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Home » Shooting Days » 2015 - .. » Comblain la Tour 2020

The first international shooting days of 2020 was delayed because of the coronavirus and the event took place in the middle of July.

We went to the same place as the last shooting days of 2019 because it's a good place. The house is nice for shootings and there is enough in the surroundings: the public parc nearby, the river, the bridge and the railroad station. The house is located at 30km from Liège, so we lose some time going to some locations. But there is a train from Liege Guillemins to Comblain la Tour and the station is just a minute walk from the house. We will go to the same location for the next shooting days in 2021.

The shooting took place in the middle of the vacation, and one would think that nobody would come. But mest people are staying in the country, there are no festivals and not much else to do. Disco's and clubs are closed. So this was the time that we had the most models (23). Some models stayed only for one day, so it was manageable. We had one german model and one from the Netherlands, there was not much motivation from the other models go invite models, they all rely on me.

Friday 17 of July

A group of models are arriving in the afternoon. A small photostudio is installed in the patio. There is a white wall that was already used last year. I don't like to use a white backdrop, but i was called again and again to change the lights, to check the remote, and so on. I had not much time to do a shooting on friday, and when i prepared a model, i was called again to change some settings.

Saturday 18 of July

Each saturday, we'll go to the university grounds. The gardens and the buildings are a good backdrop for shootings and you can play with the sun, the shadows and reflected light. For me it's the best place for shootings if the weather is fine. Afterwards we went to the Fort de la Chartreuse. It was very hot and we didn't stay for too long.

Sunday 19 of July

We'll stay at the house the sunday. The plan was that Robert would invite models to do castings for his model contest in the house. Due to the lockdown, it was not possible to organise castings at hotels: most of them were closed and the ones who were available didn't open their conference rooms where the castings are normally organised.

But there were no castings, and we went to the nearby gardens to do some shootings. Models from Liège and the surroundings come for one day. marcel is used by Robert as his private photographer to work in the studio. After more than a hundred of pictures with a simple white backdrop, it's getting very boring. And after that, he must check the pictures on his computer and retouch some of them. A normal photographer would never use a small laptop computer to retouch the images. The screen is too small and not calibrated, and the computer is much too slow to handle large files.

Monday 20 of July

Today we'll go to the sanatorium of Dolhain (also known as a preventorium). It's probably the last time that we can go there. A week before i checked the place to see if it was still accessible and i talked to the nearby residents. There is more and more junk and waste and residents are starting to complain. It's not the fault of the photographers, but the waste is dumped by the inhabitants of neighboring villages.

Back to the house in the afternoon and we do again some shootings in the studio with the white wall. I prefer to work in the other rooms of the house. I use light modifiers and color gels to make a cosy atmosphere.

Tuesday 21 of July

The national day in Belgium. We go to two stone quarries nearby, and in betwee we go to a river. There is a third stone quarry with water places, but it's used by the people living nearby and there is a lot of waste. I went there to look for opportunities, but it was not possible to work there: too much people and too much waste all over the place.

We had some luck with the planning: one week later the country went again in a lockdown-light. It was not possible to plan an event a week later. But modelling agencies were closing again (they will stay closed till the end of August).

Not a single photographer wanted to work with Robert, the president of Best Model for Belgium, a model contest. He says what the models must wear, how they must pose and don't let all the photographers work with all the models. All the pictures were taken in the small studio with the white wall, and it gets really boring (and very hot too). The photographers are not happy with the setting of his shootings: always the same studio. The photographers don't agree about the clothing style, the poses,...

But Robert stayed all time at the house and the photographers were free to work outside. If Robert would like to have a certain type of pictures, he should buy a camera, studio lights an a backdrop, a fast desktop computer and a Photoshop subscription.

But he's right on one thing: the hair style of the models. It's now the "hair up" style. It works on some models, but not with everybody. If you have a long face, it makes the face much longer and that not good. It's better to have a wild style (wet look).

And instead of using hair gel it's best to use hair wax. The hair remain flexible during the whole shoot and make it possible to change the style. Wax doesn't become liquid on heat, even when we have a heatwave.

We had a lot of models during this shooting days. Because of the planning, i could not work with all the models, but that is not so important, since most of the models are belgian and i can work later with them. I worked with the duch model, and the german one was not interesting in my portfolio. Belgian agencies are not interested in foreign models who don't have a valid work permit (most fotoshoots for work are done in France, Italy or Spain). In the advertisement business, there is no demand for people of foreign origin. Some model styles just don't work here: we have enough afghan refugiees, and they all want to become a model.

And the the weather changed completely halfway August. We had a two week long heatwave, and then we had a tempest. The summer came abruptly to an end. Ultimately it looked like we had no summer: strolling on the sea wall with a mask is not a vacation.

Shooting Days Internationaux
Comblain la Tour
juillet 2020


Saturday: Université de Liège


Sunday: Comblain la Tour


Monday: Sanatorium du Dolhain

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