In the photography world, networking and self-promotion are key.
Last year, Austin, Texas-based travel and architectural photographer Al Argueta shot Pristine Bay, a sister property of Las Verandas that sits just off the coast of Honduras. He then sent out a promo with the images, which landed on the desk of Elaine Garza of Giant Noise. It turns out that Elaine’s client, Lancaster Hotel Group, was looking for a photographer. And just like that, Al was back in the Caribbean shooting new additions to Las Verandas, including a new restaurant, additional swimming pools, and a new beach.
Despite how ideal the situation sounds, Al said that shooting in tropical locations isn’t always glamorous:
The heat, humidity, bugs and scorching sun all take their toll on you. You have to wake up at 4 am to shoot the swimming pool in twilight, only to find it’s raining outside (it stopped raining just in time to shoot it). The weather doesn’t always cooperate and when your time is limited, there’s not very much you can do. You just have to rearrange things and hope for the best. Like any shoot, you just have to roll with it and keep smiling.
Al and his team put extensive planning time in prior to the shoot, as schedules had to be coordinated and everything at the new restaurant put into place. A shot list was created in order to make the most of the three-day shoot and keep expectations realistic.
Of course, a commercial shoot such as this one involves a decent amount of post-production. During the shoot, Al exposed for the overall scene and then lit specific areas in different ways. Post-processing involved lots of layer masks, such as masking bright windows to compensate for the natural light coming in from outside.
Despite the tight schedule, weather and hard work, Al took some time there to enjoy this tropical paradise: For me, it’s all about trying to capture the spirit of wherever I go. My favorite part of the trip was actually in Belize on my first night. We enjoyed a delightful breeze, a full moon, dinner on the patio overlooking the beach, and decent wine with my clients after our first half-day of shooting — nevermind that I had just flown in from Texas and was operating on 3 hours of sleep!
The client loved the images which are now being used on the website, in existing marketing materials as well as a promotional blitz promoting the new restaurant.