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SPIKE – the Robotic Phantom Camera – Shoots Better Than You

Across the pond from me in Germany there is some stunning work getting kicked out of a little boutique firm called The Marmalade that you should know about.

I’m drawn to more than just the final result…I love HOW they’re acheiving it too… Behind the scenes thinking and such below. Have a great Monday.

Learn How To Learn Anything, Hack Any System & Be Your Best: Tim Ferriss on creativeLIVE

UPDATED AGAIN WITH A TREAT: SPECIAL OFFER: This is LIVE right NOW. Buy the Tim Ferriss creativeLIVE course #4HourLife and get a free copy of Tim’s new book. Click for details http://cr8.lv/4-Hour_promo. Sale ends today! (somewhere around a $35 value …book + shipping)
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UPDATE: Tim is LIVE NOW… both today and tomorrow. Tune in here at creativeLIVE.com/live
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Short version: renowned 4-hour-everything guy Tim Ferriss is gonna be on creativeLIVE next week for 2 full days of badass, actionable inspiration and instruction. Go here for details.

More detailed version and how this relates to you: One of the most important characteristics in making one’s way through a creative career or any entrepreneurial endeavor is learning what’s most important and executing against it. What do I need to know and how do I acquire that skill, be it learning how to light with strobes, make a music video, dominate at Photoshop OR…. literally anything else. In short, you want to learn how to learn. How fast you can learn, grow, be in the system while simulataneously hacking it is, in my humble opinion, crucial to success in any field.

Enter, my pal Tim Ferriss. Tim takes all this to the next level. I’ve personally learned more from him about ‘how to hack learning’ than anyone else. You’ve probably read or seen one of his previous #1 NYTime Best selling books (4 Hour Work Week + 4 Hour Body) OR seen him on one of my most popular chasejarvisLIVE’s ever (I taught him how to build a studio set and then he photographs a bikini model), but the real news I want to share with you here is twofold:

1. He has a new, super badass book coming out in 2 weeks; and

2. More importantly he’s bringing this new book + BOTH previous books to life in realtime on creativeLIVE (the online learning channel I co-founded) next week. Two full days of live, interactive learning with Tim and host of world class experts. Not gonna lie to you, I’m canceling all other obligations and will be sitting in the soundstage during the entire broadcast.

I’ve seen the syllabus for the course, it’s insanely inspiring and ambitious. I’m an excitable guy, but I’m rarely as hyped as I am for this workshop. Learn how to learn anything from the meta-learning expert. The course is live on creativeLIVE on November 14th + 15th. Check it out here if you want more info or to register to attend online.

You can order the book here from Amazon. Check out Tim’s blog here.

Here’s his creativeLIVE pitch:

[the book trailer video was shot by my pal, director Adam Patch. Head on over to the trailer on YouTube here and leave a comment if you dig.]

tim ferriss on creativeLIVE

Be Bold, Be Different [chasejarvisLIVE re-watch with Snowboarding Legend Travis Rice]

You’ve heard me say it before – don’t sink all your effort into being incrementally better. Instead be DIFFERENT. Be BOLD.

This episode of chasejarvisLIVE was focused specifically on this simple idea. And my special guests for this episode epitomize this ‘different’ and ‘bold’ mantra as well as anyone I know. Like all of my guests, these guys aren’t ensconced in the “this is how it is” photo industry – they’re innovators from a parallel universe….

Yes, Travis Rice is the best snowboarder in the world. But what makes him the subject of this #cjLIVE is not really his skill. It’s that he is an innovator, a risk taker, a visionary the star of the most progressive action sports film ever made (The Art of Flight). He’s a bold and creative leader in his crowded and noisy industry.

Some take-aways from this show:
_be bold – as in snowboarding risk is a part of the game
_be different – build your own way down the mountain -as Travis did with SuperNatural)
_get used to hearing “no” when they say your idea is “crazy”… you’re probably on the right path
_protect what you believe in- know when to be the one saying “no”to opportunities that are not the right fit.
_life is long- the amount of things you can create, learn and share in a lifetime is massive.

Analogously, Chad Jackson hails from Brain Farm Digital Cinema. He and his partner Curt Morgan are the makers of the most innovative, high caliber and DIFFERENT action sports films in the world (eg. The Art of Flight). By using unique techniques and special cameras (like the phantom), leveraging relationships and their special vision, they have broken away from the old action sports film paradigm to set a new bar, a different bar.

It was an enlightening experience speaking with Travis and Chad. Enjoy the re-watch.

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

chasejarvisliveS03E12_travisrice

Eyeist.com Helps You Build a Kickass Portfolio

In case you missed our December 6th, 2011 episode of chasejarvisLIVE, it was all about the portfolio. We had Allegra Wilde, visual strategist and co-founder of eyeist.com on the show, talking about common mis-steps and some of the best ways for your work to get noticed. She even gave us a quick portfolio review and a sneak peek at her upcoming service eyeist.com. Yesterday Allegra and her partners launched their product for the world. Check it out here. It’s a service that will truly help photographers worldwide.

The company has assembled a team of over 50 reviewers, who are among the most respected photo experts and authorities in the field including Photo Editors, Publishers, Photographers, Advertising Agency Art Buyers, Photo Agents, Gallerists, Museum Curators and more.Registration and image uploading is free at Eyeist, and photographers can purchase their review from an a la carte menu of services including selecting a Basic Review and receiving a recorded oral critique, a Website Review, a Live Review in real-time using Eyeistʼs innovative interactive workspace, or a Photo Editing andSequencing review of their photography project. Base prices range from $100.00 to $350.00 and photographers can request a specific Eyeist Reviewer or ask to be automatically matched with a reviewer according to their needs. All of the reviews at Eyeist are completely private, but as an added public feature, there is a section of the site in which Reviewers can highlight work that has been submitted by photographers during the review process. These projects will be showcased in a specially curated “Reviewers Choice Gallery” which provides an open acknowledgement for the photographer in the eyes of the Eyeist Review Team. Allegra comments:

“Weʼve seen plenty of public forums that comment on photography, but this is the first time that experts have been given their own platform to contribute their opinion on what theyʼre seeing—and liking—all in one place.”

Business Essentials for Creative Entrepreneurs with Ramit Sethi

ramit sethi chase jarvis creative live

Big news. Ramit Sethi is doing a 3 day intensive course on creativeLIVE starting today. Right NOW in fact. If you know who he is and why I’m so stoked, go to creativeLIVE.com/live RIGHT NOW for free. If you don’t need or want to earn money with your creative work then no worries – total respect – skip this post and jump over to 13 tips for a more creative success (one of my fav posts). But if you do want to earn money or make a living with your art and DONT know why I’m so pumped then read on….

BACKSTORY
One of the most popular cjLIVEs last year was the Ramit Sethi episode. More that 25,000 people watched the 60 min live broadcast from 100+ countries, another 100,000 hit the re-watch in various places. And for good reason – it was a game changer for lots of people. Ramit is not a creative guru, a filmmaker or a photographer – this blog, my constant spouting, etc are full of that yummy stuff. Ramit is different. He’s a genius at teaching creatives like you and me who lack some business chops how to position our work. By example, in that single chasejarvisLIVE episode Ramit went into very specific detail about:

// how to win jobs by preparing ahead… specifically the “portfolio” or “briefcase” techniques…

// how to negotiate higher rates for your creative work – the very specific words to use that demonstrate high end value and vision

// how to position yourself as a high end creator – not a commodity that goes to the lowest bidder

// how to position yourself as the prize in any negotiation around you and your work

I’ll be honest – the reason I hosted Ramit onto #cjLIVE was because we’d met last fall and I learned more about the business of positioning yourself in n 1 hour talking to Ramit over dinner than I had from anyone prior to him. More than agents, managers, Hollywood people, marketing people etc. It was a shock, because I considered myself pretty good at that shiz… but he blew me away. The reason? Turns out he’s a Stanford educated behavioral psychologist. He understands value, perception, human delivery, persuasion, confidence and so many other things that – until he revealed them to me – were just nebulous concepts.

So don’t be fooled by the title of his NY Times best-selling book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich. Yes, he’s a personal finance guru – and you should listen to him for that advice as well (my wife and I are on his savings “plan”) – but why you should watch his 3 day course at creativeLIVE this week is simple – he’s great at teaching all these soft skills I’m talking about that will separate you from the rest… landing gigs, scoring that agent, billing higher rates, and getting respect in a crowded and noisy industry.

Check it out.

[aside - I'll be dropping into his show on Friday for Q&A. Stay tuned to my social feeds]

How to Cultivate an Online Community — Re-cap from Aspen Panels at The Meeting 8

#TheMeeting8 – Recap Video from Aspen/Snowmass on Vimeo.

Some of you might have noticed that I dropped the behind-the-scenes video last week from the shooting of the Aspen-Snowmass campaign. I launched this immediately following a return visit to Aspen to attend The Meeting, the annual gathering of professional filmmakers, media, and brands. The folks at Aspen put together this cool re-cap video – check it out above.

Aspen is always well worth the visit, but late September is an especially stunning time of year. The foliage was popping, the films were mind-blowing and there was even a bit of professional education sprinkled into the mix. I participated in two panels – one as the moderator [Content Distribution] and one as a panelist that focused on how to cultivate online community . This panel was alongside my friends Robert Scoble, Gary Arndt and Alex Hillinger.

Some key take-aways from our panel:

_most of the most successful communities were born of interest and passion – not just the desire to “have” and audience (duh)

_giving content and expecting nothing in return is a key to building a successful communities

_social media is a tool. It is not THE point. Social Media is to Building Community as A Hammer is to Building a House

_spending time responding in person to positive AND negative comments is critical.

_taking advantage of opportunities for physical interactions are great community builders (eg: Recently, I did a tweet-up in South Africa that was an awesome one-on-one interaction with members of this community)

If you want to see the full panel discussions – the results are below for your viewing pleasure.

Pitch Your Creative Vision [chasejarvisLIVE rewatch]

Last week I hosted author and pitch guru Oren Klaff on chasejarvisLIVE. Wow. I knew it was going to be good – but we had no idea that there would be such a huge reaction to Oren and the information he shared from his book Pitch Anything. The community has been talking about it all week. So here it is again for your viewing and eternal viewing pleasure. Oren is not only the purveyor of more than $500 Million (yeah- read that twice) in successful pitches in a variety of industries – he also happens to be hilarious. Watch the episode to hear some of his epic quotes. He and his book – and a simple framework of how to make YOU and YOUR WORK become “the prize” — has helped me perhaps more than any other book on “selling” AND I think he can help you too.

Believing in your work is not an F-in tactic. -Oren Klaff

If you’ve been around my blog or this community for long, you’ll know that my focus is photography and directing, but most of all my guiding mantra is about living a more creative life – whether a photographer, filmmaker, designer, chef, painter, dancer, whatever. While we LOVE to focus on tapping into our “creative side” – take it from me, if you ever want to have a chance at earning a REAL LIVING with your creativity (or, hell, even making even a dime with your work) then being able to PITCH and SELL your work is essential. Don’t make me say that twice. The age-old idea of the starving artist is a sad, boring, and tired one. Better learn to talk about, position, pitch and sell what you make. This episode gives a road map to getting started.

Any of this resonate with you?

_ ever had anxiety about how to present your work to a client?
_are you confident with your skill as an artist – but discouraged by your ability to get paying work?
_have you ever seen a major campaign/exhibition and thought, “I can do better photos/film/copy than that?” …and wondered why you’re not getting the job?
_do you know that the demand for creatives going UP and is one of the fastest growing segments?

I already know your answer to those questions above. Check out the mission critical re-watch above for all the goods.

Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, Manfrotto and B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make and sell.

Please show them you care and follow them on Twitter at: @hpprint, @HasselbladBron, @manfrotto_tweet, @BHPhotoVideo

Best New Cameras and Photo Gear — 8 Products for the Photographer’s Daydream

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ChaseJarvis_SonyRX-1_creditpopularphotography

PhotoKina, the photography industry’s extravaganza of products and announcements, went down last week. Every two years, the tribes gather in Cologne Germany to showcase the latest and greatest and give us a peak into the future. I did not attend this year. To be straight-up, I’m not a big fan of trade shows. No offense to anyone who digs the gadgetry and flood of products and promotion, but these fluorescent-lit extravaganzas sort of give me the willies. But that’s just me, and the gear that bubbles up from the secret technology labs of the best and brightest camera equipment manufacturers is enough to make any photographer drool a little bit. The tools and technology being unleashed on the world make an undeniably exciting time to be a visual artist.

So here are 8 new products that caught my eye. Full disclosure, I have not tested or even handled any of these products yet. I have included links to more comprehensive hands-on reviews when available for those of you who want to go deeper.

Sony Cyber-shot RX1

Of everything announced at Photokina, this is the camera that I’m most excited about. Full-frame in a true compact with a 24.3-megapixel sensor. The only problem is that at present it’s just a big expensive toy to me. The fixed lens kills its potential for professional use for photo or video, but it looks like an amazing walk around camera for photo hobbyists… with some disposable income ($2800). Everyone should buy it to show Sony how much we all want a compact full-frame camera, then maybe (definitely) in the future they’ll make a version with interchangeable lenses.
Review
Review
[see photo tabs above for more images]

Broncolor Move 1200L Flash Power Pack
I’m excited about this new pack. This battery-powered flash pack is definitely in the high end category with a retail price of over $5,000. Full disclosure, I am a long-time committed user of Broncolor. But for the serious studio photographer check this out:
_160 full power pops on a single charge
_takes just 90 minutes to recharge
_light and small
_1200j power, max flash duration of 1/20,000th of a second, weighs just over 13 pounds in weight and has LED continuous light
No reviews out yet.

chasejarvis_broncolor_credit:popularphoto

The Hasselblad Lunar:
Hasseblads new luxury camera is perfect for those high rollers who want something totally different than the rest of the crowd. Word on the street is that it’s a tricked out Sony NEX-7. But if you want the panache of the Hasselblad brand, sell your car and hang this bling around your neck.
Review
[see photo tabs above for images]

Fujifilm X-E1
This smaller and substantially cheaper little bro to the recently announced X-Pro1 has some interesting features. I dig the specs on this camera and the look of it, but I’m still a little Fuji-shy after how disappointed I was with the X100. Is anyone out there in love with their Fuji gear? I honestly wanna know. Good from afar for sure. But jury is still out for me on Fuji.
Review:

chasejarvis_Fuji_popularphotography

Leica M
The new M camera has a 24-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor that allows it to shoot video and use livemode. It’s f-you money expensive of course. It’ll cost around $7,000 here in the US. But, that’s no surprise coming from Leica. Great for the fantasy quiver.
Review
[see photo tabs above for image]

Nikon D600
I already did a post when Nikon’s new DSLR hit a couple weeks back. Tons of feedback and discussion in the comments here. At $2,100 the D600 beat Canon’s 6D to the punch by a few days when it comes to the entry-level full-frame category. The Canon vs Nikon debate rages on.
Review

Chasejarvis_Nikond600_popphoto

Credit: Popular Photography

Canon EOS 6D
The $2,100 Canon 6D, falls into the “entry-level full-frame” category along with the D600. I would love to try out the WiFi-based iPad app that lets you control the camera using your tablet. But this won’t be released to the public until December.
Review

chasejarvis_canon6d

Panasonic Lumix GH3
Panasonic seems to have nailed it with this one. I love the videos specs on this camera: 1080/60P video, high bit rates, timecode, seamless files for continuous recording, clean HDMI out. Our video guru Erik Hecht told me, “This camera is making me seriously consider selling all of my photo/video gear and going to the micro 4/3 format full time.” On par with the best DSLRs out there, that’s something to consider at $1300.
Review

ChaseJarvis_panasonicGH3_credit:popularphotography

Credit: Popular Photography

Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots — 12 Mission Critical Tips for Travel Packing

Pack it up!


So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. This is part 3 of 4 on how to pack like a boss. Check out the last two posts in this series:

10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo and Video Travel – getting there
12 Mission Critical Tips for Pre-Production – tips BEFORE traveling

Now it is time to hit the road… to bring or not to bring? That is the question. More is certainly not better, but you have to have everything you need… so where is the magic line?

12 Tips for Travel Packing

1. Make sure you have your ID and all necessary documents!

2.Pack early. This will give you time to think about what you may have forgotten and purchase anything needed. Keep a packing list by your stuff so you can keep adding to it and check off packed items.

3. Limit what you bring. Bring the essentials and backups of those essentials. Leave those fancy shoes and other not-so-useful stuff at home.

4. Carry on ALL mission critical items. No exceptions. When you pack a bag to check, pretend you may never see it again. You should have a working photography kit to get you through in a pinch as well as one spare outfit, your technology, any medications, extra pair of prescription glasses/contacts lenses and anything. Wear your heaviest pair of shoes while you travel… just make sure they are easy to remove for airport checkpoints.

5. Follow the rules when you are flying. Check with your airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for packing your baggage. You don’t want to be stuck with extra charges or overweight bags. Carry-ons have lots of limitations including pocket knives and liquids (3-ounce bottles only in a quart size zip top bag).

6. Clothing essentials. Pack appropriately for the local weather and bring layers. Some essential items to consider are wrinkle-resistant, comfortable clothes, comfortable shoes, versatile pieces that can cover a range – totally caj~ to fancy, and a coat.

7. Your gear. Check out this video all about packing photography gear:

8. Carnet for your gear? If you are traveling internationally with lots of gear, you may need to go through an expeditor and get a carnet (passport for your gear – try www.atacarnet.com).

9. Bring backups for critical gear items. You may have to leave your underwear to bring an extra battery charger.

10. Charge everything before you leave. That means your computer, your phone, your camera batteries. Confirm you have all of your chargers and extra batteries for when you arrive.

11. Electrical. If you are traveling internationally, bring the correct power adapter. Each country has its own unique plug configuration, so be sure to read the label for a list of where the power adapter will work. Apple makes a World Traveler Adapter Kit for an Apple products, which is convenient. http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB974ZM/B/apple-world-travel-adapter-kit
Secret tip: we like to bring a power strip that we can plug into a transformer with the local plug so you can have many open outlets… this can save on space.
CAUTION: Be VERY careful about voltage so you don’t fry your gear or your self. Read the small print on power strips to make sure they can handle the voltage.

12. Take a production kit with you. There are some essentials that can be a pain to try to track down. Depending on where you go and what you are doing the kit varies, but here are some of my favorite go-to items:
_Mobile Wi-Fi. I fell in love on our latest trip to Cape Town! Up to 5 devices can remotely connect the internet?!?! Heaven: http://bit.ly/JZVID4
_a local phone + number
_cash… yes, people still use it. and it can often unlock doors or “make it rain” when in a pinch.
_a tiny printer + ink http://bit.ly/Ogv3Bj
_a tiny scanner http://bit.ly/LBkacJ
_hard copies of your lists, call sheets, paperwork, etc in a production notebook
_sharpies and pens
_sunscreen
_talent releases
_some way of organizing your receipts
_travel book/language guide
_power strip

I’d love to know what goes in your location production kit or in your bags! Leave your ideas below.

In the next post of this series, I’ll have some tips for your arrival. Stay tuned.
Best, Kate

The Future of Photo Sharing — What You Must Know [chasejarvisLIVE with Larry Lessig + ASMP + MORE Wed August 29]

U

The image of much discussion: "The Stolen Scream"


UPDATE:the LIVE broadcast is TODAY. Check out the post below and be sure to tune into http://www.chasejarvis.com/live today — 12pm SEA time (3pm NYC & 20:00 London) — and enjoy the show. See you on air in a few…
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In this new age of media, have you ever wondered how to share, promote and pimp your photos and videos using social sharing tools, but maintain your rights to them? What if someone wants to buy, license, use, or copy your work?

__Ever had a photo or video of yours “go viral” or get liked, +1′d, or retweeted like crazy? If not, do yo wish you had?
__Ever had your photo swiped from your site or social feed and found it being used by someone else?
__Have you ever wondered about watermarking, tracking photos, or overlaying your name in the bottom corner to drive traffic?
__Ever used a Creative Commons (cc) license or wondered if you should put a copyright (c) sympbol on your photos?
__Ever want to make money with your photos? Then you’ve gotta know about this stuff.

If you can answer YES to any of these questions above – I urge you to tune in to the upcoming mission critical episode of chasejarvis LIVE, we’ll be addressing these questions head-on in a LIVE, interactive format. In collaboration with the the ASMP (world’s largest photographer trade organization) we’re hosting world renowned expert Larry Lessig– founder of the revolutionary and immensely popular Creative Commons–, Richard Kelly – former President of the ASMP and Oleg Gutsol, CEO of 500px arguable the world’s best photo sharing community, and other surprise guests. We’ll be answering YOUR questions, sharing insights, and making suggestions on how to make the most of sharing while keeping your rights. One thing is certain – that the future of creative work, photography, filmmaking won’t look like the past.

Who: You, Me, the ASMP, Larry Lessig + a worldwide gathering of creative people

What: Interview, discussion and a worldwide Q & A

When: Wednesday, August 29th, 12:00pm Seattle time (3pm NYC time or 21:00 London)

Where: tune in to www.chasejarvis.com/live. It’s free – anyone can watch and we’ll be taking YOUR questions via Twitter, hashtag #cjLIVE

 

HELP PROMOTE THE SHOW, WIN GEAR
1. Score a printer NOW. To help us out and for a chance to win the newest all-in-one photo printer from HP, send out any creative tweet that contains the URL (or short URL) to THIS post + @HPPrint + #cjLIVE starting NOW and ending at the beginning of the show on Wednesday, August 29th. Enter as many times / tweets as you like. We’ll pick our favorite and announce the winner LIVE on-air. Example. “I’d give a limb AND score an @HPprint printer if everyone I knew tuned in to #cjLIVE this week http://bit.ly/RqhNfY”

2. THIS IS HUGE – WIN A CAMERA. We’re also giving away a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera AND a 35mm f/1.4 XF R lens (valued together at $2,298.00USD), during the live event. I’ll tell you how to enter, but you gotta watch to win…

JOIN US.

If you want to be part of the live, in-studio audience, send an email to production@chasejarvis.com with “ASMP” in the subject line. Winners will receive a confirmation email with attendance instructions. Bonus points for tweeting about the show and seeing folks here. The in-studio audience seats filled up immediately on posting this. Stay tuned for the next show announcement for a chance to attend in-person.
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Special thanks to our cjLIVE show sponsors: HP, Broncolor, B&H. We genuinely love what they do, make, and sell.
Please follow them on twitter at: @hpprint, @bronimaging, @bhphoto

 

 

Spilling the Beans on Twit Photo with Leo Laporte + Catherine Hall

In a jet-lagged haze working abroad last week one of those reminder alarms hit my computer desktop while I was buried in some email that said, “Twit Photo 1pm”. After a moment of confusion, I realized it was a leftover reminder from a year ago when I was interviewed by Leo Laporte and Catherine Hall as a part of their popular web photography show, Twit Photo. I meant to share it way back when, but I’m reminded today that I never did… So here’s the show.

Topics include:
-why starting is everything
-why quitting is important
-gear
-lighting, what NOT to light
-chasejarvis LIVE
_”making it” or not
-commercial photography vs. the world
-the “un-moment”
-directing/shooting video

…and other relevant stuff. #respect

—-

chase jarvis leo laport twit photo

Perspective: Dive, Climb, Crawl, Dig and Fly Your Way to a Better Photos + Video

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Jerard here from Chase’s crew. One of the things I’ve noticed working on the CJ Team over the years is the serious lengths Chase will go to for a specific perspective. Almost nothing is off-limits if it enables him to be in position to get the shot. You’ve heard it before, “get on the ground,” or “get above the crowd.” Essentially, look for the angle that others don’t. But sometimes it might take more than simply kneeling down or getting up on a chair. Sometimes, on Chase’s team, we the need to get more creative. Click through some of the tabs above to see the creative perspectives I caught of Erik and Chase shooting from this past week.

On the shoot we just had in Capetown, Chase shot from the following perspectives:
_a rubber dingy (in a questionably big swell)
_a speed boat
_the deck of 114-foot sailboat
_60-feet off the deck tied to the mast
_a helicopter
_4x4 transport in the African bush
_ underwater… in a shark-cage.

But you dont always have to be in a helicopter or on a 100-foot sailboat. The fact is, it could be as simple a borrowed rubber dingy or motorboat (thanks to our friend Carel Stander in Cape Town for our chase boat angle on this job) that gives you the desired perspective. If you’re willing to get dirty, climb up high, get in the water, the mud, the sand or snow…the resulting shots are bound to be more unique.

Traveling for Photo + Video Shoots [10 Mission Critical Tips for Booking Photo + Video Travel]

Photo: Erik Hecht

So you’re going on the road to shoot photos/videos for fun or for a client? Kate here again, Executive Producer over here at Team Chase. I’ve been thinking a lot about shooting (for work or play) on the road. Whether you are traveling 100 miles or 10,000 miles, whether on a budget or with a budget, here are some tips I’ve learned over the past 10 years producing photo shoots away from home. This is part 1 of a 4 part series on Traveling for Photo and Video Shoots: Booking your Travel.

10 tips for booking your photo/video travel.
Everything can seem important when you decide that you are headed out on a trip, but nothing is more important than making sure you can actually get to where you are need to go. These tips will get you headed in the right direction:

1. Confirm that all travel docs are valid. Whether you’re traveling abroad or just to the next state over, certain docs are likely required… ID, driver’s license, passport, carnet (passport for gear) or other required documents. Make sure yours are up to snuff.

2. Research your destination. You can dive deep later, but initially you need to find out the essentials: how to get there, requirements for entry, vaccinations, and special considerations. A great source of info for traveling abroad is the US Department of State Travel Site.

3. Decide who will travel and how will you get there. If you’re a one-man or one-woman show, the ‘who’ is easy. But, if you have a small team traveling with you, make the call on who will travel, when, and if these people are available during your prospective travel window. For the how – weighing the pros and cons with respect to cost and efficiency will help you determine the best way to get to your location.

4. Apply for visas. If a visa is required, START THIS ASAP!

  • Gather information. how long will it take, where do you apply, what is required?
  • Gather the assets needed. the application, passport photos, letter of invitation if needed, travelers’ information.
  • Apply. To apply on your own, work directly with the embassy or consulate. If budget allows, you can explore two options for support:

-expeditors such as www.cibt.com can take care of the process for you.
-local production company where you will be traveling can help you gather documents if they are needed. (I’ll discuss more in part 2 of this series)

5. Get vaccinations and medications. If either of these are required, take care of that early. Some times there can be a wait period before they are effective. The CDC has helpful information: http://1.usa.gov/mg0vvE

6. Gather travelers’ information. For all travelers, you will likely need the names of each passenger, exactly as it appear on their travel ID (driver’s license, passports), ID number, date of birth, gender and mileage account information.

7. Book flights/trains/cars. If you are traveling by either plane or train, you can save tons by booking early, BUT make sure you know the penalties for changes or cancellations before booking. You’ll need to balance your savings with possible fees.

8. Book accommodations. You can often save money by booking early and paying a large deposit at the time of booking… this goes for small hotels, vacation rental sites, and longer term housing. Just be careful because these places usually come with hefty cancellation and change fees. Whenever I feel like the dates are likely to shift, I book through large hotel chains that have very flexible cancellation/changes policies. Some — like the Hiltons, Hyatts, Marriotts, Westins– will allow changes without penalty as late as the day of your scheduled arrival.

9. Book ground transportation. Even if you are traveling by plane or train, you will need to think about getting to and from the airport or train station. A ride from a friend, taxi, subway, booked car… all work, just make sure you allow enough space for the gear you’ll need to bring.

10. Research your Insurance Coverage. Think about what you will be doing and ask questions if you have new elements. For both your business and medical insurance, work with your provider to find out what is NOT covered. There can be lots of exclusions, such as, limited liability coverage for international travel. You can up your coverage for the duration of the trip or buy additional insurance. www.imglobal.com provides a ton of additional medical coverage for a great price.

Once you’ve checked these items off your to do list, you’ll know WHERE you will be, WHEN you will be there and WHO will be with you… the basic skeleton. That’s when I always feel like I can relax a tiny bit. But stay tuned for the next post of this series, I’ll have some production specific tips (ie – for shooting and making the arrangements to get your shots) at your destination. Until then, safe travels! Kate

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