A day out shooting in Hakone last June, for a feature on hot springs and ryokan for SAS Airlines Magazine.
Photographing for inflight magazines is always a lot of fun and it’s also like a photographic gymnasium for me, tweaking all the creative muscles because of the wide range of subject matter that usually goes to make up your typical inflight article: food, landscapes, portraits, reportage.
Last June I shot two features for the magazine of Scandinavian Air Services, SAS; one in Hyogo which focused on the production of kobe beef, the farmers and the landscape. The second was shot in Hakone, near Mount Fuji, and focused on one high-end ryokan [Japanese guest house], their onsen [hot spring bath] and some elements of the surrounding landscape.
A day out doing that would have been cool enough but it gave me the chance to finally meet up with [and shoot] a very talented fellow photographer and [at that time] Japan resident, Roza Sampolinska-Bailey. The magazine editor wanted ‘someone Scandinavian-looking’ in the onsen. I sent some pics of Roza, the editor thought she looked perfect for the article. On the day we went out, Roza’s husband Rob came along and I shot some lovely pics of the pair of them at Hakone Ginyu – the ryokan that was the focus of the article.
Hakone Ginyu is pretty much the most luxurious ryokan in the area. It’s situated in a stunning spot and the main bath there has a jaw-dropping view. The only downside of doing a shoot like this is that one never gets to spend long in each location. I think we were in the place for an hour, tops. Poor Roza only got about 10mins in the bath. Amazing opportunity for us all, though. The staff were great, helped us get what we need before we left to shoot some stuff around the lake and shrines.
Lovely day out, lovely folk to make the trip with and the magazine made a nice job of putting the shots together. As someone who makes magazines of my own, I’m always excited to see what other people make of a set of shots, some text and design. SAS did an especially lovely job with the opening spread, made with a shot of Roza enjoying her dip and looking out into the stunning landscape in front of the bath.
You can find some of Roza’s amazing work here. She does workshops, too. The pair of us are hoping to try and put something together this year, a joint workshop. If that comes off, I’ll be sure to post details here.