like he kicked my ass at soccer in Budapest many years ago - damn French. He used to play Semi-Pro, actually played as a kid against Zidane - that's the guy who made "the head-butt seen round the world" in the last World Cup against Italy. Joel said he was always getting yellow and red cards in the games as a kid- ha! Lisa is as inspirational as ever, singing, filming, always enjoying life - left dinner with a big smile.
Bastille Day - not so fun as we got stuck up on the hill trying to see the fireworks on the Eiffel Tower along with the rest of France. So crazy crowded we ended up bailing early and grabbing a bite with Mallory's friend Amy and her boyfriend Domonick. They happened to be in France for a wedding, great company and didn't mind not seeing the show.
Second photo shoot was yesterday and Mallory and I decided to shoot it together as we didn't have much time and only 8 looks. We had met with this designer, Paulina Plizga, and she brought a bunch of her designs and we had a couple of models from Ford Europe come to shoot. Mallory and I had gone to the Louvre the day before and found this great plaza behind it that would be a sweet place to shoot.
-Side note on the Louvre - wow a lot of people come here this time of year. Saw the Mona Lisa behind a sheet of glass and a million cameras - I don't get that. Why would you take a picture of a painting...not like you couldn't find a picture of it on the internet, not to mention that most everyone was using flash and it must have just been reflecting back at them. Was beyond me. But had to do it I guess, I thought the picture was kinda creepy for some reason - the Venus De Milo was amazing though, as well as the other sculptures.
So second shoot went great, got a bunch of test shots for Ford and the make up artists Katya was also a model so we were able to do a trade and I took some shots of her for her book. All came out great and looking forward to a couple days of photoshop ahead of me.
Leaving to Milan tonight and things might be shaping up. Two designers from the Naba school have been in contact - one said he has a team already lined up, model, make up and of course he's got the clothes so that would be amazing if we can breeze in and he takes care of some logistics. He invited us to party in Milan tonight, so we're gonna meet up once we throw our stuff in the new apartment and see if we can make it work.
Also have a meeting with Major Modeling agency in Milan on Monday morning, so we will get some more test shoots lined up for next week.
Toying with the idea of renting a car and driving a bit out of Milan to a location that looks very countryside Italian - we'll see if the clothes work out.
Also gonna meet up with fellow Brookies, Angelina and Joe - who are in Milan right now and hopefully we can all pool our resources.
London is calling for me to head back - I know I can get another shoot done there and it would be a quick jump to New York from there. Milan is supposed to be crazy hot right now. See how the next week works out.
Went to the "Bar Hemingway" last night for some photos and research, couldn't take pictures there and then found out that ever cocktail cost 30 Euro! That's over $50 for a freaking drink. We left pretty soon after.
Over dinner last night Mallory and I both decided that Paris was a success. Sad to see it go.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
So started shooting today with Marliena at 11am - she's with Major Models in Paris, great looking girl and so nice - we did some simple shots for the agency - they have some connects in Milan as well so Mallory and I are hoping we can impress them enough to hook us up with some models when we get there next week.
Shoot went great, very sweet girl, from Greece but lives outside of London now, here for vacation and modeling. So crazy how everyone just jumps around from country to country over here. Guess it's like us going to other states, but crap - I rarely do that even.
Mallory was a rockstar and went and bought lunch for everyone, we have our great Stylist - Julie who rocked some real designers clothes - when she opened the bags, Mallory and I looked at each other like, "oh shit, this is for real" little bit of pressure when you've got thousands of dollars worth of clothing and someone else is responsible for it, so I'm responsible for it really.
Julie had her assistant / friend come along, then Anne Charlotte the Make up artist - we were quite a team and then Catherine, the model arrived and blew us all away. She needed some test shots, but we wanted to use her for the more editorial stuff, shoot on the streets of Montmarte - oldschool looking Paris with tiny streets - it was amazing and Catherine was the real deal, always a great shot.
We got 7 looks out of the five hours on the street - which is pretty nuts, never done that many, never is such a short amount of time and most of them I'm really happy with.
Downloading images now - shot over 13 gigs of images today - lot to go through and edit.
Mallory is shooting tomorrow and I'm gonna be assisting her - gonna be awesome I'm sure.
Cheers, I'll post when I can -
You'd think I'd be adjusted to the time zone by now. Mallory should be the one hurting more, she's coming all the way from California.
So random, got an email from a good friend Casey Morris, who emailed me asking where in Europe I was - she was in Paris as well! So we had an amazing dinner last night with some great folk, Nadia, Eli, Lillie, and Laura - was so refreshing to have a long meal and not stress out - parts of this trip have felt a lot like work.
Met with two stylists yesterday, Julie - who was able to pull some amazing designer crazy clothes. Also Paulina who is a designer and her stuff is great, she showed us around Martemonte and Sacrecoure - which was packed with people but I hope to shoot on some of the cobblestone streets in that area.
Almost 10am and have my first Model arriving for a test in 15 - this espresso machine in the apartment doesn't seem to have enough kick so I'm gonna head down to the cafe on the corner.
Will upload pics from todays shoot, when I get them together.
Hope all's well with everyone!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wow, I know no French at all.
In Paris now, for about 30 hours. That's the way my world is working. Haha.
Met up with Mallory yesterday which was great, took the Eurosta / Chunnel to Paris and was easy, even though I missed my train.
Our apartment is kick ass, there is this amazing French radio station that is better than any Sirius or XW station I've ever heard, it's all over the place, total random and from all over the world - awesome.
Long day today - met with two modeling agencies, Ford Europe and Major Models - who also have a location in Milan so will have a hook up there - sweet. Showed our books which went over well, got a bunch of models to shoot. Problem is we are coming up to a holiday, Basitille day - sure I spelled that wrong, but it's the French Independence day so the Eiffle Tower becomes a big firework, which should be fun.
Met with a make up artist, who is available, and a sweetheart, doesn't speak much English and willing to work this weekend - also a stylist we talked with is down to work with us. So all we need now is a location, so tomorrow we are scouting out some spots so shoot. Rain in coming on Sunday so we're pressed for time but hope it'll work.
Pushing our trip back in Paris till the the 17th so we can shoot some Ford models as well for another test shoot. If we can get three shoots in Paris in 6 days I'd be very proud of us.
Mallory is doing a great job at trying to speak French and I ruin it every time by speak Amarrrickin - most people are easy to get along with and have been great.
Connected with Lisa Zane, old friend from my Dino days, who happens to be in Paris - we're gonna have out next week, also Anna from Germany who is good friends with my lovely cousin Lydia is gonna watch some Bastille day fire works with us.
Paris is pretty cool, but was a lot easier in London.
Talk soon, off to watch some Office with Mallory and drink wine.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I totally blanked on giving credit to the folks who were involved in this shoot - drinking at pubs with internet access and being a self centered bastard don't mix well. :)
Model was the incredible: Elena Stephanova
Designs and Styling by the spunky and talented: Paulina Palian
Make up was by the professional and skilled: Nelson Catarino
Kick ass Assistants: Sean Fox and Estefania Jover - thank you thank you!
All are on Model Mayhem and I highly recommend them all to work with - what a pleasure - thank you so much everyone!
My new office is called Baccus - god of wine - think I spelled that right - little pup down the street from Sean and Estefi's in Hackney. Best cheeseburger I've ever had here - wow. Random. Spent about 8 hours here yesterday emailing and photoshopping - could be worse.
So met with Independent Models today - thanks to the amazing Georgia King, old friend from my dinosaur riding days - :) They are a pretty heavy hitting agency in London and had a great talk with Martha, their booker who gave me some "New Faces" model comp cards - beautiful girls, obviously a serious agency and now I wish I was staying longer to set up some more shoots as I would get some really great stuff with those models. Especially after my amazing score with Nelson the rock star Make up Artist. Think I may have to be back in London soon...
So theses are my shots from two days ago - first European adventure photo shoot.
Crits are welcomed - if anyone has any input I'd love to hear it.
Off to Paris tomorrow to meet Mallory and already have a designer ready to meet and wants to shoot her stuff!
Next stop Parieeee.
Monday, July 6, 2009
So my first shoot went by with some hitches but came out great. I'll post some images when I get a chance.
Calumet - the Photo Store - did not have the flash tube that I needed to get my strobe to work.
Luckily the night before I met a photographer through Sean named Jasper White, and he happened to have an Acute strobe head that would work with my pack - he was kind enough to let me rent it from him for cheap after just meeting for one day. Trusting guy and I'm glad for it!
Model was mostly on time - stylist was a sweetheart, all her own designs - and Nelson, the make up artist, was amazing. He is really good at what he does, I was blown away - and he was free. I hope I can shoot something with him again today or tomorrow just to get some amazing images of his work.
Also Sean was amazing and assisted the crap out of the shoot. He was wearing a backpack with the strobe pack on his back, Pocket Wizard wireless receiver and would just hold the light and we'd move around the model - it worked so well and we were able to be a lot more fluid in our lighting. Thanks Sean - you rock. Estifi (Seans girlfriend) was awesome to as she was very helpful with the fashion eye, something I'm still working on.
Got 5 shots with 5 different looks and a couple beauty shots. We wrapped around 11:30pm and started at 5:30 - not too long and was a lot of fun.
Found a place with the Flash Tube today, Pro-Center - real close to Old Street Station which is close to where I'm staying, so good to go with the gear.
Have to start planning for Paris next. Need some nice clothes real bad. Looking forward to The Chunnel - first time I've done that and sounds like it'll be much more relaxing than stupid old airplanes.
Happy with the images and love the bits of rain and cooler weather finally in London.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
I was all up in London during the 4th. What a traitor. :)
Wish I could have made it this year, but I'm sure everyone had a great time and I can't wait to see pictures.
Try and keep this short - haven't kept this up very well so need to catch up.
I wrote a really long rant about Michael Jackson and then deleted it cause I don't want this to turn into one of those self righteous spaces for people (me) to self indulgent rants.
So my run down as follows:
Stayed in New York for a couple days with the man Jack Shapiro, got to see some great folk, Lea and Adam and others. July 1st had a 5:45pm flight out of JFK so went to Spa Castle with Jack, his brother Dimitri and a great cat Bill - it's like a Korean crazy bathhouse, with baths and saunas and cold plunges, but also lots of food and sleeping rooms, outdoor pools. Pretty much heaven. Was a great way to head off to the airport for the flight to Dusseldorf and then Stanstead.
Made a realization on this trip. If you can get a nonstop flight to the city you want, it will be cheaper than a connection to the cheap city and then a train ride to the city you really need.
It's been the hottest it's been in years in London so my one pair of shorts have been getting their fair share of wear.
So the 2nd was a bit of a blur, Sean Fox and Estefi are being kind enough to let me crash on their sofa for the week and their apartment is in a great part of London, Hackney - I think - it's so confusing all the different areas.
The third I started planning a photo shoot and spent most of the day online trying to line up some clothing designers / stylists, models and Make Up Artists. I met with a modeling agency, Oxygen Models and showed them my book - they gave me a bunch of models comp cards and gonna shoot some of them tomorrow or Tuesday - so that was cool.
Went to see Peter Pan at Kensington Gardens which is where J. M. Barrie wrote most of it from what I've been told. My friend Jonathan Hyde was playing Captain Hook and we was awesome! Also they were performing in this giant tent where they would project 3d animation in 360 degrees so when the actors were lifted up into the air to fly, it looked like they were moving through London - pretty amazing.
So yesterday was crunch day - if I was going to try and get the shoot together - as rain is planned for Monday and Tues then I'm off to Paris on Weds.
So lots of emails and frantic calls to Make Up Artists and Models and it didn't look like it was going to come together, like it always does - but by 8pm last night everything was set. Have a designer, Make Up and Model arriving at Sean's at 5pm today - we'll get 5 looks, I hope some more. Sean will assist me - sweet.
So then I take out my Profoto head that I had packed in my bag, just to make sure that it survived the travel, which I'm sure it had. Pull it out, whole flash bulb is broken! So bummed.
Basically now I should have just rented the lights out here instead of bringing it with, it's a $600 part to replace, AHHHH! So off to Calumet to get a new one (so glad you're open today Calumet, thank you!) and have to change my packing plans.
So that's my catch up - hope all is well and everyone had a great 4th!