Literally the day before heading out on vacation with the family, I met up with Anna at a yet another newly discovered coffee shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Butler Bakeshop. The space is absolutely stunning and to me, it fulfills every attribute you can possibly think of that would make a coffee shop a success regardless of how saturated you may think a neighborhood may be with them. This impromptu outing also gave me the opportunity to test out the newly purchase Instax Mini 90 I snagged to take with me on vacation which practically ended up being free after having amassed a good amount of Amazon giftcards.
The creative director for Bon Appetit, Alex Grossman, describing the use of an iPhone 7+ to photograph the cover and feature story for the magazine as they explored Oaxaca, Mexico.
“The iPhone lens is how we look at photography now. It changes the whole process and feel of a photo shoot, making it more intimate, less invasive, more nimble. We wanted to create something our readers would relate to.”
While there’s value in the ability to shoot with a higher end camera, there’s certainly something liberating about just photographing with your phone. I do it all the time, it's something I had the pleasure of doing when I visited Cuba last year, and while it's becoming more common for publications to take on this approach, this has probably been the first time I've seen a magazine release a video which documents the process. As photographers, we typically have this innate curiosity to get a brief look into the process of other creatives and this examination is no different.
I had stopped worrying about the length of time we’d been given on this beautiful island, nestled on the northern coast of Haiti. Eight hours may sound suffice but when you combined the impatience of your 5 and 3 year old kids, the 24/7 summery weather and the gorgeous pristine waters where you can practically admire your toes all the way through regardless of how deep you’ve gone in, you have to assume that anything less than a day will instantly feel like too little time. In any case, as it’s customary with cruise ship, you’re always allotted a certain amount of time at each port of call and I felt we made the most of our time to the point of exhaustion.
"Adventure, exploration and relaxation is only the start of what this ultimate private destination has to offer" and the craziest part of it all is that unless you’re a vacationer onboard Royal Caribbean, it’s unlikely you’ll step foot on the island because it’s the cruiseline’s 260-acre private beach resort which apparently they’ve continued to lease from the Haitian government since 1986.
It’s very difficult to critize anything from Labadee because everyone was truly friendly as far as the staff but once we got to the Artisan Market situated, it became incredibly overwhelming to demonstrate an iota of interest in any of the beautiful handmade souvenirs for sale. It was nearly impossible to set your eyes on anything without having the sellers harassing and eager for your business. I personally cannot shop like that but was able to purchase a few knick-knacks from Yolanda who right off the bat told me, “I’m not going to sell you anything…you come to me when you’re ready."
When it comes to excursions, we typically tend to book them on our own on whichever island we dock, as oppose to acquiring a tour via the cruiseline themselves, simply because they’re often double the cost. In this case, because it’s a private island, we didn’t have an option so I booked a 2hr Safari Snorkeling excursion for Evan and myself for a whopping $100. The wallet hurt but the experience at the end was well worth it with my son.
Very interesting 3 part exposé that “scratches the surface of Annie’s work, the craft behind her photographs and how to shoot models in her style.”
It’s true what they say: “The best way to learn from a pro is to apprentice for them. And if we can’t do that, the next best thing is to look at the behind the scenes videos.” As a huge admirer of Annie’s work, I can’t tell how enticing it was to read all these intricacies, extract from them and keep as reference in my head. As an adjunct to these articles, I equally recommend watching this video of Annie at work as she shoots a campaign.
It's not very often I'll quote a tweet but Christian Gideon always has me tapping on that heart with a lot of the inspirational thoughts he puts out into the world, especially this one at a point where I've lately have had self-doubt about my photography work. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you geninuinely do things for yourself and if other people happen to gravitate towards it then consider that a bonus.
It’s been a while since I’ve visited this lovely tranquil oasis of a museum in Long Island City. It’s only a 25min a drive away from home so getting there is never a problem but it become more about taking time of yourself to enjoy your time in this Zen urban industrial space. You kinda wish art spaces would be like The Noguchi Museum - big, beautiful and no crowd. I only had the opportunity to be there for about 45mins but it was enough to feel as if I’ve cleared my mind as I walked around observing the rock sculptures to help relieve ones tension.
Jonathan Harris on The Great Discontent. To that I would add..."don't be the type that's driven to do anything only when you're compensated for it. Do it because you love it and getting paid for it is a bonus and privilege."
I may not seem like it in the photos but you’ll have to take word when I say that Andrew Kung has epic apartment with a breathtaking view that overlooks downtown Brooklyn. Do you know what’s equally admirable? The fact that he manages with a little bit of effort to convert his living room space into this mini photo studio which he’s bragged about on multiple occasions, so when he extended the invitation to test it out, of course I couldn’t decline.
I was also fortunate enough to catch up and test shoot with Emma who like most people nowadays, I met through Instagram the year prior. Andrew was the person who by the way had suggested I invest on the infamous modifier Annie Leibovitz (Photek HSD-60 Umbrella Diffuser) uses which I did, so I brought it over to his apartment and between his and mine, we experimented with various forms of lighting and what you see is the result of a lot of tinkering with light.
My biggest takeaway from this impromptu test shoot is that regardless of epic you’re envisioning a shoot to be, especially with lights, make you’re you’re giving yourself ample time to get down the lighting to how you wanted before the model arrives because there’s nothing worst than wasting their time and yours. Normally I like to arrive an 1hr before but I ended up cutting it too close this time around.