Pictured above: ©Dell River Imagery 2018 Airport
Article Written By Nancy Rauch Yachnes
There are only two of us, but we service five different cities in two countries on a regular basis. It’s not that we love to travel, (though we do), but we have close family quite spread out, and yes, we actually (usually) want to spend time with them! Working as photographers gives us flexibility, yes, but it does get hairy sometimes keeping the schedules straight.
At the end of December 2018, for example, we accepted a couple of portrait sessions, plus two events that needed coverage in Naples, Florida. Then, there was one consultation and one sales session scheduled for the following week in NYC. Our schedule often looks like that, except what happens with weather glitches? We were scheduled to fly out of Fort Myers, Florida, on a Thursday night. Along came tornado warnings in Florida and heavy storms predicted for New York. So yes, we did get “stuck” in Florida for a few more days, and thankfully, the NYC clients were open to rescheduling.
Most of the time, our unusual schedules go off without a hitch. We did, though, lay solid groundwork so that we can keep track of our appointments and of each other! We live through our calendars… Google, yes, but we also use 17 hats, which helps us to consolidate info about clients and auto generate invoices, in addition to tracking our schedules.
We also don’t carry massive equipment on a regular basis. We keep double and triples of heavy or bulky items and leave them in relatives’ closets. (There is such a thing as extra closet space outside of NYC). Tripods and light stands wait for us in our “regular” locations. Otherwise, we travel pretty lightly, and often avoid checking bags. Cameras, lenses, and strobes get packed into carry-ons.
If we need to stay overnight in our Florida locations, sometimes we stay with family, and other times we do actually stay in affordable hotels. We had previously come to rely on Priceline’s Booking.com site, where we believed we were getting the best hotel prices. We subsequently found out that we were actually OVER-paying on Booking.com by more than 25%! We now book directly through the Hilton app, when possible.
Regarding post production, we carry laptops with (now tiny) terabyte external drives and rely on our Adobe suite subscription. When we (often) find ourselves in separate locations yet need to share files, we use OpenText (formerly Hightail, formerly YouSendIt).
An interesting byproduct of our frequent travel is meeting a lot of new people — some of whom eventually become portrait clients and friends. Sometimes people come up to us to ask about our equipment (we often pack a 600mm lens). Other times, we meet families in airport lounges… We love talking to kids of all shapes and sizes (with parents’ permission).
Working this way is not for the faint of heart… We’ve been known to run through airports to catch flights, and so far, in all the years we have been working this way, we have missed only one flight. (That doesn’t count the time we were flying internationally and missed the deadline for bag check… We ended up dumping the suitcase with non-essential clothes in the airport, and just wrapped a few outfits around our lenses…). Wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for anything.
Nancy Rauch Yachnes, Executive Producer, Sparkling Photography, works together with husband Norman, and partner, Beto Ramos. They have been in business for ten years, producing wedding films (primarily in the Orthodox Jewish market), web commercials, cinematic biographies, as well as commercial and family-oriented still photography. Nancy was trained at SVA, is an Apple Certified Pro, and is VP and Treasurer of NYPV. She favors shooting with her Canon 5D Mark III.
(Above article published in StudentFilmmakers Magazine, 2019 Vol. 14, No. 1, 14th Anniversary Edition & Special 2019 NAB Show Issue; exhibited and distribution at the 2019 National Association of Broadcasters trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.)