Upon hearing that we have been awarded with photo project with Pullman in Kaifeng, we felt very privileged to be able to work on this project. We were amazed by the initial rendering briefings that employs ancient architecture style of the Northern Song dynasty utilizing gorgeous interior decoration. Historically Kaifeng was the capital during the Northern Song Dynasty (among the 8 ancient capital in China). All these ancient Song Dynasty elements are integrated into this modern 5 star hotel.
Road: I arrive in Zhengzhou which is the closest airport to Kaifeng and was picked up by the hotel staff. Kaifeng is located in Henan province. It was a dreary November day and patches of snow throughout the roads already filled the highway. For photographers, we are really depending on natural sun light and without sunny days it becomes a very challenging task. Upon arriving at the hotel we drove by the surroundings of the hotel with its enormous park and a lake next to the hotel. I was super excited to see this amazing piece of modern mastery of ancient architecture merge into a single wonderland.
Hotel: The interior of the hotels is carefully crafted by the designer and every detail is meticulously implemented. All decorations have a hint of Northern Song Dynasty element. Walking through the hotel I can sense the ancient spirit with a modern touch of luxury. One of the artwork at the front desk was handcrafted by tens of thousands of shirt buttons nailed on a wall and from far away it’s a painting of an ancient palace. The hotel offers 186 rooms including 13 luxurious suites with panoramic views of the lakes and garden of the ancient city.
The Shoot: I’m normally equipped with minimum gears due to travel convenience on flights. My focal length ranges from 14mm-85mm which cover all my shoots but mostly use 14-50mm for architectural images and 50-80mm for portraits and architectural details. I also use a variety of lighting accessories to lighten objects and models. The most important aspect of the shoot is the planning and coordination and working experience in this particular field. The first couple of days it was still raining and it even started to snow making it extremely hard to work with, however we got a couple of days of sunny patches which we dedicated to areas that needed the sunlight most.
The Models: The hotel hired a male and female model that facilitated my work tremendously and it is very essential for good pictures. The female model measures a bit over 6 feet which is taller than most guys. It was super pleasant working with the models when every shot is a hit.