San Diego is a great location for yacht photography! It’s very simple to put the spectacular city skyline in the background of the shot and the flat water of the bay creates ideal conditions for power or sailing yachts to look good. In fact, I find the photography part easy and fun! It’s the logistics that can get tricky. Especially if you get several moving pieces to deal with.
For instance, an international development company hired me to photograph their luxury yacht that is based here in San Diego as an amenity for buyers of their real estate project here. They needed to hire a Captain to command the 45′ water craft. I needed to coordinate a chase boat for me to be able to shoot the yacht from the water. The marketing team based in another city had to be here to direct the shoot (which they did with aplomb!) The best time to get “hero” type on-the-water photos of a yacht are either in the morning or sunset. The chase boat was not available in the evening. So, I chose the morning. Easy enough.
The days leading up to the shoot day were foggy in the morning, clearing by noon. On the afternoon before the shoot I got concerned the next morning was going to be a bust. So I put the logistical wheels into motion to shift to a mid day session instead of morning. Situations like this, where many things have to come together is always a crap shoot. Minimizing the downside possibilities is all you can do!
Of course, the next day dawned bright and sunny and I was caught shooting on the water mid-day. To add to the challenge was a fairly good breeze creating a number of visual and boat handling complications. On went the polarizing filter which helped immensely. The photo session worked out fine. But in a perfect world, its important to get the right lighting and weather conditions even if that means rescheduling. I think I felt obligated to just “get it done” with the team flying in to accomplish it.