Chase Jarvis RAW: NZ Basecamp

When we head off to location, our accommodations vary widely. Most often we stay in hotels, sometimes we rent large flats or houses, but in almost every case, we have a central, community area for gear, data crunching and collaboration. I thought it would be interesting to give you a spin thru that main area in our current “basecamp” to give you a feel for it. In this case, we’re staying in a large 3 bedroom flat, or “villa”. Check it out.

Note: Historically my Chase Jarvis RAW videos have been somewhat polished, but in true RAW spirit, we’re re-writing the playbook on that a bit to accommodate the behind the scenes endeavors we’re creating on the fly here in N Zed. Hope that flys with you.

I also decided to call out and answer some “featured” questions that came in from you yesterday. Those, plus a bunch more links to other behind the scenes content after the jump…[click ‘continue reading’ link below]

Yesterday’s featured questions:

Szabi: One question I have right away is if you post process the daily material on the spot (as in in the evening) or do you shoot and shoot and shoot and then come home to Seattle and post process here everything?

We usually do very little, if any, “final” post production while on location. We occasionally do mock ups, color tests, or quick sketches of how stuff might look using basic Aperture and Photoshop stuff, but all the heavy lifting happens back at the ranch.

M.S. Kirk: How do you keep your hands warm and shoot?!?!!? I have tried different gloves, fingerless mitten combos and even heavy gloves that I take off to shoot with and I do not like any of them. I see that you are in a cold climate similar to what I live in so….help!!!

Funny, I normally wouldn’t think this was super relevant question, but lots of people asked it – another reason I love fielding your questions… Short answer, in all my years working in rugged environments, I’ve never been happy with my handwear options. I’ve reduced it to just pulling my hands out of the gloves for any shooting that requires details movements. If it’s just a matter of squeezing the trigger at the right time (as in I’m pre-focused, etc), I’m not so worried and can leave my gloves on…

John Sturr: Was the site [location] chosen by you or the client? Who determined the budget for the shoot — and how?

Location was selected collaboratively amongst the stakeholders, but initially it came as a recommendation from us. Re Budget: we estimate costs and then collaborate with client to scale to particular budgets. That’s pretty standard.

Related posts:
Behind the Curtain: The Guts of A Commercial Shoot
Packing Quick ‘n’ Dirty
Play by Play Commercial Shoot for the Next 2 Weeks
Behind the scenes snapshots from this shoot on my Facebook Fan Page.

Get my every move: Follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter

Get exclusive content: Become a Fan on Facebook

56 Responses to Chase Jarvis RAW: NZ Basecamp

  1. dimitri September 10, 2009 at 6:33 am #

    more easy than a real hotel, good idea!

  2. AdamBoon September 10, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    Is that a new variation of the the laptop case I see there?

  3. Jarrad Nelson September 10, 2009 at 7:02 am #

    Q: What Software do you use to process your shots. You mentioned light aperture work – What do you use for heavy lifting?

  4. Rocko Bitterman September 10, 2009 at 7:07 am #

    Tough livin'! Beer, views and cameras, sounds like hard work at the dream.

  5. August Kryger September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Appreciate you posting all of these. It's great to see some of the guts of the operation and bring it all to a more realistic level.

  6. joy September 10, 2009 at 7:17 am #

    Good Lord man! How can I be your friend? Your site is so generous, so informative and helpful and you are so laid back about it….geez. most pro photogs seem like awesome photobots that you are not cool enough to touch.

    thx again.

  7. Jerry Freeman September 10, 2009 at 7:20 am #

    "M.S. Kirk: How do you keep your hands warm and shoot?!?!!?"

    I use three layers of high tech gloves available from outdoor specialty stores. The wind glove is of particular importance, and I suggest taking your camera with you and trying them all on together in a bricks and mortar store for fit and operation. I use any combination of the three [or all] that satisfies the conditions. Due my neuropathy I would otherwise be unable to shoot in cold weather. I've used the system to -8º F and spent something in the order of $200 US.

    1. Tight fitting glove liner.
    2. Tight fitting wind glove [water resistant].
    3. Loose fitting down mitten to warm up between shots. [water resistant]

  8. Wim September 10, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    Haha love that you're drinking stella! You should tryout some other belgian beers too!
    The stella brewery is located in the city I'm studying in called Leuven, gotta love it ;)

    Looking forward to the next vids!

  9. Alex DiFiori September 10, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    It's like an episode of cribs, without the superfluous hogwash and ugly furnishing

  10. Ben Philabaum September 10, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Stella and Blue Scholars, you have good taste!

  11. Sebastian September 10, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    pretty nice view for a "basecamp".

    Nice videos so far, looking forward to the next one and to apapt the one or the other thing for myself. cheers

  12. Donavan September 10, 2009 at 8:24 am #

    You always seem to have great music with your vids. Besides some of the artists that are featured on Songs for eating and drinking, what are you and your staff listening to?

  13. Jonny September 10, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Stella… classy :)

    But seriously, is probably the most inspiring, informative, interesting and… inspiring place on the internet. Thanks for sharing as always Chase.

  14. Jonny-eh September 10, 2009 at 8:45 am #

    Epic Chase, EPIC. Love what you do- say howdy to Scotty and Gee-Raaad

  15. KAST September 10, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Love the information Chase. Queenstown is one of the most beautiful places in the world. I'm sure you won't have the time but if you do you have experience the Homer "tunnel" on the way to Milford Sound – Amazing!

  16. Giles Angel September 10, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    I’m hooked, line and sinker, keep ‘em coming. Check out the jet boats on the lake if you have time.

  17. Colin September 10, 2009 at 9:48 am #

    What did you use to film this? Whenever it pans it drags the bottom of the frame so vertical things are slanted. Like from 1:12 to 1:14.

    It doesn't look right to be simple camera rotation (the top of the garage doors stay mostly level).

  18. Scott Carlton September 10, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    Thanks for all your post. They have been very helpful for those of use just getting into the commercial photography world. One of the many things I find myself obsessing over is scouting locations and the coordination with the CD or editor. I know that with non-disclosure agreements you might not be able to share the exact details, but maybe you could give us some insight into how you scout a location and how you coordinate with the CD or editor with choosing how to shoot the location. Thanks again

  19. Photobby September 10, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Keep em comin dude! Seattle misses you.

  20. ThatcherDorn September 10, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    "Stand up or fall down!" Blue Scholars are the shizz for sure! I'm trying to make leaps in my photog career. Trying to get out behind this desk and make things happen. THANK YOU! This stuff is like a buffet for my photog brain.
    You got a kick ass team.
    Get it good bro!
    You should check out Binary Star, good hip-hop.

  21. Regular Visitor September 10, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    Wow, turns out you don't need much to handle a huge project, just couple of laptops with dell screens all in a single apartment.

    I thought you'll have 5-star hotel, separate production studio with Mac Pros and tons of RAIDed SanDisk SSDs:)

  22. Dan September 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    mate, thanks a lot for sharing this with us. I think those behind the scenes really make a difference and speaking on behalf of everybody, we all learn from it. thanks again, and good luck with everything. looking fwds to the next video.

  23. jerseystylephotography September 10, 2009 at 8:17 pm #



  24. Duane September 10, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I really love your create-share-sustain approach. With all the positive energy you keep pushing out there I can only imagine great things continue to happen. Thanks for sharing and pushing out those positive creative jibs! Much appreciated!

  25. aradilon September 11, 2009 at 1:43 am #

    stella, awesome.

  26. Dov September 11, 2009 at 2:50 am #

    Awesssome! I love Bascamp with all the fun toys..

    1. How do you keep your gear (laptops, hard drives etc.) from getting too cold and potentially not working properly?
    2. How do you back up your photos on location and how many times do you back up?
    3. Is there an art director on site and what percentage is your input and your visions with the concepts/shots?

  27. Simon September 11, 2009 at 2:57 am #

    Barbour (Gun) Shooting Gloves are amazing for cold weather photography – the thumb and first 2 fingers have retractable ends with velcro fasteners. Nothing else has worked for me…they should market them to photographers!

  28. Will Schouten September 11, 2009 at 2:58 am #

    Come on, no comments about your truck of choice?

    Big ups for rolling in a Defender!

  29. Anonymous September 11, 2009 at 3:43 am #

    Welcome to the land of the long white cloud. Any chance of a workshop/talk while u r in nz?

  30. Lyta September 11, 2009 at 4:59 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing. I happen to belong to a great camera club whose members are super generous with their knowledge and time. Nothing like a good community.

    1. How do you keep your stuff from freezing without worrying about condensation?

    2. Any tips for managing sleep? When I travel for photography, I average about 4 hours a night. This is okay until I hit the wall and my brain fuzzes out. How do you keep this from happening?


  31. Alex September 11, 2009 at 5:35 am #

    Love the vids Chase and Team! A view of the Remarkable's with Stella in hand is truly well, "stella". Keep them coming!

  32. car blog September 11, 2009 at 8:14 am #

    How do you manage to focus in this weather?

  33. Shelby White September 11, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Love these posts!

  34. Matt Lange September 11, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Hard work pays off. I like it. Like an episode of cribs. Maybe I should do one on my desk. With all this clutter, I could string it out to 5 minutes easy.

  35. Jase September 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm #

    OK good question here…
    Do you change your shirt on location shoots or is that blue stripey one your lucky shoot shirt?? ;) hehehe

    just kiddin – just saw a lot of photos with that stripey top in it :) hehehe

  36. Brian Lopez September 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm #

    RE: Gloves: I've found that bicycling gloves give the best mix of grip, dexterity and wind/temp protection. I've been using the Gore cycling gloves when the weathers bad and have loved them (

    Keep them Stellas crips.

  37. Matt September 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Woa wait a second- THAT doesn't look like the laptop location case that we have all come to know and love at 3:57 into the video. Did you give it a makeover with all new stuff? Do tell, do tell..

  38. Samuel September 11, 2009 at 7:10 pm #

    Love your post! This video makes me realize just how important having a solid/awesome crew is! Looks like a lot of equipment to manage and take care of!

  39. John Hildebrand Photography September 11, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

    thanks again please keep this up super cool

  40. Greg September 11, 2009 at 9:00 pm #

    Nice like the white sandbags guess its meant for snow environment… Chase didn't you own the Profoto 7b?.. And then I noticed you were selling it around the time the B2 was new thinking you were upgrading to it? is that right……You said the Verso A4 "Is the answer to the 7b, to check the specs online",,I did & yeah its cool, is this A4 new?.. don't know if I read wrong but it seems to have come out around 07….with features like being able to plug it the wall without battery to shoot & digitally control output from camera (instead walking back & forth to control)… If so eeerrr why doesn't profoto have this!! as I bought two B2's to get the 2400ws portable…

  41. andrei September 11, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    Come on Jarvis, let's see what went on today.

  42. Jake Hurlbut September 12, 2009 at 6:47 am #

    Hey Chase, what lenses have you been using primarily on this shoot? I can't tell from any of your pictures/vids. Also, how do you deal with the cold temperatures effect on the camera? Thanks! ~Jake

  43. Anonymous September 12, 2009 at 11:16 am #


    Good video! I was wondering, since the shooting is for SanDisk, what's their intention to do advertisments with skiing, or what's the idea/intetion for the shoot?

  44. Michael Movsyesov September 12, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    Sweet pad man. I can only at this point of doing this as a job. But some day I guess. Great stuff with the videos. Keep them coming and thanks for everything you've done for the photography community. You kindness and way of sharing is contagious.

    P.S. Stella is the shiznit! Love that stuff!

  45. Alex September 12, 2009 at 2:42 pm #

    Thank you for showing!

  46. miz September 16, 2009 at 6:43 am #

    Hi Chase, I'm a Queenstowner, also a photographer. Please try Speight's beer if you haven't tried yet.
    That beer is magic! The copy of the beer is " Drink Speights, lose your mate."
    If you are still in town, please try that. If you like this beer, you'd have already lost some friends. It's too good to keep your friends.

    I'm away from town now, but if you will be still there until next week sometime, I would love to catch you guys up.

    Phil Turner, the NZ producer next to you is one of my work friend. I really really like him.

    I'm your fan!

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