May 27th 2010 I was commissioned and flown to Italy this month to shoot some commercial work for Podere Gli Scassi, an organic olive farm in Northern Tuscany. The owner, Lars, has been a long time friend of mine since back when we were in flight school getting our pilot's licenses (see it's always who ya know, right?). The business needed new advertising photos for their website and brochures that go all over Europe. They have won awards for the quality and natural growing process of their oil, and the taste is above anything you've ever tasted. I encourage anyone to buy a bottle of their award-winning, healthy oil, and use it on pasta, pizza, salads, anything where pure extra-virgin olive oil is good.
I also shot some advertising work for rental properties in the Tuscany area. There are these absolutely beautiful places that anyone can rent for a week or however long you like, and they are situated in some of the most gorgeous countryside you've ever seen (more on how you can visit these places in a future post). Although being in Italy is a vacation in itself, I didn't find myself lounging around. On any average day, I was up before sunrise, and the latest I ever slept was 7 am. The best times to shoot are in the morning and evening, so I planned my days around best shoot times had to be ready when it was time to go. Some areas could only be shot during certain times of day, because of the hillsides and sun angles, I had to be there when I could get the best light. Then, the weather was also a factor. It was beautiful most days, but sometimes we would get set up to shoot a location, and a huge cloud would come over and last for a couple of hours. By the time it let the sun back through, the scene was in shadow. So we try again tomorrow.
The time there was so educational, and I felt more familiar since it was my second trip to Italy. My travels took me from Tuscany to Rome and Milan, and back to Tuscany. The people are just so helpful and friendly, and of course the food is some of the best anywhere. I would encourage anyone going there to at least learn some basic Italian, because they respect that you will try and most of them are happy to help you in English once you've reached the limits of what you know in Italian.
I also shot model comp cards for agencies and models in Rome and Milan, and will post up more about that in my next couple of posts. I tried for the most part to avoid taking tourist photos, and therefore shot things that represented where I was and the stories of the real lives of the people who live there. There are some tourist photos mixed in, just to document the location.
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