So yeah ive been a bit
busy and quite frankly not had a spare moment to think let alone write about anything in particular.
However finally I have a few hours to spare to once again bore you with my
random thoughts and photos from my travels.
Here we have my first instalment from my tour coverage of the one original superstar Dj – Mr Paul Oakenfold. Now many of you familiar with my work know I have worked on many a show with Paul in London or even recently at Creamfields and also been the guy behind some of his recent press campaigns. Yet this was to be my first experience of road life. First things first I have never been to Bangkok before or flown long haul outside of Europe for many a year and with me being such a tall freak of nature sitting on a plane for many an hour is something I really dread (especially if I don’t get my precious space to stretch my legs).
Well I managed to get that one issue sorted on the way out so I was pleased that I could at least have some form of comfort for the 12 odd hours I was going to be flying. The next task is trying to pack my camera kit into hand luggage, now I tend to carry a lot of kit to gigs but my main bag simply doesn’t fit carry on regulations and so I have to be a bit creative. Although to begin with as you can see packing was pretty uninspiring.
So anyway the trip – It was something a bit different to a normal show, with it being an event about promoting future talent in the music industry. The event (DJLAB2013) has been put together by the W-Hotel group and I have to say they have really invested a lot of time and effort into creating something very inspiring. Paul was on board as a mentor to 6 future stars who won competitions run by W, and on top of a meet and greet and question an answering session he was there to headline the main show at the W-Bangkok. Now from my time spent with Paul I know that he is really passionate about helping others in the industry and so this was something he was really looking forward to.
I arrived the night before Paul so my first call was to explore my surroundings. Despite the fact that the hotel isn’t slap bang in the middle of Bangkok I found myself instantly immersed in life there, with fantastic light to work with and some really interesting details that caught my eye. In only a short period of time I grabbed some shots I really couldn’t wait to send over for the various social media feeds.
Welcome to Bangkok - Airport to hotel including rush hour traffic..
The wonderful room at W Bangkok
Around the area
My rooms view at night - Glorious.
The following morning Paul arrived and really this day was just a chance for us both to recover from the long flight and prepare for the gig, however I did still head out to explore again in the daylight and grabbed some more of the street based portraits I really have started to really enjoy shooting since my trip to Berlin. Oh yeah and I also ended up shooting the city from the hotels roof. Now this I might add would be fine for many people, but I hate heights and I hate climbing vertical ladders with cameras hanging off me to get to said heights even more. Thankfully though I think my panic was worth it with the main image I grabbed whilst trying not to collapse into big nervous wreck.
Sound checking the grand hall with Paul
So show day is now here, and its quite a long day ahead for us. We have
the mentoring session, followed by press interviews, followed by some social
time and then the gig (and somewhere in here 30mins for Paul to catch some of
his beloved Chelsea at least). The mentoring and media session took place
inside a conference room in the hotel and it was pretty standard in terms of
shooting, I wanted to show Paul interacting with the group and also try and
incorporate some of the branding for W. However there was one thing that was
quite embarrassing and that was the fact that out of all of the photographers
about I had to be the guy with the heftiest shutter mechanism making noise in
what was a very peaceful room. ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Oh and then I fell over a bin
when trying to sneak around.
Paul and the winners
With that done and dusted ill fast forward to the show. A show where I was also looking after Paul, and so was in the rather strange situation of having to not take photos for a while whilst I monitored all of the media there making sure that they didn’t get a bit intense and spoil the show. This was great as when that had been cleared it was my time to shoot, only the lovely overhead light on Paul was now gone and so I had a slightly different lighting set up to get what I needed. Still im used to working in tough light and really get a buzz out of the challenge of this and Paul is good fun to work around.
With the show done and dusted I could relax a bit and head down the following day to the final event of the weekend the pool party. Probably the best sight I have ever seen was bubbles blowing everywhere and people jumping into the pool fully clothed just having a laugh.
Finally it brings me onto my final outing in Bangkok, where I spent the day really trying to get to grips with what makes this city tick. I wanted to show the culture, the history and the people in their day to day lives, and thus spent the afternoon up and down the river at temples, markets and anything that looked especially interesting to explore with a camera.
Firstly I have to say a huge thank you to the W group for having us, for a first time on the road with Paul things could not have gone better. A swift pick up from the airport to a great room and food that meant I was perfectly rested to focus on the job in hand of shooting the show and the city. All the staff in the hotel were utterly brilliant whilst those from head office who were there as part of the who product were a joy to work alongside, with a big shout out to Alyssa from head office for keeping me company when wandering the streets for many an hour shooting.