Friday, 19 November 2010

Cruise Ship Photography: An Update


It's 11.40pm here on my ship somewhere between Jamacia and Ft Lauderdale (but nearer Jamacia as it's 24 hours before we arrive back at Ft Lauderdale) and we have just finished for the evening. I apologise for mis spellings and incoherance, I just really wanted to post an update.

It's looking like keeping my blog up to date is going to be virtually impossible due to time. The cruise I am only just does short trips and in order to hit targets we are photographing all the time. The friends I made in Croatia have also started going to their ships and it's interesting to see snippets on Facebook as it sounds like every ship is very different and I definately have a bit of a raw deal here however with being so busy I also don't have the time to think about whether I hate it as others do.

I'm in a team of 13, 10 photogs, 2 assitant managers and the buisness manager. It's a good size I think but there's only two other girls and they leave in the next couple of weeks so I have no girls to talk to which I'm really missing!! However bonus of this is I currently have my cabin on my own, this is great for me but I know it won't last!!

So my ship does short cruises and this is how it goes as best I can describe...
On Embarkation day people start arriving around 11am so at 9am ish we get together our studio set ups to take them off the boat and into the terminal. We shoot everyone we can (ship holds 3000 people) as they arrive between 11am and 4pm (we do get a lunch break!). Take the studios down, go to the lab to upload the pictures. In the evening of embarkation day we shoot casual dinner in two sittings finishing with the gallery closing at 11pm.

The next day is always formal dinner day. We start early by putting out the pictures taken the previous day. Then we have shifts in the gallery (basically shop work). So then formal evening starting at 5pm we have 7 studios open around the ship and we shoot the two sittings of dinner in the breaks of studio time so there are no real breaks. Our manager brings water/coke and cookies to keep us going. The evening always finishes gone 12pm and then we have pizza brought to the gallery.

The next day is always a port so having got to bed 1am ish we have to be ready to shoot gangway at 7.30am. We look after our own camera etc so you have to get up to put that together. And today some of the guys had to dress as pirates so you have to get up with enough time to do that. So 6 hours sleep if you're lucky then out onto a port getting in the shots for the gangway target as people leave the ship. At around 11.30am we'll be done and then port day is our time, who cares if we've had no sleep!

So last week port day was Cozumel, Mexico. Some of my team hired a jeep and we bought supplies from a supermarket and then drove round the island to where the beaches are stunning and ate and swan etc. It was amazing and it's turtle season and we met some conservation people and they showed us the baby turtles in the sand, soooo cute! Today we were in Jamica and we when for a team lunch to Mageritaville (a mental bar) and I had rum poured down my neck! Port days- definately make it all worth while.

However port day evening we're running studios and the gallery again. I was shooting a studio using a chair prop tonight for the first time (I've mastered normal standing!) I think it when ok. And I'm writing this blog from the lab which is the last stop before bed for me. Those manning the gallery will be shutting it down.

Tomorrow, last day of the cruise its all hands to the gallery to sell, sell, sell everything we've photographed. I'm not on until 12 actually so finally some sleep tonight, hence the blogging!

For a 5 day cruise we're missing a day and that's another port day except not. We go to a Royal Caribbean private resort, Laberdee, Haiti. Everyone there is from our ship so no time off, we have to go round annoying people for photographs. This is my least favourite thing so far! And we shoot dinner again, more studios in the evening etc on the extra day.

So that's pretty much everything I'm doing for the next 6 months. There's a load of other things going on, particularly lab based stuff that'll I'll learn as and when but that structure always applies.

Did I mention I don't even have my full uniform yet! Argh!

So it's crazy and I'm tired and I don't think I've ever taken so many pictures but I'm good and I will try to find a wifi point on land at somepoint so I can use my own laptop and share some pictures with you!

For my friends reading this please send me emails or facebook messages. Just about pointless things, I just need the escape of thinking about normal life! I can't believe the SMAOS christmas concert is cancelled!!

Bye for now :)

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