Why our Walzting Concept is how it is
Why it should not be changed
We have very much thought about our concept and changed it several times. But this was just theory. Therefore originally we wanted to try a testing phase for about three month in order to find out whether the concept would work. But the test phase became our waltzing and so we tested it while actually waltzing. And it worked fine for a couple of months.
In the meantime though we also did unintentionally a cross-check. One destination wanted at all costs to change the concept. Several times we indicated that this would not work out. Our biggest mistake was that we did not insist that our concept would be accepted or we would not come at all. We thought we will try it and somehow it will work.
Now we know: Our concept is fine just like it is. To change it is bad.
What went wrong?
An important part of our waltzing is the 7 day rhythm. We stay 7 nights in one accommodation (1 room, 1 apartment). No change before the 7 nights are over; not even in-house.
When this rhythm is shortened also our activities are limited and the output will be less (number of photos, tweets, blogposts). The shortest term were 2 nights. You can imagine what happens:
Check-out around 10 am from the last accommodation. Check-in at the new one not before 2 pm. A meeting with the regional destination management. Put up our office, read the mails and answer them. Tweet, post on Facebook, write the blogposts from last week, phone our parents… and the day is gone.
The next day which means the second day we can do exactly what? Take pictures for 2 hours. After that follows the processing of the photos and normally half of the time is our private time. So half of this day would be ours. But what do you do for half a day in a new sourrounding? To get a feel of things you need some time. But we will depart next morning.
Expenditure of time is underestimated
The expenditure of time for our activities is underestimated again and again. This is also a problem within our 7 day rhythm but when you reduce our stay to just two nights it will surely get chaotic.
The worst mistakes in reasoning:
1. You can do photo shoots all day round and process the photos afterwards.
Well, there is no such thing as ‘afterwards'. Afterwards follows directly the new destination and wants our full attention exactly like the others before.
2. Directly after the photo shoot you can get the pictures
No! Because the photos are in the camera it does not mean, that they are ready for the release.
After the shoots the photos have to be transmitted and copied (backup). That alone takes some time. After that the photos will be screened. That needs some time as well. The best pictures are picked and processed one after the other. Each photo will be processed! Especially HDR-photos need considerably more time than others. This is an effort worth taking but it has to be done in the first place.
Rule of thump: For each hour of shooting you need to plan at least 1 additional hour for processing, 1,5 hours are even better. So it comes to 2 to 2,5 hours altogether. You have to include that time into our stay.
3. I have worked out a time table for you
That is very kind, thank you, but it is completely useless. Save your time. That is why we say “after our arrival we talk about the tasks for the week!” So please talk to us! Even if you are itching to get going don't do it. Save your time and wait for us. A ready made programme does not work. We think in motives and not in tours or trips. Therefore it is dramatically more efficient to sit down, talk and work things out. And please talk to us before you make an appointment on our behalf. We do not bite! Promised!
The most gross errors in an agenda:
- Opening hours
- Light/position of the sun
- Construction sites/ disturbances
Is the planned object accessible? Museums are closed on mondays. Or we came across a lunch break at a chairlift. Or reduced opening hours due to weather conditions “open from 18 C”.
Mostly it is completely waisted time to visit a bakery at 2 pm. Because then work will be already done. Visiting a bakery means to get up very early. We want to see and document working hands. In museums there is some times a person who can show us around. These times have to be coordinated.
For some activities you need a group of people. If we shall document such an activity it won't be enough if Achim and I for example drive a scooter. Mostly I drive alone because Achim takes the photos anyway. Maybe you want to show how much fun it is to do it with a group of people. Well then you need a group of people – which means models. Normal tourists won't do because of the legal rights. Or the other way round. You want to show the spa. Then you need the view without any people and we need admission apart from the regular opening hours.
Light/position of the sun
Light is the most important thing concerning photos. If that is right also the result is right. Occasionally we visit locations upfront to check which could be the best time for taking photos. So sometimes we have to go two times to one location. A lot can be planned with apps and tools, which tell you the position of the sun at a given time. Or you talk to the locals. Especially in the summer time you can hardly take any photos around noon when it comes to landscape motives or outdoor activities. For that the early morning or the evening hours would provide the best light.
Construction sites / disturbances
Are the scheduled motives accessible at all? Summer break, winter break, technical closing days, day off, bank holiday, renovations. There are a lot of reasons for closing. It happened several times that we could not take the wished for photos of a market place or an old town because they were scaffolded or there have been huge construction sites. For a photo this is not very attractive.
The best perspective can sometimes only been reached, when you have access to other buildings or you need a ladder. A fork lift truck or a tractor are also often used. You need access to rooms which are normally closed. Sometimes you have to climb over a barrier. So it would be nice, if the police would not come after you in a couple of minutes, because you triggered an alarm. That should be cleared – if possible – beforehand. Is there someone on-site who has the competence and can support us?
As you can see there is a lot to be considered. Let's talk about it so that we can resolve the number of issues. In our concept there is talk suggested right at the beginning.
Life while waltzing
As mentioned above some people do forget, that after departure we go directly to the next destination. There is no “office” or “home” where we can work everything out. Or where we could relax. Therefore we cannot be scheduled for the whole 7 days and cannot visit or document things all the time. It is not possible. Full stop. ‘After' is right before. The next destination shall get our complete attention. And all our energy.
We need time for the “normal life”. We have to do paper work and fight bureaucreacy. We have to do the laundry (well we are working on it…) and sometimes we have to go shopping. Our car needs to go the garage once in a while and maybe we have to see a doctor. All that happens within the 7 days. There is no postponing to ‘after this'. Therefore we have the splitting into 3,5 days for the customer and 3,5 days for ourselves. Laundry, shopping, writing mails, seeing a doctor or bringing the car to the garage will happen within our 3,5 days. Or just private life.
We need to work through all the new impressions that we experience. Therefore we need a creative break once in a while. Our 3,5 days are also good for that. Then we can do whatever we want. During this time we also take photos and post on social media channels. But the ideas are ours. We can indulge our passions or just rest. Pause, load the batteries, go to the sauna or the cinema. That is our private time. And this is very important. If we would go 100 % all the time without any break our waltzing would get to a hold very quickly and we would be treated for a burnout in a clinic. And hopefully no one wishes that.
So when our concept is changed and we are e.g. only two nights at one place you can imagine what that means for us: Stress! Pure stress! No time for the right photo shooting, for thinking or discovering. No time to live, to rest or to replenish. And that will be dissatisfying for everybody involved. But with our waltzing concept we wanted to create a win-win-win-situation for all parties involved.
And therefore our concept has to stay as it is!
So please, let us arrive. Let's sit together and brainstorm. And then assist us in implementing those ideas. And give us the time! Let us do. Then we will get the best results. And we all will be really happy in the end!