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Home » Shooting Days » List of events » France, June 2011

This is one of our typical Shooting Days events. There were 3 photographers and 6 models present. It was also one of our most sucessful Shooting Days events.

Shooting Days France june 2011

Ludo was only present for one day, but he'll come back in 2014, some three years later.
The first Shooting Days events were small size events. They happened some 10 years ago and the only way to connect with models and fellow photographers was via specialised websites. It was the beginning of Model Mayhem.

From 2008 on, the organisation took a more professional approach, we used first the name DAP Models Academy and changed the name to Belgium Model Academy in 2011 when we became a registerd organisation. At that time, we had great plans to organise shootings, provide catwalk opportunities, and so on.

This international shooting day event was typical in many aspects: it was held in the Pas-de-Calais, one of the region we use the most for our shootings. Secondly, there was an international collaboration, and that is the principal aspect of the Shooting Days. And lastly there were different groups of models and photographers working together on a single project. Most of the photoshoots themselves were one-to-one (one model and one photographer).

The house we rented was very nice and located at Samer. When i saw the advertisement on the internet, i saw there was a fitness room and an mini footbal room. However, the house is situated at one hour drive from the beach and most of the places where the shootings did take place.

There were two different crews, with a swap halfway, so the usage of the house is maximalised and the stay for each model (3 days) is just fine: not too long (they'll get bored) and not too short (not enough time). If you think that 3 days working with a model is a long period, one should remember that each day there were 3 models present, so practically each photographer worked for one day with his model.

may 31

The models and the photographer arrived at night. It was quite a long driving from the middle of France.

Fron day one we introduced good eating habits with a traditional english breakfast in the morning with eggs and bacon. The advantage of an english breakfast is that the models can work till past midday (and then the sun is too strong to get acceptable pictures). At noon, we go eating to some “Brasserie”, the typical french restaurant. The selection of foods is limited, but the service is fast and the prices are right. We only eat at home in the evening. There was a barbecue on the last day.

Of course we got to one of our favorite location first: the Pointe de la Crèche between Terlincthun and Boulogne-sur-Mer. There are lot of shooting opportunities at this place overlooking the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer and the Cap Griz-Nez, but it's also possible to go down to the beach and use the remnants of old fortifications. Both the french (before world war II) and the germans (during world war II) build a lot of diverse bunkers in the region.

Eating is at “Le Dauphin” in Ambleteuse. We always go eating there when we are in the region and we have a good relation with the owner. Three time a week we'll drop in with 10 persons for a quick meal at noon. Its was a very nice restaurant, but now there is a new owner and the style is completely different. I don't like it anymore, it's too much a "restaurant" and not a "brasserie" anymore.

The models are tired, they add to drive for a long distance. The fitness room is not used (and it will never be used by the french models).

june 1st

We planned a photoshoot session in Boulogne-sur-Mer, but somehow we didn't find right places for the shooting. The port is build arond the river "Liane", and my plan was to organise a shooting at the water. We continued our trip to the seafront.

A year later, i found a really neat location nearby. It is the old hoovercraft terminal to Great Brittain. It was put out-of-service after Eurotunnel was build. The hoovercraft ferry has never been profitable. I hope the french will not demolish the old terminal on the beach. Its a remnant of things past. The port of Boulogne-sur-Mer is not doing well after the closure of Comilog, the blast furnace at the sea front. Its was somehow an odd furcace, producing ferromanganese instead of pig iron. The plant was ideally located nearby the sea (like the blast furnaces at Dunkirk), but there was no room for expansion, and a blast furnace without further processing plants can never be profitable because you have to reheat the iron.

There was a lot of sun, and i overexposed some picture to enhance this effect.

We went eating at the Thalassa. I can't recommend this restaurant. If you look at the restaurant, you will see there are nearly no locals eating there: a sure sign the food is not good.

We went to our second big location, the castle on the beach and the river Slack at Ambleteuse. It's possible to make a fotoshoot in the water, at the bunkers and on the beach.

There was a small shooting in the evening, but the weater was becoming cold (too cold in fact for the french model who came from the south of the country).

Showtime with Michiel and Erik's:
Mathieu is a new nodel

june 2

Photoshoot in a bunker near Audresselles (Bois d'haringzelle). This small woodland was erected by the germans during world war II to protect their guns and bunkers. One of the bunkers is now a musea about the second world war (of course...), the second is half-demolished and the trird is used by photographers ans tourists.

The guns in the bunkers were able to reach England (the port of Dover), but not to reach the ships travelling in the Détroit de Calais (the Channel). When the weather is fine you can see the English coastline (it looks just like the french coast, with white cliffs made of limestone).

This afternoon, we planned a little rest and a visit to the musea (it's a small musea, not too boring for the models, and we can use the guns and other attributes on the site). After some time, we are aware that the models don't pose naturally, even after two days of intensive shooting. We use one of the belgian models to provide for a makeshift mode show and we are able to get decent pictures at last.

Michiel's show

In the evening we go back to the castle at the beach for a sunset photoshoot. The next time we'll rent a house nearby the waterfront.

We had planned to go to Le Crotoy (at the Somme river), but it will be for next time. The models only stay for three days, and we want to make as much photoshoots as planned. When there is one week available, we can go to locations further away or do some sightseeing.

june 3

A single shooting in the morning because this set of models is leaving in the afternoon. We go to a nearby river (La Course) for a watershoot. After that, a shooting in the bathroom where the models can warm up.

The second team is arriving in the evening. Three models and one photographer.

june 4

There is only one complete shooting day so we go directly to our best places: the Pointe de la Crèche in the morning and the castle on the beach in Ambleteuse in the afternoon.

There are three new models. One had already participated at a model contest, but he is still too tense. And he looses his concentration when another model is nearby. It's not a lack of interest or motivation, au contraire, but it will take one day to get him loose enough for a good photoshoot.

The second model had already done some shoots with us, and for him it's a sort of routine. However he has a very annoying habbit of triyng to teach the other models. Leave that to the photographers, please. When he's alone, he's fine, but when he's with other models he is just annnoying.

The third model could make it as a model: he has the correct size (important for catwalk, less for photo-models) and a boy-next-door-look that is in high demand.

To get the models loose for the photoshoot, i make them jump and run. Static poses are of importance in the studio, but dynamic poses are more important outdoor.

The international Shooting Days are a collaborative event, where each participant share his load of duties. The photographer for the week end is used to staying at the hotel where there is room service and the rooms are cleaned each day. But this is not an hotel and he's expected to do some of the duties.

The atmosphere is totally different: now its every man for himself, and that's not what i have in mind for the Shooting Days. I will have a lot of cleaning to do on the last day...

Photoshoot in the fields nearby. We use some haystacks as geant photoshoot accessory. The second photographer takes his models to one direction, leaving me alone. When the models are free, there is not enough light anymore...

5 june

Another photoshoot in the haystacks nearby. There is always a studio set (flashlights) for an indoor shoot with good lightning conditions. The second photographer uses my sleeping room as photostudio and i'm locked out.

After eating, the second group of models are leaving quite abruptly, leaving me alone to do the cleaning. It will take me more than two hours to remove the trash. The second photographer was not invited anymore...

France, June 2011

In the evening: checking the pictures of the day

1er juin 2011

2 juin 2011

3 juin 2011

4 juin 2011

5 juin 2011

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