It was the start of November, I found out about a selection process for which the tagline recited: If you like traveling, photography and learning from the best, read this! I could not but read it. Having just lost everything that kept me anchored to Helsinki, and decided to take a break from Academia, the prospect of being based in Cape Town and travel around the world chasing summer and photo-perfect locations as a photographer trainee was like a mermaid chant to my hears. I applied. I got accepted for the Bootcamp “…I did what?!” That’s what I thought when I found out.
10 days later or so, on New Year’s eve I was flying to Cape Town awaiting to meet the other 126 candidates to the up to 15 positions available. It did take a push from a friend to click on that “confirm booking” button but it was well worth it.
I am not going to speak in details of the Bootcamp as such, in fact we signed a non-disclosure paper so I cannot really do that. However, I can divulge some of my experiences with you.
Cape Town is a wonderful and incredible place. The surroundings and views are breathtaking, the fresh fruit and colour-packed flowers are divine. It was my first time in Africa and surely it will not be the last.
Spending 3 weeks with a group of people coming from world’s 4 corners, was one of the best experiences I had. Yes, it was not a holiday. Yes, we had long hours working and lots of tests to pass every day. Yes we slept in a lousy hostel but boy if we didn’t feel like best-friends by the end of it. We had the chance to participate in photoshoots and got critical and expert feedback on the results. I only dreamt of shooting some of the thing I found myself shooting and I will keep that experience with me forever. Yet, the best gain was the group of amazing people I met; the sweet but hard-haggler Canadian designer, the shy but super-pro Tahi photo-retoucher, the US professional photographers (among which the teen-slaigher), the land-scape wizard and all his filters, the boat-hitch hikers and I can go on. We took pictures and we posed for each other assignments, I had to play being a gay couple with EA the boat hitch hiker. We were all fighting for the same spot but I never felt like it; it was a group activity to improve and support each other. I was very happy some of my best buddies got into the program, and I am pleased with my achievements. I got a freelancer position that I kept for a few months and to be honest I am quite relieved I didn’t get the 3 years position as I think the company’s personality and mine would have clashed.
I came back to Helsinki, shoot assignments, some events and decided I was ready to take the leap and start a crazy adventure. That is how my interactive travel idea came upon. I spoke with some friends and I took my first step by moving in the countryside to work in a farm. More about this in another post.
Here you can see for yourself some of the shots I took, this time round I have to ask for you not to use this pictures as some are copyrighted and can be only used as personal portfolio.