We all have those contacts in our phone that when they call, you choose to ignore. Paul is not one of those! He generally has something fun for me to shoot and when he said ‘How do you fancy shooting an Alfa Romeo in Wales?’ I was certainly glad I answered!
The brief set by Alfa was to tie in to their #FindYourPassion campaign and with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale and a back drop of the Black Mountains, this was not going to be a difficult task. We had very little time to plan so we chose our destination, booked hotel rooms and headed out late on Friday evening.
My main passion in life is Photography and I am happy to photograph anything. However, I am a ‘car guy’ and even the words Alfa Romeo get me excited. When I first saw the Giulietta, apart from being blown away by the incredible paintwork, the sporty looks made you want to get in and see what it could do! Before we had even hit the motorway, Paul and I were enthusing about the feisty little Italian.
We headed out to the Brecon Beacons and at 11.30pm, they were very definitely ‘black mountains’. As we twisted through the pitch black roads, little glimpses of what was to come in the morning kept us more than entertained. My passion for photography has led me to do many stupid things in my life, but getting out of a car and standing on a pitch black mountain in Gale force winds and being left on my own felt pretty close to the top of the list! The things we do to get a shot...
The next morning, unconcerned by the 6.30am start or the grey clouds and rain, we sprinted back to our chosen road and began a long day of shooting. With stunning locations like these, you would think it is easy to get beautiful shots. However, many people forget that it often involves a long hike with heavy gear up a soaking wet mountain surrounded by, well let’s call then ‘Sheep berries’ to be polite. When you are greeted with views like these though, it all becomes worth it!
We worked to a shot list which was hastily put together by me the night before. The truth is, you never quite know what a new location will give you and the weather certainly wasn’t the best, so we had to be flexible in our approach. The grey skies and the black mountains certainly made for dramatic scenes and the Alfa stood out gloriously against the rugged terrain. ‘Panning shots’ aplenty seemed like the order of the day to show the thrill of driving a sporty car in a stunning spot.
When Paul said ‘we need to show passion’ apart from a cold sweat forming on my back, my first thoughts were that the shots need to be filled with action and with only one car available, I said typical car-to-car shots were out the window! Which then made me think, well what if I hung out of the window? The scene of a ‘larger’ man hanging out of the side of a small Italian hatchback with thousands of pounds of camera strapped to his arm whilst making repeated hairpin passes seemed to bemuse the local cyclists – who were probably more crazy than we were, cycling up a mountain in freezing temperatures has to be the definition of passion!
After grabbing all of the standard static shots that we needed, we decided to head home. However, dragging ourselves away from this car in this location proved to be a challenge. I was recently asked ‘is it hard what you do?’ to which I answered with a resounding ‘Yes!’ There is no doubt that the early starts, the physical commitments and the mental challenge all take their toll. However, all the energy drinks and motivational speeches in the world can’t drag you up the side of a wet and windy Welsh mountain without one thing... Passion.