After 5 fantastic years of employment with Adobe Stock, I was able to take advantage of one of the many fantastic benefits Adobe offers...a one month sabbatical. No email, no phone calls...a month away from the computer in which I can do whatever I want. I haven't had that much time off at once since I was 14 years old!
What did I do with my time off from Adobe Stock? Well, I shot thousands of photos and videos to submit to Adobe Stock of course!
For the first two weeks of my sabbatical I traveled to the French Polynesian islands of Moorea and Bora Bora. What? It's a tough job shooting stock, but someone has to do it!
Of course, shooting stock of general scenery is fine but to make better money with your travel photography, it's ideal to have images showing people. I decided that rather than approach strangers or hire models on the islands I would bring a model with me.
Before leaving on the trip, I did some virtual recon of scenic locations. Belvedere lookout was the obvious choice on Moorea so that was our ultimate destination.
While landscapes aren't my bread and butter when it comes to stock sales, I still love capturing images of beautiful locations...having them available for licensing as stock is an added bonus to the memories the photos provide.
We were truly overwhelmed by the beauty of the island as we worked our way around it in search of the humpback whales.
There were many small motus (islands) surrounding Moorea. My mind often drifted in imagination wondering what it would be like to be stuck on one for a long period of time. I'll have to ask my shrink about that I guess.
It didn't seem to be a hard life for the birds of Moorea. The water is so clear you can see fish pretty much everywhere you look.
We weren't there to see the island or the birds though...we were searching for whales and it was not looking like we were going to find them after several hours.
We lost track of them for a moment until we noticed a massive white shape directly adjacent to the boat. They had come right up to us!
"Beautiful" one person exclaimed. "Wowwww!" others said in unison. "ISO 100, 1/1,000 at F11 I muttered to myself. Thinking about what keywords I would use to make my images easier to find by Adobe Stock customers.
"whale, humpback, spray, animal, ocean, marine, mammal, animal, large, giant, wildlife, tropical, blue, water, travel, adventure, French Polynesia, Tahiti" I shouted with excitement. "Uh yeah, we know" the other passengers said with annoyance. Lea had her hand on her forehead and was shaking her head back and forth for some reason. I was concerned she was getting seasick.
The next words I heard I wasn't processing at first. It almost sounded as though the captain was shouting "Jump In!"
Wait...that is what he was shouting. What? Lea looked up in disbelief...."Seriously? More work?" She said.
I smiled, strapped on the snorkel mask and my GoPro, then pushed her in hoping she could swim (for the record, that was a joke).
I shot more video than I did photos while having my mind blown by these magnificent creatures. They started below us but as you can see in the video linked above, they very quickly came up to the surface to check out the tourists. It was at that moment, I had a dramatic flashback to a previous stock photo of mine and concern crept into my mind.
I must have really gotten through to Lea how important it was to know this was a work trip and not a vacation! I couldn't believe I didn't even have to ask her to put on a swimsuit and get into the water for our first photo shoot.
That is true dedication to the task at hand right there. So selfless. A true, hard-working model if there ever was one.
I'd like to say that at this point I went to the gym to lift weights, followed by a jog around the island and a 2 mile swim. If I did say that however, it would be a bold-faced lie. I am sharing images of myself with my shirt off in this presentation so there is really no point to me pretending. The proof is in the pudding as they say. Or in my case, the extra serving of pudding.
I had gone for a short walk to scout locations for more photos.