Waaaaay back in 2007, you’ll recall we launched multiple video series aimed at presenting the unseen side of professional photography: Chase Jarvis: RAW (behind the scenes b-roll), Chase Jarvis: FRAMES (every image from a shoot sewn together into a video), Chase Jarvis: TECH (tips born from the road and solutions to real life photo challenges), and Chase Jarvis: CURRENT (video recordings of my occasional keynotes and random creative talks from around the world). These are humming along nicely (as are our iTunes versions ) and will continue to grow and develop this year. They’re a fun side-show for me.

Today, I’m stoked to introduce a new series of blog posts intended to shed additional light on The Black Box, the behind-the-scenes world of professional photography. This new series is called Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW and its intent is to show the underbelly of the traveling photographer from the road.

While many creatives travel, a larger number don’t. Some who don’t, dream to; and some that have to, wish they didn’t. Personally? I love it. But for many, the grass is always greener. Having logged my 120,000th airline mile for 2007 on 30 December, and having done those sort of numbers for at least 4 or 5 years now (and around 50% of that number for the previous 4 to 5 years), I figured I could help share some light on work travel, and let you decide for yourself if you think traveling –and/or how I’ve portrayed it– is interesting.

So the plan is to deliver this ongoing info/art series of posts in a photo-blog sort of fashion (inspired by some “research”). Specifically, the plan for each RWAV entry goes like this:

1) I post a snapshot I’ve taken from the window of whatever random hotel/motel/tent I’m staying at during my travels (a habit I’ve been in for quite some time) in a Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW post. Depending on the day, location, time of year, client, budget, shoot, etc, you’ll see a huge variety–from penthouse suites with striking urban views of the world’s snazziest cities to tent vestibules with NO views during an ice storm, and everything in between.

2) From that snapshot, I’m going to playfully challenge YOU and the quirky, global reach of this readership to try to identify where this snapshot might be from by asking those who are willing to post your best darn guess in the comments section. Some of these locations will be known to some, others known to all, others still known to none. Regardless, it should be a kick in the pants to see just how far-reaching your collective geographic/cultural skills might be. In addition to your best guess at the location, if you’re interested, I’d like you to consider posting your URL if you have a blog or a site or whatever (see #4).

3) After some random length of time determined by my schedule, I’ll reveal the location of the RWAV photo in a followup post all its own titled RWAV: REVEALED! and I’ll post a handful of additional gritty snapshots from the same trip. Expect uncensored crew shots, snaps of broken rental cars and broken gear, out of focus party pictures, private plane$, boring-ass pictures I take of myself without sleep and with a zit or two, macro shots of my airplane food, and of course a few classic tourist snaps thrown in for some cheesy flavor.

4) THE TWIST (and perhaps the most exciting part): From the list of those who guessed the location correctly in the comments section — be that list of “winners” long or short– I’ll select a few of YOUR links (I can’t post ‘em all, but you’ll be in a lottery for posting) to share with the community – perhaps sending a few thousand friends your way. I may also send the occasional gift to you, depending on how crazy obscure and detailed your successful guess was deemed to be. Through these channels we’ll all get to know one another a little better and we’ll continue to expand our horizons just a touch.

So whether you’re a studio pro who is considering becoming a location shooter, an amateur shooter who thinks you might want to do this sort of a thing for a living, or just a creative hoping for some low-pretense visual crack (or none of the above), I’ll hope to deliver an interesting perspective and illustrate what it’s like being on the road. I probably can’t keep up with ALL the hotel rooms and trips, but I’ll do my best. Regardless, at the end of a year or two or three, this could be fun archive.

WHICH brings me to the last point: let’s try this out now. The shot atop this post was from a trip that just wrapped up today. This is the first Chase Jarvis: ROOM WITH(OUT) A VIEW. Where was the photo above taken earlier today?

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