Hawaii Shoot Day Seven: The Shoot Begins

Today marks the first official shoot day for our project with Travaasa Hana. As usual, the day started early – before sunrise, for a trek to Fagan’s cross, the giant stone cross overlooking the town of Hana, Hawaii. The sunrise up here was incredible, making for great photos, the first of many in an awesome day of photography.

The entire crew made the hike up to the cross to watch the sunrise – a beautiful view and symbol to the start of a great project ahead. Everyone from Chris and our photo crew, to the team from the agency, the local producers and assistants, the clients, and even some of the hotel staff we’ve been working with all shared the sun rising over Hana with us this morning.

After the sun had made its way into the sky, we headed off the property to the Hana airport for a quick shot of the runway itself. Unlike most airports, we didn’t have to pass through any metal detectors or TSA screening to get out onto the tarmac. Chris was just lucky that no planes decided to land while he was out shooting the runway.

7:00am brought a break for breakfast, then we headed off property again to Hamoa beach in order to get some photos of the surf, sky, and atmosphere there.

Needless to say, mother nature cooperated with us, providing some waves and beautiful blue skies to photograph.

Back on property, it was really great to see everyone gearing up for the week ahead. This crew was working on a platform to do yoga by the ocean – something that we’ll be photographing later in the week. We can’t wait to see how it turns out – stay tuned.

Since today was one of the shoot days that did not involve models, we had more of a flexible schedule, allowing for Chris and the team to work through a number of shots. Tomorrow, for example, we are photographing models participating in a horseback riding class – so we took some time to day to grab extra photos of the horses in their pasture. The beauty of a day like today is that we can work to make photos that aren’t originally planned or specified. It’s a bonus for everyone.

Our most challenging shoot of the day was the last shot – an epic evening photo of the pool and surrounding area at the resort. Getting the shot presented the unique challenge of getting the camera about 15 feet off the ground. With our first setup (which you can see our assistant Jeff working on above), we just couldn’t get enough height.

Always ready, our producer, Matu sprung into action and grabbed the necessary materials to make it happen. Check out that one-handed golf cart driving skill.

After some serious rigging, we finally got it set. The camera was in position, Chris was in position, our producers Sky and Matu were holding the rig steady and literally holding Chris’s belt in place. Last but not least, mother nature cooperated as well with a beautiful sunset, and the shot – along with our first day of shooting was complete. All in all, a great start to a great project.