In mid-May of 2013 I was contacted by the advertising agency SapientNitro in Miami Beach with a job offer to photograph an advertising campaign for the Florida Tourism Board entitled Visit Florida. The opportunity was fantastic, though the timing was terrible! For nearly a year I planned a photo trip to Indonesia and was set to leave on July 3rd. I wasn’t sure if time would permit me to shoot the campaign. The job entailed much traveling and numerous shots that required a great deal of production work. Fortunately M2 Productions, a company with experience in handling large operations, agreed to produce the job and assist with all the preliminary bids, casting, scouting, permitting, crew hiring and logistics of bringing the campaign to fruition.
I was awarded the job the second week of June leaving us two weeks to finalize production and complete the photography by our goal of June 30th. It was possible but dicey, mostly because of weather concerns. June is the beginning of rainy season and we had no more than a day or two to use as weather days.
THREE REASONS TO VISIT FLORIDA
Our first stop was Destin, up in Florida’s Panhandle, and our first shoot was at a nearby beach. Wouldn’t you know it, the rain came! Furthermore it was a premonition of what was to come. Nearly every day we encountered rain delays but it seemed that on every occasion, no matter how much rain fell, we would see the sun shine, or at least the rain would subside, and when it did we hustled! Models, stylists, hair and make up, lighting assistants, camera assistants, producers (we worked with two, one on the present shoot and one prepping the next one) and their assistants, agency personnel and a representative from the tourist board. Everyone jumped into action.
The premise of the shoot was to show the fun side of Florida and even though at times, justifiably so, the job could become stressful, we had no time for traumas. We were going to have fun and we were going to create exciting images and the heck with whatever curves the weather gods threw at us!
We traveled, ate, slept and shot. Time for anything else could not be squeezed from a 24 hour day. One town, one city, on the beach, in a river, a wilderness trail, a shopping extravaganza, a luxury hotel, traveling north to south. We covered a variety of locations and many miles in the time we had and yes, the rains did win a few battles, but in the end we persevered and were victorious. Well, that may be a bit melodramatic but again, it was all about having fun, enjoying our time together and coming out with honest images of what Florida is all about: SUN and FUN! (Usually)