This story has been long overdue, since I have actually been on this trip before going to Curaçao. I just didn’t have time to finish all the photo edits in time for my Curacao trip so I had to do that still upon return. There is a good reason for that though.
You see, where I focus heavily on lowering my workload by shooting JPEGs for my personal work, Calgari Watches actually pays me to shoot their products. This means a couple of things. First of all, they are allowed to have some creative control over the output. In this case, they required me to deliver a very particular editing style. I had to dive into the characteristics they where looking for and develop my own presets to accomplish this.
Secondly, I need to be flexible when I am doing paid work. Does the client want a re-edit? Do I need to shoot in difficult lighting? Non of that should be a problem.
This means that I still stick to shooting RAW for all my commercial work. It is significantly more work to get to an end result but it also guarantees I can deliver what is being requested from me. Therefore, this story is coming to you with a little delay but it’s not less true because of it. Now that that’s out the way, let’s continue!
Prague through new eyes
This wasn’t actually my first time in Prague as I have been there before as a kid. I was so young though, that I can barely remember anything from it. Add in that I am now a photographer at heart and therefore see the world in such a way, you can probably understand how excited I was to revisit.
The whole trip was from Friday evening until Monday afternoon, which provided us with plenty of time to roam around the city. Going there specifically to utilise the city and its backdrops for a photoshoot is a little different from your average citytrip though. I mean, sure you want to experience some culture and see some sights but the goal is to come home with some amazing photos. So what do you do?
The center of Prague is pretty walkable and provides you with anything you could wish for if you are looking for some classic Czech sights. I always like to aim for some diversity though, so while we did our fair share of roaming around the city center, we hitched a ride or two to some other areas in the city as well. They might not be as nice to visit if you are there a just a tourist, they are very interesting if you are looking for some unique photographic opportunities.
Before I go on a trip like this anywhere, I always have a quick search on the internet for so-called ‘Instagrammable places’ and ‘Instagram hotspots’. I know how that sounds and I do get itchy from this as well but nonetheless, it’s a great starting point to get an idea of how photogenic a city really is. I mean, I can make a photo anywhere but if your goal is to shoot brand images that will have a certain wow-factor with the audience, you need to have a certain Instagrammableness1 to it.
Some thoughts on my goals
Anyway, as you might remember from my previous Calgari trip, I wrote:
I have been finding more and more focus in my work recently and I am happy with the direction I’m heading in. My work for the local paper comes to mind, but directing my energy into long(er) form projects like this is also something that provides me with peace of mind.
It has been a few months since I wrote these words and I feel them stronger than ever.
Relocating and focussing my energy is something I have made a personal goal, which I am gradually getting better at. This involves a lot of saying no to people, which is going quite well, but also saying no to myself. This last bit needs a little more work. At this point, I feel like my days are only getting shorter as I am getting busier and that is not something I am comfortable with. I am actively trying to narrow down the things I spend time on and be more present when I do as a result.
We’ll see where that takes me in the next few months.