Todo o nada (All or Nothing), again with the adventure to explore our talents by taking them to their limits. This time, as intended, went further than our first practice. I went out and search for a team that I had never worked with before or met. I wanted to pursue a new challenge and something that would take me outside of the box, a challenge that would put me out of my comfort zone. This time around, on Todo o Nada – Part 2, it gave challenging and surprising challenges from left and right that, for a moment, almost thought it wasn’t going through. A project that took three months to prepare. A project that ended being outside of my city, to include out of the country, the project took place near the beach at Mira Mar Guaymas, Sonora, México. Todo o Nada consists of creating art in the form of photography.
To begin, I’d first needed to establish a team. A team that I could have confidence in working with and a team that is not afraid of commitment and hard work. A group of individuals who strive to be different and, like me, not scared of taking risks. Searching for a team was not going to be an easy task, so I immediately begin the search and rely on social media to start looking for potential candidates. I had some friends in that area, and it became beneficial to start getting some names. In less time than I predicted had my team ready. I acquire Alicia Valencia, one of the popular models in the area, as one of the models and my assistant. She also helped in finding the rest of the talent.
In conclusion, we gather five models, two fashion designers, two makeup artists, and a hairstylist. Like before, everyone on the team committed to their contribution. Fashion designers were in charge of designs, cosmetic artists for makeup, and so forth. Now, to get everyone on the same page, I’ve explained my vision and the outcome and what everyone could gain from it.
The next part of the project was to show everyone my ideas, artistic direction, and outcome. I did this to start having a sense of direction and see if anyone had similar or different ideas. Brainstorming at this stage is crucial for me since I like to see everyone’s input. It also helps to expand my vision of the project because I see other opinions. By looking at other ideas, it allows me to keep my mind open and see different alternatives. Now, the next part is to start planning for the session.
Scheduling for the shoot. This task may seem simple, but having many people involved makes it hard to work around. Everyone has different schedules, other work assignments, and coming up with a final day was not easy. On top of that, Todo o Nada is a collaboration project; no one gets paid, making it a bit harder, but that is also why everyone can put their own opinion to come up with a final decision. In another part, I had to figure out my travels over in Mexico and where to eat, sleep, etc. Also found out that I needed to rent a car in other for everyone to travel together to the ocean. So, I ended taking my car, one of the models’ mom’s car, plus the rental car, and a local friend that I’ve met on one occasion helped drive the rental vehicle. Nevertheless, the shoot day came in, and we were ready to go.
The shoot day. I’ve arrived a day prior in Hermosillo, Mexico, to meet the team in person, have last-minute questions, and figure out the last-minute logistics part. The hairstylist, Diana De La Hoya (The Blue Palette), came with me from Tucson, Arizona. The following day, the shoot day, we started with makeup and hair at 6:30 in the morning at Saul Felix Salon, which he was one of the make artists. Estefania Echave also assisted in doing the makeup. As soon as the models were getting ready, fashion designers Arturo Valenzuela and Eria Lamarque started fitting the dresses. The dresses were design already, and that helped in timing. The only thing was to make sure which dress did the best fit according to our models. In the meantime, while models were getting ready, I’ve gone to get the rental car and only to find out I had a flat tire. I’d worried that this would hold me back or even force me to an alternate location for the session. So, I had to find the nearest tire shop fast and get that fixed. Thankfully it was quick, but it did push me behind schedule a bit. After this, the only thing left was to get everything in the car, make sure everyone fit, bring enough water because we knew it would be hot. Our destination was about an hour away. Going from Hermosillo, Sonora to Guaymas, Sonora. We arrived around 1:00 PM.
When we got there, I knew right away which location to use, so I got excited, and on top of that, we were ahead of schedule. Everything seemed flowing friendly and smooth, and everyone was happy only to find the makeup was melting because of the hot humidity weathered. Saul Felix and Estefania Echave quickly began recomposing the makeup, and our models had to remain under the shadows. And after these, because we were working so early, everyone was hungry and thirsty. So, I can’t work with hungry models because it would show on the photographs; I told everyone to eat quickly. Now, we were behind schedule just a bit, but we still had sufficient sunlight. After everyone was ready, I took out my camera and tripod to begin the session.
I took photos of various poses of each model, got different angles and different backgrounds. I even included a nearby boat plus the owner and his dog in the shot as well. After about an hour of shooting, we concluded our shoot. However, we still had sufficient light and decided to do one more set of photos in a different location. We drove to the next area and conducted the photographs quicker. Because I already had the main image was finished, I was way more relaxed and decided to make a more individual approach to the models so in return I could give them personal photographs. In this second part of the shoot, we had more fun, wasn’t has hot, but ended being super tired. Plus, we had to drive back!
Conclusion. Again has in Todo o Nada part 1, I was exhausted when all finished. On this occasion, Todo o Nada Part 2 was also a collaboration to participate in a photo contest worldwide. Out of thousands that participated, we got top ten in the category Artistic Direction. They were a few moments in this project that I almost thought it would not go through. In specific ways, it almost felt like nature was against me and time. I did not want to quick because I was already too involve and knew there was no going back. Yes, the whole process had fun moments and stressful ones, but we would do it again. And I mean, this was the entire purpose of the project, Todo o Nada (All or Nothing).
Photographs shot in medium format digital. 80mm Lens. All Natural Light.
Software – Capture One and Photoshop.