Nature Conservancy: Cuba on the Horizon

crisman_TNC_cuba_012There’s no doubt about it, winter in Philadelphia isn’t fun. This particular winter brought more freezing temperatures and more snow than we’ve seen in recent history – anyone in the northeastern United States can related as to how nasty the first few months of this year have been. Naturally, when our editors at The Nature Conservancy called with a cover shoot assignment in the Florida Keys, it was hard not to start packing our bags before we hung up the phone.

Wintry weather circumstances aside, Chris and I hopped a flight down to the Florida keys to meet and spend a few days photographing the TNC Caribbean Program Director Phil Kramer for this months cover of Nature Conservancy Magazine. How did the shoot come together? Keep reading to find out the whole story…

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photography

When you’re shooting in the islands and on the open water, there are always platy of unknown circumstances to behold – whether it’s the sea, or the weather, or any number of unique factors, you need to be well prepared with a plan A, B, and C of how you’ll attack the shoot.

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographyIn this particular instance, we knew that we needed to scout a handful of possible shoot locations the day before and roll into our shoot day with a variety of options that we could take advantage of regardless of weather, tides, water, or any other unknown possibilities.

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographySo this meant we spent an entire day on the water, cruising in-between all of the lesser known and greatly untouched keys along the Florida coast. We were searching for white sand beaches and mangrove bunches – the more obscure the better.

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photography

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographyAfter a long day on the water scouting out a ton of various options, we started at a perfect dock location in the morning, grabbing shots of Phil and his kayak before heading out onto the open water.

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographyWe spent the second half of our shoot day out in the water, shooting on remote and isolated islands in the Florida Keys.

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographyYou might be wondering how we managed to take our lighting into such extreme locations? Look no further than yours truly and the Dynalite XP800 battery unit – in this instance, housed very carefully in a backpack that I did my best to keep out of the seawater. Good thing I didn’t trip!

chris crisman the nature conservancy cuba photographyAll things considered, when you’re in the Florida Keys, it’s not a bad idea to cast a few lines and get a little bit of fishing in if you have the time. You might just nab a few grouper and bass while you’re at it – makes for a tasty dinner!

Questions? Comments? let us know your thoughts below or @crismanphoto and /crismanphoto!

One reply to “Nature Conservancy: Cuba on the Horizon”

  1. When you guys go out on a trip like this, its to shoot one person, over the course of a few days right?
    How much time do you normally spend at each location shooting vs. time spent with the subject in a given day? Do subjects typically give you all day to photograph? Or was it more of just a few hours shooting each day for 2-3 days? Its confusing…

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