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William Vázquez is an advertising, portrait & documentary photographer based in New York, USA.

What's the travel like?

I get many questions about what its like to work on a project like the one I just completed. A project with lots of travel, and many uncertainties. My response is...."It's the best" Which is an honest answer. Photographers dream about these kind of assignments. I am privileged to work on a project like this with clients that trust me and appreciate my work.

Now the not so glamorous details. I am going to break this up in a few parts in different posts.

Part 1 Organization and travel

I work by myself on these type projects. I travel with no assistant nor a client. I generally connect with a local person that is connected to whatever I am photographing. Sometimes they handle moving me around, sometimes I arrange for local transport in order to show up someplace like a hospital and they show me around. I spend lots of time moving around either in a plane, bus, car, train, tuk tuk, motorcycle, walking, running any and all kinds of transport. No dog sleds...yet, although I have been on one for a different project a while back. I travel as light as possible although it feels like I am still taking too much, particularly when you have to pack for different seasons.

The shoot schedule is very tight that tends to change every day in some form. In this case the design agency coordinates with the client on the schedule. Its up to me to be there on time and ready to work. Its all on a very big spreadsheet that is not too much fun to look at on an iphone.  I have to be prepared to rearrange travel on the go in order to meet the schedule. Thank God for the internet, travel agents, and the iphone! Also being prepared for the unexpected like crazy long layovers, closed airports, broken airplanes, no one who speaks any language that I understand, bad weather, no food where you are stuck, no place to get cash, showing up in the middle of the night, don't take credit cards, no cars left to rent, no taxis, the list goes on and on.

So where did I get this kind or experience navigating? When I was a photography assistant I worked with a few guys who did serious travel, and picked up a few pointers. Thanks guys!

This a slide show of the many things I saw in my travels. No actual work shots yet. My client gets first crack on publishing them.