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Shooting the calendar: tethered images and monsoons… How we successfully shot a swimsuit calendar tethered on location in Mexico, with minor issues. (Part 2)

Now that we’ve landed in Mexico, time to make some magic.

As I mentioned previously, we had shot the 2015 calendar at the same location, only difference is, this year we were completely confined to the resorts grounds. Typically we would shoot about 50% of the campaign on the grounds, and the rest at other locations in the vicinity, but with this years details limiting us to only the resort, it was time to get creative. Our objective was to shoot 38 girls, all at different locations and different timed scenarios at a resort, with out it looking like we were at a resort. So we broke open the archives from last year and start reviewing where we shot, when we shot and who we shot around the grounds to ensure that we did not duplicate any combination of things or repeat any imagery we were unhappy with the previous year and use some locations we never got to take advantage of previously.

We spent two solid days wandering about the grounds with a list of names, the director of the cheerleaders, a few local guides and cameras on blast; mapping out the 4 days we had to capture all 38 girls in the most efficient and adaptable way possible.

One of the biggest advantages we had was the stylists on the hair and make up team; we’ve worked with them numerous times before and knew that once we all sat down and discussed locations/wardrobe/times we’d be on pace for another seamless shoot.  So now that we’ve scheduled each girls shoot, picked locations and times, and had a few margaritas it was time to get try and get some sleep in before the sun rises on our first shoot day.

First light and shot location of Day 1.

4AM, Day 1 –  Time to bake the donuts.

Photo Jun 08, 7 23 34 AM
Wrapping up first shot of 2016 Calendar day 1.

First shot, in the bag; perfect sunrise, tether was bulletproof, the assistants were bringing their strong arms with the wind battling the 4×8 reflectors, we were feeling good. Onto the next model and the next one, than the next one and so on…

A little of my secret sauce and the “why”

Days before a project; I reach out to my client and get a shot list, client file expectations and all the details available so I can preset my machines with capture one sessions, folder names, delivery drives and chronosync recipes for moving everything around. This little bit of prep makes my job and the shoot run much smoother, I now can fall into my groove and focus on making sure files are coming in tack sharp, lit properly and backed up efficiently while on set. A huge bonus is that the files are being organized as we shoot; going to each models pre-determined folder location, naming convention in place and the ability to pre load my processing cache for FPO  jpegs to be created at wrap. The thinking part of this is that at the end of the day I dump it all on another SSD backup, copy that over to my SSD-Raid process kit, boot up the iMac, run chrono from the SSD backup drive to move the Raw files to the Drobos/Delivery drives while I’m using the SSD-Raid to do another quick edit to get rid of any missed files and then crank out some Jpeg FPO files. It probably sounds chaotic, and a lot to manage when you have many different back up/delivery drives, a dropbox upload and an iPad for client viewing at first shot the next morning, but its easier to have a complex routine set up that accomplishes everything on its own, rather then crossing fingers and hoping for the best.. (All the machines have dedicated SSD kits that enable the machine to get the fastest read/write speeds possible; this makes files move faster and jpegs created rapidly.) Phew… is that all? What could possibly go wrong with all those ducks lined up…

Well I’m happy to say nothing, until the start of day 3.

Its been 2 full days and 20 cheerleaders captured, jpegs created, drives backed up, images online and iPads, and  first shot –  No camera showing up in capture… Swap camera batteries first, nothing. Try the back up cables, nope. Restart machine, even booting off of external drive into new catalog to make sure its not the OS or Cap1 versions.. nothing… what is going on.. I’m standing in the middle of the beach with two cameras, 5 tether cable kits and can not get anything to tether.. WTF is going on. Nothing, nothing is going on, the simple error of someone who doesn’t think to check a simple connection. It took 6 minutes for me to plug a standard 15′ USB cable into the camera into the port on the other side of my machine to realize that my USB wasn’t getting inserted entirely on the left side port. Reason being, a hunk of sea plastic got jammed in there, where the plastic came from, I’ll never know, but somehow it got jammed in there in between moves and was keeping the usb from getting entirely into the connection seat it needs to establish a secure connection. It was making it in enough to look connected, but each cable must have been getting blocked about 1/16″ of an inch from seating properly. Get the plastic bit of crap out, and boom, were back up and running. These things happen, and sometimes you can be more prepared than other times, but the most important part is being calm cool and collective during these moments, communicating an ETA to the photographer and making sure that you have another plan of attack if all else fails. We had a second body on standby with cards, but due to the location and light we were waiting on, this little snafu actually wasn’t that big of a deal, luckily. Once we got tether back up, you’d think the gods of the sun would be on our side, and they were, for about 10 minutes. Got the shot but as we were about to position the second models shot adjacent to the location, the hurricane poked its ugly nose into our shoot. Terrentail downpour and its time to run. Figures we finally got tethering back up, everyones happy and flowing, and boom, cover it up and run.


2016 Eagles Cheerleader Swimsuit Calendar – DIT (Part 1)

For the past 5 years I have been contracted to be the First assistant/DIT for the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleader Swimsuit calendar with Dom Savini Photography (DomSavini.Com) A dream job to people; beautiful talent, amazing locations, travel, and hanging with friends. It’s one of the more fun and challenging projects i’ve been a part of. Long shoot days, terabytes of images, short deadlines,  the heat and unpredictable pop up showers, in the end, this is a job and its not just a walk in the park, but with it are a lot of fringe benefits, and I’m the last person to complain about that.

With the cheerleaders, we’ve gotten the opportunity to travel to the Bahamas, Philadelphia area, also the Jersey Shore and now Mexico twice, to shoot their calendar.

This year we headed back to Mexico at the IBEROSTAR Paraíso Beach resort in Playa Del Carmen, Riviera Maya for the second year running.

But first, a little bit of an issue to address:

We were shooting tethered this year. Let me remind you; we are on a beach, in the gulf, middle of june, with a hurricane close enough to throw insane storms at us in a moments notice, photographing 9-12 girls in different locations for 4 consecutive days with not time for failure or re-shoots…

Normally  we would load a few 1D X bodies each up with a set of 32gb or 64gb CF cards, swap them out as they filled up and I’d spend from the time we wrapped until call time the next day, downloading, archiving, processing and delivering the files for the next day and repeat until 5 minutes before the cab leaves us at the hotel and flights are close to being missed… The benefits of instant gratification and real time editing/organizing really pushed us to shoot tethered this year. With being a DIT (Digi-Teaching) being my main focus over the last few years, I envisioned all the hurdles that we were up against and the potential for catastrophic failure that was looming over our heads. Laptops, tether cables and all the rest of my location Digi kit isn’t really built for the conditions of a tropical location shoot; wind, sand, surf, rain, gulf of Mexico and so many people on set presented issue after issue, add on the fact that we’d be moving locations often and quickly, I knew I had some customizing and testing to do, awesome, my favorite part.

I have a long winded love affair with pelican cases and knew that If I could build a few of them to be working pieces for electronics I’d be safe and better off. So after a few overnight orders from amazon and random companies around the globe, some researching to the ends of the internet I never imagine existing, and testing my in house components combined with a few sleepless nights; I had a plan and a pile of toys to work with. (The process/products and outcome will be saved for another post, but heres a quick glimpse of what I ended up with:

TetherBoost Core Controller and Lappy Location Battery support in the new custom housings.

After getting the power kit situated, testing the tether cables in some scenarios that’d we be up against, and building back up kits it was time to get the rest of the kit dialed in. I ordered caps for every open slot of the laptop to prevent dust/sand/moisture from entering, built a fan kit into my Seaport Digital LS PRO Mag to ensure the laptop would have ventilation and air flow to keep it from blowing up, a few carabiners and bongo ties here and there to assist in making moves quickly, swap some new SSD drives into my enclosures and finally settling on bringing a standard-no frills aluminum (for good reason..)Manfrotto tripod and shove it all into some bags.

To recap; we’ve got a laptop kit that has 16 hours of power and is weatherproofed for the beach, a tether cable kit that’s as waterproof and rugged as possible, a laptop viewing station that has  airflow to the machine, backpacks loaded with what feels like cement, finally time to head to the airport and see how quick it fails..


The travel kit loaded up for carry on. (Tripod and lappy viewing kit stowed under the plane)


Next up: (Coming Soon)

Shooting the calendar: tethered images and monsoons… How we successfully shot a swimsuit calendar tethered on location in Mexico, with minor issues. (Part 2)




Product Review Archive

Some time ago I started collaborating with Jared Polin from FroKnowsPhoto.Com on some product reviews and tech advise. Here you will find the links to those videos and articles.



INTRODUCING DigiRichie – How An External Boot Up Disk Can Save Your Ass

What’s In DigiRichie’s Bag – J Hook

Western Digital My Passport PRO 4tb Thunderbolt Review

What’s In DigiRichie’s Bag – TriFlash

What’s In DigiRichie’s Bag – Manfrotto Nano Stand

What’s In DigiRichie’s Bag – Gaff Tape, NOT Duct Tape

How to Safely Fly or Mail your iMac 27 inch: Tenba Air Case Review

How to Make a Backup Boot Disk and why you should have one

I’ve never heard of “Buffalo” but now that I have I am intrigued: DigiRichie


Welcome to Rich Myers Digital

Welcome to the new blog!

Every so often this page will be updated with recent projects, ideas, product reviews, tips and tricks of the trade and maybe even some rants and lessons from the industry.

With the year half way in the books, the passport stamps and frequent flyer miles adding up, I’m stoked to be able to show some BTS of where we’ve been and all the exciting projects we’ve been a part of. From Santiago, Chile with Jimmy Chin – to Rivera Maya with the Eagles Cheerleaders, this year has been epic to say the least, and with whats on the books for the next few months, I’ll be updating continuously to keep you all entertained.

Thanks again for cruising by, and can’t wait to share with you!



Recent projects, product reviews and tips.