May 2015 – Shooting on the coast of Almeria, Andalucia, Spain
Michelle is working on location in the southeastern corner of the Iberian peninsula in the sun-baked province of Almeria. This Spanish province has the highest hours of sunshine and lowest rainfall in Europe. In 1996, Michelle carried out a six month assignment for the Spanish government, photographing the whole of the Almeriense coastline, her return almost two decades later has a lot of Déjà vu moments and fond memories to capture Almeria once again on camera.
Almeria city, the ancient port located at the extreme south-eastern tip of Andalucia, is wonderfully timeless, with vintage shops selling fans and mantones (shawls), and old-fashioned bars which are another world, another era, away from the gastro bar scene of Malaga and Seville; where your bills is chalked up on the wooden bar top, and foreigner visitors are a novelty.
But while the gastronomic aspect of Almeria is firmly traditional, the cultural side is moving apace – the art scene in booming, with new museums and interpretation centres opening; and many historic buildings, including the Alcazar, are being restored. So many subjects to photograph, so little time!
And here lies the headquarters of photography in Andalucía – the CAF (Centro Andaluz de la Fotografia), directed by Pablo Juliá, who has a background in journalism, graphic design and photography. Pablo has a sound understanding of the art of photography. Michelle had the opportunity to chat and with Pablo, who lives and breathes photography – the perfect man for the post.
The Museum of Almeria also has a very dynamic director, Arturo Pino, and all the museum staff share one thing in common: Arturo’s enthusiasm and pride in his workplace. Miguel, who has worked at the museum for almost four decades, exuded enthusiasm as he showed us around. The museum is very interactive, each floor representing a specific period in history, from the prehistoric to the modern age; as you ascend the floors, you are advancing in time chronologically. At this museum the staff have their finger right on the social media pulse – they have earned exceptional ratings on Trip Advisor, and respond to tweets in milliseconds.
After meeting two key players in the Almeriense art world, Pablo Julio from the CAF and Arturo Pino from the Museum of Almeria, both of whom are 100% committed to their institutions, you can see that this passion and dedication resonates throughout their team. For Michelle, the whole experience was a breath of fresh air.
The story of the Ice Bucket Challenge in Luxury Hotel Photography
One classic iconic luxury hotel image is chilled champagne in an ice bucket. It’s inevitable that the champers will creep its way into almost every luxury hotel shot list. There is a lot more to shooting a bottle of chilled champagne in its ice bucket than meets the eye. But with a little planning and preparation, you can get a wonderful shot which will enhance the hotel’s image and tempt the viewer to come and enjoy a glass of fizz in those beautiful, elegant surroundings.
Tips and thoughts on ice bucket photography can be read in Michelle’s blog post here.