Karisma Hotels is a leader in gourmet, all-inclusive resorts, and they are as careful with their visual assets as they are with their in-person hospitality. Enter Seattle-based photographer Moris Moreno, who started shooting projects for Karisma five years ago. That relationship led to Karisma hiring Moris to photograph new images for one of their Jamaican resorts.
Planning is crucial in resort photography, especially when the entire crew needed to make the journey from Seattle to Jamaica. Luckily for Moris, he’s had years of experience with international shoots and knows the ins and outs of pre-production.
Each country has its own regulations and requirements. I strongly suggest doing your homework and contact the consulate, embassy or even tourist board of any country you travel to and ask if there are any requirements or ways they can help. A very organized inventory list will take you a long way.
Once on the ground in Jamaica, Moris and his crew braced themselves for 12 to 14 hour days, capturing from sunrise to sunset and praying for vacation-worthy weather.
Sun, turquoise waters and blue skies are key on portraying this kind of resorts. All these exotic locations are a dream vacation for many as an escape from the cold winter since guests travel thousands of miles to get there.
Unfortunately, photographers cannot control the weather, and on day two of the four-day project, Moris and his team were presented with cloudy skies. They quickly scrapped any planned outdoors shots and turned their focus inside, where the rain wouldn’t distract from the beauty of the resort.
Even one day of poor weather can spell disaster for a shoot on a tight timeline. Moris and crew had a hefty 40 image shot list, but their flexibility helped them stay on track. They managed to make up the lost time and then some, finishing early enough to eat a family dinner before they packed their gear and headed home.
Moris credits most of his success to precise planning and careful thought.
I carefully study the setting of each shot to evoke an emotional reaction of being there. The images have to transmit the magic of the location. It’s definitely is a delicate balance between vision, creativity and technical control.
After two weeks of editing and post-production, Moris turned the final visuals over to the client.
And just like that, Karisma Hotels and Moris Moreno can breathe a sigh of relief.