Michelle Chaplow with CPC President Jesper Sander Pedersen. / karl smallman

Press Club learns to adapt to new reality of photography

Award-winning photographer and club member Michelle Chaplow was guest speaker at the Río Real Golf Hotel

LIZ PARRY

Michelle Chaplow, award-winning hotel and travel photographer, was the speaker at the November meeting of the Costa Press Club, held at Río Real Golf. Continuing with the press club’s autumn theme of ‘adapting’, Michelle, who is a club member, shared her experiences of overcoming challenges during the Covid pandemic.

Her talk, which was beautifully illustrated throughout by her own work, started with a request to her audience to close their eyes and imagine taking a holiday snap of somewhere they would like to be. A straw poll at the end of the exercise showed that without exception, people had chosen to envision a holiday with plenty of open space and few people, showing that preferences have already adapted to new Covid-induced conditions.

This was followed by a description of how Michelle’s commissions to provide images of historic and luxury hotels had also had to adapt to new health protocols, at a time when very few establishments remained open, and how on one occasion, she and her assistant had checked their equipment in at an otherwise empty airport and been the only passengers on the flight. Michelle’s audience was also fascinated to hear details of the shoot itself, with all the preparation and precautions involved and every tiny detail - and every tiny crease in every pillowcase! - having to be ironed out in advance.

The speaker then moved on to talk about how the lockdown and enforced inactivity had led her to acquire new skills in different areas. When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they were expecting a second baby and illustrated the news with a photo taken remotely with an iPad, Michelle was inspired to learn the art of remote portrait photography and put it into practice herself. She also had time to research the possibilities of using NFT (Non Fungible Token) digital certificates in her artwork, and has now had some of her NFTs selected for international shows.

Members agreed that the venue for the meeting was ideal and very well adapted to precautionary health requirements and felt the following dinner put a finishing touch to a most enjoyable and instructive evening.