Finding out I was getting to go to Las Vegas was pretty exciting but finding out I was getting to go to Spain was even more exciting! Jason was asked to speak at a conference happening in Madrid and a couple of weeks before departure the event was cancelled. This was after passports were renewed and flights booked. Really?! A few emails later we put together a workshop with a photography school based in Madrid called WorkshopExperience. We had 13 students and a great translator, Omar, who spoke great English! By the end of our two day workshop (after running all over the city) we were all great friends and offering up places to stay for one another in New York and in Spain!
The flight we booked for me was arriving in Madrid about a day before Jason would. So it was up to me to check into the place we were staying and take care of that stuff. We booked a 2 bedroom apartment in the Chamberí neighborhood through Airbnb.com (I HIGHLY recommend) instead of a hotel room which was such a better experience. I got to the apartment and met the girl who had the keys and spoke pretty much no English. Being in a foreign country by yourself is weird. Not necessarily scary just weird. The apartment was wonderful and really put us in the middle of Madrid, not in some touristy area. That evening I took the Metro (it’s so easy there) to the Puerto del Sol area and I think I ran into an Occupy Madrid protest. I’m not sure since I didn’t know what the Spanish signs said.
The next day Jason arrived and that evening we met up with some fellow American wedding photographers and Canadian videographers. They were also doing a conference there that ended that evening and we got tapas and lots of wine afterwards. I had met Ben and Erin Chrisman in Vegas but only briefly so it was nice to actually talk to them. I met Patrick and Amina of Stillmotion who are really great and hope to see again. I also got to talk a lot with an actual Spanish photographer named Victor (www.victorsaboya.com) who does of a lot of really great boudoir (among other things) work over there. Check it out! It was great to experience a bit of Spanish cuisine and nightlife with some locals!
We had Friday free to wander a little bit. We both slept in a lot later than I think was originally intended.. dang jet lag. Took the Metro again and walked up and down the street where all the big museums are (Prado, Reina Sofía, Thyssen). There was some sort of event happening at a big cathedral near there because there was a line of people blocks and blocks long to get into the church. We actually went into the Reina Sofía and saw Picasso’s “Guernica” in all it’s very large glory. Jason also spotted one of his favorite photographs, which is always a bonus when that happens you know? Wish I had spent a bit more time there, guess I’ll have to go back! That evening we went over to the studio to meet everyone. Alberto and his crew were so welcoming and took us out to dinner for more Spanish food and wine! I think they all secretly enjoyed how quickly the wine got to us. I just can’t drink like the Spanish do.
Saturday and Sunday were very busy days. When everyone came in Saturday morning it was very quiet but we knew that by the end everyone would be chatting and having a good time, definitely the case. By the end of the first day everyone was best friends. We did a lot of location shooting so it was a great way to also see the city while working! Also Lola (one of the students) helped me pick out a red Spanish fan, can’t wait to use it when it gets hot on the subways in NYC! This trip was such a great experience and I hope to go back!
Me! Working! It was really funny while we were doing this particular shot we had a huge crowd of people watching. So not what we are used to in New York, I think a lot of people thought they were celebrities or something. Once we were finished everyone was clapping. SO WEIRD. And fun.
Not all photos taken by me (I’m in some of them for once!), also I’m so bad about taking photos when traveling. Seriously what’s the deal?