Ok, so I’m tearing my hair out and my clients are looking at the rain and thinking it’s all money down the drain but – truth be told – I’d prefer at least a third of my shoot to be done in overcast conditions (maybe even a little rain).

I’m here at Pacific Resort, Aitutaki in the Cook Islands where it’s been either pouring or overcast for five days straight so we’re all getting a touch anxious. But it’s been a productive shoot – so far.

Overcast conditions are an opportunity to slow everything down a bit and study the resort from a different perspective  (as you’re not so focused on the “big sunny shots”). And, importantly, there’s that beautiful, soft, even light to work with which lends itself to a range of appealing images including food, room interiors, public spaces and welcoming staff shots……….like these.

That said, if I don’t get at least two days of sunshine to do justice to the colour of the surrounding water, the 23 kilo camera bag goes on the back and I’m wandering off into the lagoon – never to be seen again.

Photography Tip: As soon as I get to a resort, I look at the staff to see who I think is likely to work in a photograph, before liaising with management to ensure their availability. Key criteria: Their smile or laugh, a sense that they may be prepared to have a bit of fun, and a complimentary association (i.e. that they are likely to be relaxed together and engage happily). I generally choose three people for a single session so I can concentrate on just two if the chemistry’s not right. The direction is to simply do what they always do – make the bed, serve a customer etc – though I’ll generally look to surprise or entertain them and keep shooting to add an extra bit of spontaneity to the picture.

For some more candid insights into the seemingly glamorous, often challenging but generally rewarding life of a tourism photographer, visit the Facebook page I’m struggling to come to terms with at David Kirkland Photography.

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A successful promotional photograph starts with knowing what you want it to say and who you want it to appeal to - before you even bring the camera to your eye.



E-mail: david@kirklandphotos.com

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