Readers’ lives: Rachel Storey

Readers’ lives: Rachel Storey

Tight deadlines, grey skies and cruise ships don’t stop a globetrotting visual expert bagging the perfect picture in the digital age. Amie Keeley finds out more.

My typical day at work involves . . .
After my commute to Contiki’s Marketing Lab in London, I grab breakfast and check emails. We have Contiki teams all over the world, so I like to see if anything has come in from our teams in Australia, Asia or the US overnight. Day to day, I’m typically planning shoots and working on pre-production by doing things like casting models, scouting locations, creating moodboards and working on the logistics of getting everyone to locations around the world. Currently, I’m working on four shoots over the next two months, so there’s lots of plate-spinning. When I’m on a shoot, the job tends to be 24/7, for seven to 10 days. I’m also responsible for the production of Contiki’s eight yearly brochures, so I check in with my brochure production team, a dedicated team of eight, and see where we’re at in terms of design, content and deadlines. Working in print there tends to be lots of deadlines to meet, so I have to make sure I’m super organised.

My daily duties involve…
Pre-production, dealing with creative teams and producing and directing photoshoots.

I became a creative production manager because…
The role combines my love of travel with working with designers, photographers and creative minds.

Most rewarding part of my job is…
Travel is fantastic, but pulling off a photoshoot where all the images make you want to fly straight back to destinations gives me great satisfaction.

Which destination surprised you most?
Outback Cattle Station in northern Queensland, Australia. The soil is so red, and the cattle station so vast, with animals, a beautiful lake and a traditional water wheel. We woke up at 4am to shoot the most stunning sunrise.

What was the best photoshoot you’ve managed?
Malaysia and Thailand. They have the most beautiful scenery, stunning temples, bustling markets and bright and colourful streets. We shot a floating raft hotel in the day and lay on the deck watching the stars at night.

Which famous landmark was the most difficult to capture?
There are always issues. Scaffolding on the Grand Palace in Bangkok, cruise ships hiding the Sydney Opera House and a sky so grey with snow you couldn’t see the Brandenburg Gate. You have to get creative or get up at a ridiculous hour. If all else fails, Photoshop.

Most challenging part of my job is…
In the digital age, everything is so instant and easily editable online, but you only get one chance to print the perfect brochure.

My favourite destination is…
Rio de Janeiro – beaches, culture and caipirinhas.

The thing I’m asked most…
My favourite destination.

The worst thing that’s happened is…
A photographer cancelled two days before a shoot.

I relax by…
Lying on a beach with a good book.

One thing I would take to a desert island…
Suncream.

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