In December, right before i went to America for a month, I shot a commercial job for the crane and heavy machine company, Potain. They wanted me to shoot the Son La Dam and the cranes from their company for their annual report. They told me that they had 8 Cranes on site, which was more than any other job site in the world for them. They also wanted the photos to only contain their cranes and not cranes from other companies. Fair enough right? That was what i thought.
At the time i thought that this would be a fun job, little did i know there were 20 operational cranes at the job site and that the Son La dam is a OSHA nightmare. As you can imagine, it is dirty and wet, very very dirty and very very wet. There were fine particles of soot everywhere you walked and when mixed with water (they are building a dam, so there is lots of water) became a super slippery substance. If you haven’t been to the dam, this place is HUGE. To get from one place to another was all done with hand made 1 bar rebar ladders bridges. Let me tell you, slippery mud and 1 bar rebar ladders, is not a good time. (see the first photo below)
Before the shoot, I was informed by the advertising company that hired me, London Based SE10 , that i would have a full day to shoot at the location. I thought this was great! I would shoot from 6AM until 6PM and have lots of time to go everywhere on the site.
Unfortunately, when i got in to the van full of advertising and sales execs to go to Son La (7 hours away), I was told I would only have a few hours to shoot the job as the execs i was traveling with were on a tight schedule and had to catch a plane to China.
So what did i do, I shook loose my handler (It is a Vietnamese Government dam, every foreigner gets one) and shot the shit out of that dam. It was DAM fun (sorry I had to say it). I knew i needed about 25 solid photos for the client, so once i got those i had some time to take a few shots of the workers on the site. Here are some of my photos for the client and of the workers at the dam.
All in all, even with the time pressure, I am so happy to have done this job. My client was super happy writing me, “Best photos we have had in years.”
I love it when everyone is happy.