Back in November, I’ve been asked to do a portrait shoot with Tara Mulvany for the Canoe & Kayak Magazine. A friend and colleague, Justine Curgenven was working on an interview with Tara and I’ve been recommended for the pics. Shooting an editorial magazine assignment is very rare these days so I was super excited to take on the challenge.
Tara, adventurer and kayak guide, among many other of her achievements has paddled around the South Island of her native New Zealand in winter. Barefoot.
I we’ve managed to catch her for literally a couple of hours in North Wales, just days before her next adventure, sea kayak guiding in Antarctica for five months.
Compared to commercial work, editorial assignments are such a short turnaround. You most often shoot and go to print in a matter of days or weeks rather than months. When I first started, editorial work was used to be my bread and butter, and putting money aside, I do miss the problem solving, creative flow and freedom that came with magazine assignments.
Like in the good old days everything was last minute, I was on location shooting only a couple of days after we’ve exchange emails and agreed on the details with the editorial team.
On the day, weather forecast was horrendous (rain and strong wind) therefore already when packing in the studio I’ve decided to leave behind my favourite 43” Parabolic Octa. It creates beautiful light which wraps around the subject nicely but in gale force winds it would have been unusable.
At Porth Diana it was freezing cold and huge waves were crashing over the breakwater and over onto the road. Justine being a kick ass paddler herself provided location ideas and offered to come along. It took us probably close to an hour to master up enough energy and to get ready, I thought about trying to shoot as fast as possible but since electricity and water (sea spray/rain) don’t mix well my battery pack and radio triggers were playing up. After a quick swap to light source plan B we were back in business.
Tara was barefoot and my hands were freezing.
P.S. To give you a better idea of the conditions, here’s another shot captured in a pouring rain just after Tara’s portrait and published in the Gallery section of the same issue of Canoe and Kayak featuring Justine Curgenven.