Every year New Zealand Winegrowers host The Sommit™, a Wine Sommelier Scholarship event for international and NZ sommeliers. The programme is a unique experience for sommeliers from around the world to explore the NZ wine scene first hand, meeting and networking with fellow sommeliers, while discovering and sharing wine industry knowledge and insights.
The 2019 Sommit™ was held in Hawke's Bay on Friday the 25th and Saturday the 26th of January. Attended exclusively by sommeliers and targeted exclusively to their interests, The Sommit™ was a celebration of the lesser-known aspects of New Zealand wine, with particular emphasis on the facets that resonate with the professional sommelier community.
Date, Time & Location:
SCP was contracted to capture images on Saturday, the second day of the Sommit™, with a morning session at Paritua Vineyard in the Bridge Pa Triangle before moving on to Millar Road in the Tukituki Hills for an evening event.
SCP was tasked with shooting all facets of the event including the sommeliers and wine scholars interacting, along with the Hawke's Bay landscape and the event's venues. The tone of the imagery needed to come across as warm and friendly, displaying a relaxed style. As the Millar Road event was to be held outside in the evening, Simon from SCP wanted to capture the event and its people in the classic golden-twilight-hour that Hawke's Bay is well known for.
Simon from SCP used two Canon DSLR cameras: one with a wide-angle lens for close-range shots; and a longer-reach lens for distance and to capture people and activity candidly without imposing. This approach removed the need to swap and change lenses, removing the risk of missing shots of important moments.
Simon arrived at Paritua early in the morning to get a feel for the venue and to chat to Vicky Roebuck from Hawke’s Bay Wine about the location, the event and the specific shots required. External images of the venue and vineyard were shot first before moving into the stylish barrel hall and executive offices to capture the sommeliers' and wine scholars' wine tasting.
Likewise, at Millar Road, Simon arrived early to scope out the venue and have a chat. As the guests arrived in a convoy of classic cars, he captured them as they drove along Millar Road and through the vineyard. Once the guests had arrived, Simon then captured a range of candid and posed images of the guests, the food and of course the wine.
The Final Cut:
The result of both parts of the event was over 170 final images to be used online for the client's website and social media, and for offline use such as in print material and press ads.
"Photography is all about light, and for this shoot light was especially pertinent in order to capture images in the brief golden-twilight-hour. It was also crucial to capture the main subjects, the sommeliers, in the best light possible. For this, I combined the on-camera flash with natural ambient light, a very delicate balancing act indeed!"