05 May 2016 Damien Gobron In Bora Bora, Photography

Frequently Asked Questions about photography in Bora Bora

1) What is the best time for a photo shooting or ceremony in Bora Bora?

Because light is so important in outdoor photography, I have created a full post about the best time to shoot in Bora Bora with some pictures to illustrate those moments of the day :

Best time for a photography session in Bora Bora

2) For which hotels and resorts do you work?

I work independently as a freelance, like every photographer in French Polynesia.

However, I have contracts with the

  1. Four Seasons
  2. St Regis
  3. Intercontinental Thalasso

Having a contract is more a “guarantee” that you earned the trust of the hotels after years of work by providing high standards of professionalism, service, sensibility, quality and flexibility.  Also, it covers you with a liability insurance in case of accident,  bad weather conditions or any other emergency without losing your deposit.

I also choose to focus mostly on those resorts as they provide an amazing property and a top end quality service.

3) How do I receive the pictures?

Within 48 hours after the photo session, I send you a web gallery of all the pictures (unedited) so you can select you favorite ones. After you send me back this selection, I generally need about 2 weeks to edit them and upload them in high resolution. Then, I send you the link to download them to your computer and that’s it 🙂

4) What are your rates?

My rates depend on your request. I have a wide range of services whatever you may need or what your budget is :

  • 50 pictures (1 hour)
  • 100 pictures (2 hours)
  • 150 pictures (3 hours)
  • 200 pictures (4 hours)
  • full day coverage

Different resorts also have different packages available for weddings and ceremonies and for photo sessions on site.

For an accurate answer, please send me a message at dgobron@gmail.com specifying in which resort are you staying, the dates and what is the session you want. I will answer with a price quotation within 48 hours.

5) How do we book you? How far in advance should we book you?

The easier is to send me an email at dgobron@gmail.com specifying in which resort are you staying, the dates and what is the session you want.

The sooner the dates are fixed, the better it is, of course ( I have weddings booked years in advance 😉

6) The forecast doesn’t look good on the shooting day

Forecast of the island is highly unreliable and changes all the time. On top of that, most of what you can check about Bora Bora is in fact showing you the weather from Tahiti (very far from here 🙂

The only weather station on the island can be checked here : https://www.windguru.cz/3605

That being said, I recommend to book the session at the beginning of your stay. In case of rain, you will have more options to postpone the session.

If the weather turns really bad during the session, I try to reschedule another one for the time left according to my availability at the moment. And if nothing is possible (which is really unlikely all together), you will only be charged the amount of time we actually spent during the session.
If it’s only cloudy but not rainy, I don’t reschedule :
A light covered sky offers a very soft light that is very flattering (sometimes, full sun is harsh and some clouds are always appreciated). You won’t have a saturated blue color of the lagoon but you can still have great pictures taken.
A heavy covered sky is most probably a rain about to start.
With most resorts, we are working under a 24h cancellation policy. (ex: you can always cancel until 24h before the session without being charged. Less than this, only the rain is a valid reason)

7) Do I get digital files or prints?

As Bora Bora is a very small island, it does not provide with professional solutions to get your pictures printed. The pictures are delivered in digital format.

If you live in the United States or in Canada, I can handle printing service using online solution on demand (additional fees will apply).

8) Do you edit your pictures? Can we have the non edited pictures/RAW files?

I personally edit all my pictures and this process takes time (about 2 hours per 50 pictures). What I deliver is not what came straight of of the camera.

Like most professional photographer, I shoot in RAW but I deliver in JPEGs.

JPEGs are what you upload to Facebook, Instagram, or get printed. RAW files (this is what comes right out of my camera) contain much more invisible information, including a significantly larger amount of color and texture details in the shadow and highlight areas, and software like Photoshop or Lightroom is required to even be able to open them. If I sent them to you as they came out of the camera, you couldn’t do anything with them without running them through special software.

Every professional photographer shoots RAW photos because having all that information is better than having less. It gives you a lot of flexibility during the edition to recover hidden informations. The catch: RAW photos that come out of the camera generally look sub-par. They’re flat with bad contrast and dull colorsUntil the photo is edited, the image is not finished, and that’s by design. A RAW photo is a carpenter having a wood shop full of tools and materials to build a table, and the ability to create whatever he wants. A JPEG is buying a table at the store, you either like it as is, or you don’t, but there’s nothing you can do about it.

The way that I edit is a crucial component of my photography. My style and skill as a photographer encompass other things like framing, timing, and a whole host of other skills, but the photo is not the finished product that I’m proud to put my name on until I’m done the editing.

The edited images are representing me as a photographer. That’s the kind of work displayed on this website, and it’s the caliber that I want people to expect.

9) Would you make me look better? Photoshop me?

Edition is the process of enhancing a picture using “Global adjustments” (like exposure, contrast, colours, lights and shadows) and is included for every picture I deliver.

Retouching (Air brushing and Photoshop) is more about “Local adjustments” and is not included for the following reasons :

  • A lot of time may be required depending on the request and the complexity of the picture background
  • I’m a photographer. Let’s be honest, I will never compete with skilled professional of the retouching industry 🙂

As a photographer, I’m going to pose you in a way that you look elegant and graceful and always at your best. Please tell me before the photo session if you have any specific concern.

10) What is your equipment?

I shoot Canon using two 5D mark IV.

My favorite lenses are :

  • 24-70 mm f 2.8
  • 70-200 mm f 2.8
  • 17-40 mm f 4

I also own a special housing for underwater pictures and “over/under” slitted pictures (on demand, special fees might be added)

11) What should I wear?  

Please check these other blogs and get inspiration.

What should I wear for a photography session?

Trash the wedding dress in Bora Bora

12) Tell us a little bit about you to see if our personalities jibe.

When I came to the French Polynesia in 2010, it was only with a backpack and the intention of staying for one month. However, something about the surrounding crystal-blue ocean, seemingly endless sunshine and the carefree vibe have made it hard to leave.

Primarily working in the IT and graphic design sector as an Engineer, I initially took up photography as an enthusiastic hobbyist. I found I enjoyed the entire process involved with photography specially high end retouching.

I’m French, but fluent in English and not bad in Spanish just because my wife Sara is from Spain 😉

I’m  quite easy going, and always positive! I have a great deal of patience and sense of humour.

In a shooting expect to see me running , getting down lying in the floor, up in a three, wet in the water….anything for a good photo. It’s easy to show a bunch of terrific single images taken in a photo shooting but I aim to capture good photos from start to finish.

I also like to make you laugh to get candid pictures. I will help with the posing but respecting your personality.

For family photo sessions I can tell you that I am a father of 2 girls, 5 years Maeva and 2 years old Maimiti!. That means I know how to pose new born babies and how to run after the little toddlers to get the best shoot at them playing. Check my blog about tips for family photo sessions.

8 tips for a Bora Bora family photo session

Many of my clients have become friends over the years.

But don’t take my word, please look at my portafolio, go thought my Facebook, Instagram, read the comments and testimonials of other clients and check out my blog and if you like my style, drop me an email. Looking forward to to give you photographs that will melt your heart, make parents proud and your friends envious!

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