I love when opportunities sort of drop in your lap. I was having a beer with a few photo friends when the subject of personal projects came up. My colleagues are working on theirs called “Buck the Cubicle“, but more on that later. I mentioned an old friend from my Colorado days that makes musical instruments from ice in Lulea, Sweden. Within a few minutes, we were all on board to make the trip. I decided that if I’m going that far away, I had to check the Ice Hotel off my list and finally go see it. While the task of getting there was not easy, sitting 200km north of the Arctic Circle, it was entirely worth it upon arrival. The fact that it’s truly an architectural marvel is one thing, but the shear logistics in actually pulling off this trip and gaining access to this amazing hotel was another thing altogether. Having the opportunity to photograph the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden was an absolute dream come true and a trip that I would highly recommend to anyone with the spirit of adventure.
I was recently invited back to shoot a few new images for the Lodge at Torrey Pines. It’s widely known that this is one of the top hotel properties in all of San Diego, but until you go there, you won’t know why. Yes, it has a grand entrance. Yes, it has perfect placement on the 18th hole with panoramic ocean views. Yes, it has a world class dining experience. What sets this property apart is the staff, or better yet, the training of the staff. There is not one person you encounter here that isn’t friendly and smiling and I’m not just talking about the front of the house. It is truly the service that sets this luxury resort apart from the rest. When we sat down to lunch mid-way through the shoot, I asked why everyone was so nice. The answer I got seems so simple and obvious, yet it’s amazing that every property doesn’t seem use it. It’s called the five/ten rule. During college I worked in several high end resorts and not once did they tell us this one. At ten paces you make eye contact and at five paces you say hello with a smile. Simple! The goes for everyone on staff at the property and it truly makes all the difference. In all of my experience with luxury hotels, I’ve truly never felt so welcomed and noticed. Evans Hotels is on to something here!
We just finished up several days of new photography for Lake Arrowhead Resort and had an absolute blast! First of all, our clients from the Good Creative Group were a joy to work with because they really know their business and client needs well. They give us just enough direction while letting us do what we do best. And it never hurts to have a great time doing it. This recently renovated property provided some great locations and backdrops and we got to shoot a wide variety of images. Enjoy!