Once in a While I get to Shoot Cute People.

It was 1992 and I'd been shooting advertising images in Montego Bay, Jamaica for a while. My client was a company called Adventure Travel in Dallas and they had vacation destinations all over the Caribbean. We'd shot in Negril, on Nevis, St. Kitt's, the Dominican Republic and up and down the Mexican Riviera but my favorite location was always Montego Bay.

This is how we'd do it. My rep would call me and throw out dates. We'd narrow it all down and decide. Then the client would go to the talent agencies in Dallas and cast "real people" as models for our shooting. We'd all hop on a charter and head down to the islands. Usually three model couples, a client representative, an agency representative, a make up person, a production assistant, my assistant and a gofer for the client. We'd hit the ground running and try to get as many set ups as we could in a seven day period.

One the evening before our last day in Jamaica we'd taken a break to savor a mixed drink and the sunset (we'd shoot the evening cabaret in an hour or so). That's when I looked up from the bar and saw our model walking along the beach, suffused by "magic hour" light and looking incredible. I grabbed the camera off my shoulder (I'm never without a camera---even if it looks dorky) snapped four frames and then the light changed. She found her boy friend and the serene look vanished. The moment was past. But I've always loved the image.

If you put down your camera you may miss the one unscripted moment that defines your idea of "vacation in paradise."


K. Praslowicz said...

Getting past the feeling that having your camera on you at all times looks dorky is the first step to being a great photographer.

I swear I can't go anywhere these days without mine and not see several moments pass by that make me kick myself for not bringing it.

kirk tuck said...

I take a camera everywhere. There's no reason not to. thanks for the comment.

jchphotography said...

Love this line: " She found her boy friend and the serene look vanished. " Ha! That's got to say something!

Excellent reminder, Kirk. I never go anywhere without my DSLR(s), and have gotten used to the eye-rolling and "You're taking ALL of THAT?" comments from my family now. I am looking, though, for a small, capable, P&S for the times when I need to travel really light (considering the Canon G10 or the Panasonic LX3--love the hotshoe / radio trigger option for off camera lighting - see: http://jchphotography.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/camera-envy/ for my first experiments with the G10, PocketWizards, and a trio of SB-800s).

Always enjoy your posts!



Anonymous said...

Loved your lecture at Book People last night, here in Austin. Why didn't you show more like this one?