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Home » Shooting Days » List of events » Septembre 2012

Each year, BMA organises two international shooting days events. We went to the Pas-de-Calais region of France. It's quite a good location with a central position, good communication with other countries and it's only one hour drive from home. While it's only one hour drive from Belgium, the region is completely different, and when the weather is fine it's like you are on the Côte d'Azur.

One of the main advantages of the Shooting Days is that the models are already on location and the photographers don't need to pick them up at different locations. It's all about photoshoots, not driving from one pic-up place to the other. Less stress, and that's quite important for a succesfull photoshoot.

This time, it was not only about photoshoots, but the photographers took also some time for themselves. For instance, we went to different museums in the region and we've made a sea trip from Boulogne-sur-Mer. The region is much associated with the second world war. While the landing took place in Normandy, this is the region that suffered most from the war. The aim of Operation Fortutude was to induce the germans into thinking that the allied landing would take place in this region, and that the landing is Normandy was just a decoy to lure the soldiers out of the North region before the real invasion. To archieve this goal, the region was extensively bombarded, more than any other region of France.

The North (département du Nord and département du Pas-de-Calais) was also a special region for the german. Firstly, it was the first region invaded by the germans in may 1940. Most of the allied troops were encircled in a region between the belgian border and Dunkirk, and the german advance was delayed for some weeks to be able to destroy the encircled troops. The river Somme was the frontier between the german troops and what was left over from the french army.

After the germans invaded the rest of the France, the North region was still a special region. It was removerd from France and it was a purely military zone with nearly no civilian local gouvernement. The aim was to connect the region with the Flanders region: at that time there was still a large minority of dutch speaking people in the North (the region was part of Flanders, until it was invaded by some french king or emperor).

We went to “La Coupole” one of the most impressive museums about the second world war, Mimoyecques (the underground museum about the german V3 guns, le “Canon de Londres” as it's called here) and le musée de la mémoire 39-45 in Calais.

The best time for a photoshoot is during sunrise and sunset (the “golden hour”), that's why it's important to have the photographers and models on location.

The house we rent each year is situated 500 metres from the sea (there is nearly no beach there, but mostly cliffs). The house is called la “Ferme des quatre vents” and is situated between Audinghen and Audresselles. You don't need a car to go to the beach, but of course a car is very handy to bring all the stuff to the shooting location at the cliffs. We don't need a navigation system anymore, but we can drive to any location in the region, like the residents. One location that can be used at sunrise and sunset is situated just on the opposite side of the road. Its one of the three big bunkers from OT (Organisation Todt).

It's not because we go each year to the location, that we don't look for new opportunities. We've found a really interesting location nearby Boulogne-sur-Mer. It's the old hoovercraft terminal between France and England. It was put out of service when the Eurotunnel went into operation. Besides, the hoovercraft shuttle being very expensive was never quite profitable. I hope the french won't remove this terminal before we had an opportunity to do a photoshoot there, because it's really a special location: a ferry terminal on the beach and a concrete landing pad.

Belgium Model Academy works only with male models, but this time we changed and allowed couple to stay for a week-end. Working with couples is totally different as working with a group of male models. The couples tend to isolate themselves from the rest of the group, and that's not good. And it's not the first time that a couple separated after a Shooting fay event. These are the reasons why we don't like to work with couples.

Being a model means you like being in the spotlight, being social, working with other people. It's the aim of BMA to help those people. But if you think being a model is just about getting a lot of money, you're completely wrong. Most male models do this for fun, not for the money. There is only room for some 200 male models in Belgium.

Part of the time spend with the models is used to help the models with their portfolio, how to create an internet presence (a simple facebook profile is not enough). We give the models a list of real model agencies (not the fake ones, those who offer some teaching, some shooting, and a place in a catalog for up to 1000€)

Three models and two couples and two photographers were present at these Shooting Days.

We'll go back to this region for an single day event in the spring of 2014 and for a weeklong stay in 2015. In between, we'll go to Germany (Bonn) in the summer of 2014 and to the Netherlands in the fall of 2014.

France 2012

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