— eszteranddavid —

Tag "australia"

I feel really privileged that we have been commissioned to photograph 3 x QT Hotel properties within the last 12 months. That good fortune continued recently when we ventured back to Queensland, Australia and the famed Surfers Paradise strip. The QT Gold Coast was our latest project we’ve collaborated on. “Nostalgic surfer chic meets Miami  catwalk cool” reads  the banner line introducing the hotel website. With that as a temptation, I was sure a good shoot would materialize. Here’s just a small sample of imagery we produced. View our website for more from the shoot. Check out their Instagram #qt_hotels #qtgoldcoast #qtlife

Again I had the opportunity to travel with great mate and creative collaborator Tom Hood, who just makes life and shooting so much easier, I am forever grateful to have him on board for these crazy hospitality shoots that run to no convention timing schedule. Thanks for your flexibility mate. BTS below.

Point break waves on approach to Surfers Paradise…..

Sand and surf for miles.

Essential production vehicle.

Good morning elevator.

Beach patrol.

A long way down.


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I guess to me the best assignments are the one s that find us not only back home in Australia, but better still see me on assignment in my home town of Melbourne, Australia. Such was the case on my December jaunt, and assignment for the QT Hotel chain, one of my favorite clients of all time! There simply is no better client to work for than the Managing Director of Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited, the enigmatic Mr David Seargeant, an industry legend and all around great guy. Very seldom are you given the brief of, “just do what you do – I know ‘ll love what I get”. Seems simple enough but the psychology that runs far deeper, Mr Seargeant  always throws out the gauntlet to make each new shoot even better than the last, and therefore we always dig a little deeper. In this case it meant running a few 16 – 20 hours shifts to achieve what we were chasing. On assignment at a fully operational hotel running at 100% is always a mighty challenge but one that we revel in. Here’s just a glimpse of what we were able to achieve.










Thanks for the faith yet again David Seargeant and to all on premise at QT Melbourne for go the extra few yards with us. Look forward to continuing the fertile relationship.



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Just came across this clever reworking of some of our imagery shot last year for QT Hotel in Sydney, Australia. It felt a little weird to  stumble upon this the day I sent a bid to another hotel client In Indonesia, and just prior to us jetting off to Bali for stage 2 of the Double-Six Hotel project.

Check it out here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqOd7TCW_sE

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QT Hotel video



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Eszter and David are a different breed of human beings. Seriously, though. Take their work ethic: long days on the job followed by shorter nights, hours and hours of precise retouching, client meetings, marketing campaigns, open studios – plus add two young children to the mix (what I would deem a train wreck waiting to happen), they greet with a smile from ear to ear. Or the way they confront crises, manage chaos, or deal with adverse situations and predicaments – their logical and rational solutions appear effortlessly and seem almost too easy to comprehend, whereas most others would melt into puddles of anger and defeat. Even menial tasks – organizing equipment, updating websites, printing portfolio pages – are met with a kind of determination I’ve never encountered.

I would constantly ask myself: how do they do it? Do they get more sleep than I do? That’s not possible, they have two young girls. Is it the Vegemite they eat? I tried it, it didn’t work. I just couldn’t figure out what it is that makes them conquer life the way they do.

But then, on a recent trip back to their native Australia for a job, I finally figured it out: they’re Australian. Seems almost too simple. Seems like I should have arrived at this conclusion awhile ago, but I was never really exposed to many other Australians before, and the ones I had been around were high as kites living in Amsterdam during my year abroad. But on this two week trip all my questions were finally answered.

After walking around downtown Sydney within the first few hours of my arrival, I quickly noticed that everyone walked just like them: brisk, and with purpose. Every move calculated, every next step already figured out 20 steps ago. Aha! That’s why it feels like I’m sprinting every time I walk with them. Time to pick up the pace then.

Eszter and David, and even their daughters, always seem to come up with an new nickname for me – Jonut, Jones, Joey, Joney, J. When meeting one of their good friends we were to be working the job with, he says to me: “What’s your name? John? Oh, Jonah? Johno!” and the name has stuck with me since. Even running through the airport to catch our plane, the woman over the loudspeaker says: “Passenger Podbereski, Johno, please report to gate 39.” Everyone in Australia has a nickname for everyone and everything else, showing a certain playfulness and cheeriness among interaction that seems often nonexistent here in the states. David has recently become “Uncle Dave” due to the pair of reading glasses he just purchased.

Even the dialogue between employer and employee was so playful that it seemed as though it was one massive group of friends working together. If one worker made a mistake, there was a competition between the others to see who could come up with the funniest joke about his error; and that makes so much sense now. When I make a mistake, David might say something along the lines of: ‘Mate, come on now, my 3 year old daughter could do that with her eyes closed,’ and so on. In the beginning I often wondered why I was the subject of such ridicule, but now I see, and I make sure to retaliate with another joke whenever he messes up.

Or take the fact that everyone is just so naturally friendly. They often go out of their way to help or say hello. Because we shot the hotel over a period of two weeks, we befriended a large portion of the staff. The head of housekeeping, security guards, front desk workers, restaurant servers, even the head of the corporation constructing the hotel – almost all were on a first name basis by our departure. After taking our luggage carts downstairs, the hotel manager and food and beverage manager for the corporation – men dressed in nice, expensive suits – helped heave our 15 pieces of brick-heavy luggage into the cabs, only after running halfway into the busy street flagging them down for us. Who does that?

Well, as I’ve concluded, the Australians do. After getting back to the states, Eszter and David asked me how I enjoyed being in Sydney. “Well,” I said, “it all makes sense now.” I feel as though I’ve finally figured them out, which in a way has made my job all the more difficult now, having to be one step ahead of these super humans. But, it’s a challenge I’m up for, and I welcome it with a smile.

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