Sunday, April 30, 2006

back from taal

I'm back from a grueling 2-day shoot for my hotel client in Taal. You might think that directing girls in bikinis at the poolside is a lot of fun (and you'd be right) but it's also a lot of hard work under the sun. I ended up having to rehydrate myself so often that I felt like a walking glass of iced tea. Thankfully, majority of my shots were interiors - the imperial suite, the spa, the sports facilities, the resto and such - and had a smaller number of exterior shots, such as capturing the concept of a barkada having coffee during sunrise (for which my call time was 5AM).

I brought along my new camera and took some shots myself, playing around with apertures, shutter speeds and ISOs and taking some food shots myself. One of my personal highlights was the shoot for the dance troupe who performed several dances, including the tinikling and the fandango.

During the first day, I made sure we ended before 10AM because there was no way in hell that I'd miss the American Idol results show (and I felt so rewarded when Kellie was send packaging - without a final song LOL).

Apart from my agency's fees, I also got some gift certificates from the hotel so you can be sure I'll be back, family and friends in tow, to actually enjoy all the amenities I shot. Perhaps even the P1,250 volcanic clay treatment which gave my models incredbly smooth skin (don't I sound like an endorser?).

I had mixed feelings about the models I worked with. All were body beautiful (being contenders past and present for things like the Mossimo bikini competition, with previous credits in TV ads like Nescafe, Globe and such) but a few were possessed of the most unprofessional attitudes which never fails to set me off. A shoot is hard work and the last thing I need is for a model to act as if she there on vacation. I also struggled with the male model for his body shots because of his body hair. My client wanted a particular clean (shaved) look and the talent agency played switcheroo at the last minute, giving us someone more hirsute than hairless. Funny thing about the girls: I found myself acting the conversative dad as I went around repositioning people and finding creative ways to cover up too much exposed areas (again, because of client requirements - it's a wholesome hotel, not a loathsome motel). I was joking with my crew how I wished it was FHM instead, in which case I would have insisted that they wear nothing more than three bandaids.

In the end though, I had a good time, though I was exhausted by the time I got back to Manila. For souvenirs, I have a bunch of food shots I shot myself. One day I hope to be good enough to add photography to my skill sets - but for now I'm happy to just try and learn in the process, and am content to leave the real heavy lifting to the professional photogs.


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