— eszteranddavid —

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Tag "photo assistant"

Great to see some imagery we shot for the boys at Trick Dog bar in San Francisco being put to good use. Travel and Leisure’s current issue showcases the best bars and nightspots across the globe. When it comes to SF of course Trick Dog is right up there on top. To Scott Baird, Josh Harris, Morgan Schick, the Bon Vivants well done boys, you are the cocktail geniuses. Drinks on you next time.

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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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Many apologies about the lack of content here the last few weeks. I have kept pretty busy trying to let the wealth of information that has come my way settle in and solidify. Each week has been filled with new excursions (even at our home studio) and lessons along the way. Where do I begin?

My second week with Eszter and David was spent at the Pottery Barn studios shooting for the holiday catalog. As I expected, that week went by in the blink of an eye as I was quickly adapting to the pace of studio life. Software troubleshooting, remembering names, and learning the subtle nuances of how David likes his gear kept me on my toes all week. Not to mention trying to ensure I didn’t break a $200 fresnel lens… Not that that happened or anything.

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The next week found us in Napa Valley shooting some location work, which was a refreshing change of pace. Well, perhaps change of pace isn’t the right term, but it was indeed a pleasant change of scenery. Eating lunch under a giant oak tree with the smell of freshly tilled soil drifting through the air made it all worth it.

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Back to another catalog studio we went, to finish up the holiday catalog. Just as I thought I had some crew member names remembered, we get an entirely new team to work with which again threw me for a spin.

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This week? Some home studio time. Prepping promo material, contacting photo editors, mounting prints, and organizing.

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The team has been hard at work these past few months, shooting 14 of the last 16 weeks and in the studio for the two in between. And, unfortunately, all 14 weeks of shoots took place indoors. Houses, businesses, hotels, studios. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but as we all know, it can be quite difficult to work inside when the weather outside is so delightful. Rooms get stuffy, we get sweaty, and we’re ready for a catnap at the end of a long day. Well, I am, anyways.

But not this past week! We had the opportunity to finally do some shooting outdoors for a client of ours, and boy oh boy – what a beautiful San Francisco day it was. It was 80 degrees by 11 am, the shorts and tees were on, and the sunscreen was lathered on. I couldn’t remember the last time we were able to enjoy real sunshine while we worked.

And of course, in perfect San Francisco fashion, the weather was back to normal for the next shoot day. Cold, wet, foggy.

All that really matters, though, is that we were able to enjoy one day of warm sunshine on our faces while we happily worked.

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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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