Sometimes there are opportunities to get an angle for a shot that are only going to exist for a short time – and there is a bizarre element of immunity from danger with the camera. I’m also not a lover of heights!!
This amazing suite had a fabulous lap pool running the breadth of the accommodation – Only problem was I wasn’t equipped with my swimmers. Only one thing for it….Left to your imagination.
I know I am blessed to photograph incredible properties around the world – Designers, Architechs & Stylists are most often gifted….and then add a pinch of nature. When the weather is turning, the shots can be breathtaking.
So much of what I do is seeking out the best angle and perfect vantage point for the 'million dollar' shot. I've hung out of light aircraft over islands in The Maldives - trusting strangers not to let go of my ankles. I've had scaffolding erected so high that I daren't look down, stood on parts of boats that you really shouldn't and climbed through construction sites with no safety equipment just to get THE shot. Every now and then, one of those locations throws up its very own photogenic surprise. And I love when a 'nothing' turns into something special.
I had finished the official shoot a day early meaning that on this very rare occasion I would get some down time on the paradise island of Iles Des Pins in New Caledonia. My friend Xavier took me out on a boat to this beach – which we have now unofficially named 'Ian's Beach'. It is so beautiful here that I left part of my soul behind….meaning I must return one day!
This photograph is my all time favourite – for it's simplicity and the beauty of the lady. Every time I look at this shot I get lost in her eyes and try and imagine what she was thinking.
The photo taken in Phuket, was one of those "capture the moment" shots. In between set-ups of two other scheduled scenes, I saw the big black doors and reckoned that the sun was going to bounce off the marble floor at about 4.30 or 5ish and just melt softly onto the model. I arranged for the set up of the grass and the flower in the lady's hair and everything just fell nicely into place.
As with many hotel shoots, I had to take a shot of a Presidential Suite in China, normally the biggest room loaded to the ceiling with furniture. I saw the sunlight streaming through the window and found the sculpture and put it behind the desk. It seemed to turn an average shot into one that many people stop and dwell over. It is not meant to be the showcase picture for the suite but one that simply establishes a certain mood.
This was taken in the Maldives when the weather was not particularly cooperative. So each time the sun came out, we needed to work very fast. This beautiful lass was thankfully a real trooper. She did this back flop in water that was only about 2 feet deep and her instinct was to brace herself before hitting the water. After several attempts in quick succession we finally got the action shot we needed. But not after leaving her backside quite sore… all for the photograph.
This is an atrium of a very groovy hotel in Delhi. This shot was taken with the camera strapped to a scaffold pole on a 10 second delay at about 2 am in the morning, with me hanging over the ledge about 20 storeys up. I was wondering to myself whether my insurance covered this stunt or if I should get hazard pay whilst the early morning stragglers surely wondered what was going on!
I'm sometimes accused that what I do for a living is hardly work and that really, I have the best job in the world. On this particular day, I most definitely did. I had sailed from one island in The Maldives to another, about a 5 hour journey aboard an 80 foot yacht . The shot of this arrival jetty at twilight still takes my breathe away and reminds me that every now and then, there are moments we should savour.
One of my favourite room shots. What you don't see is 'Chintoo' my beautiful Indian 'guardian', laying flat on the floor holding the duvet so carefully to avoid creases and someone on the other side doing the same. They were as much a perfectionist as I was. The hotel team I have the privilege of working with is always a critical factor to any successful shoot.