Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A new direction: Cruise Photographer Training in Croatia

Hi! I haven't kept up my blog because last week was the start of something very new and exciting for me, and it will change the direction and motivation of this blog.

However my blog, when I started it, I called it "My photographer's journey" and the intention behind that was to drive myself to do whatever it takes to improve my photography and make it my career.

I am delighted to say I am now employed as a professional photographer for the Image Group who are the largest photography concession on cruise ships. And last week they sent me to Croatia for an intensive week of training.

The only down side to this job is that I am no longer a 'Manchester Photographer'. I've been turning down wedding jobs for a while now, I don't think I'll be around for any SMAOS shows or Pride and I am sad about that as I was just starting to get really well established.

A New Direction

So my journey has changed direction slightly but I still very much intending to keep blogging as a nice way to keep those who want to know what I'm doing up to date.

Welcome to my blog about being a cruise ship photographer!

So training. Last week I flew to Zagreb in Croatia. There was 6 of us from Manchester, a few more from London and one from Scotland. Once there we discovered we were also training with others from all over Europe (Spain, Italy, Ukraine, local Croatians and more). 34 in total. Here's a picture of all of us:

Training was all day Tuesday to Saturday in a conference room in the hotel above (we stayed in a prison like hostel near by) where we learned everything from environmental policies to shop selling, staff hierarchy, GREAT customer service and life onboard. Generally we did all the dull presentation/video watching stuff in the mornings and practical stuff in the afternoon.

We practiced the three major photographing scenarios; dinning room, gangway and portraits. The portrait studios also involve some complicated setting up so we were taught that as well as shooting and posing practice.

I have very good idea of what the job involves now which is helpful. It's going to be hard work but the people are what make it. During our intensive training week I've met some fantastic people and there's a chance I may be posted to a ship with some of them!

The week inevitably, although long days, also involved long nights of partying! We went into central Zagreb twice and what I saw was lovely but it was always dark. On the last day we had a mini exam to see what had learned (really easy) and an interview to discuss ship possibilities. Ready to let off steam and an early finish, the last night was the best with Jager Bombs at 4pm, Pizza around 7pm then into Zagreb for more drinking. My flight home involved getting up at 5am (extreme clock changing complications occurred there) so we left maybe 12ish but got horribly lost on public transport and once back at the hostel I was persuaded into staying up and watching Blue Planet (of all randomness!) because I had this week to recover!! I flew home on 3 hours sleep.

So recovering is what I am doing. No news on my ship yet, waiting and moving back to live with my mum is weird but I'm ready for this. Bring it on!

If I'm still here I might get around to doing the photostory of the last wedding I did before I go. More updates to follow. And if there's something you want to know that I haven't mentioned please comment.

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