World Travels with Diplo

Well, traveling with Diplo is a bit different then traveling with a band. I probably wrote the same thing a year ago in my last blog, but I am not going to check. Very fast moving. This was more or less our schedule.

01FEB – Depart for Islamabad
02FEB – Travel
03FEB – Arrival in Islamabad early AM / show PM
04FEB – Travel Sri Lanka
07FEB – Sri Lanka => Mumbai
08FEB – Mumbai
09FEB – Major Lazer in Pune, India
10FEB – Depart immediately after show for BOM airport, fly to Rio De Janeiro.
..10FEB – Get Stuck in Dubai
11FEB – Fly Dubai => Rio De Janeiro
12FEB – Show in Rio De Janeiro
13FEB – Go home

How to even prepare for this? I sit down on my floor with all my gear in front of me. I make a list of what I will be shooting, where, for how long, and then note when the images need to be turned in. It is a lot to take into consideration all at once, but it’s important to be prepared.  There was a lot of flying for this trip, so all carry on luggage.

I did a bad thing and didn’t photograph my gear – but this is usually where that photo would go. 

Here are my notes to myself that I made before the trip. I have a lot of conversations with myself on paper.

  • Multiple turn-ins throughout the day
  • Manage yourself well
  • Lots of water and sleep when possible. It’s ACTUALLY a pretty easy trip. Only a few concerts.
  • Nap a lot
  • Water constantly

This trip… it was a bit nuts, but you know – I really did love it. I could imagine or guess what it is going to be like when I get to go to !Pakistan with Diplo, but imagination never quite prepared for the feeling of actually doing it. It was a good feeling. Unfortunately, the feeling is always fleeting, hard to acquire and so easy to lose. I find myself chasing it at times and have to remind myself that even if I can’t find it, it will find me – and not to look too hard, it will always work out in the end. I guess that is a long way of saying I really do like some of the images from this trip, and they make me feel *some type of way*.

So we arrived in Islamabad, Pakistan at about, I would say 2:00am. It’s straight through a version of customs I could get used to. Diplomatic area, basically it means you enter the country a bit easier, courtesy of my association with Diplo. Gracias. When you spend as much time in transit as him, all the little in between travel things add up. An hour a day in customs isnt too bad if you only do it, twice a year (and even then it can get quite annoying haha) but if you are doing it every day, you will certainly run out of podcasts by May.

From the airport we load up into a fleet of armored cards and head to a compound, where we will staying during our 24 hour trip to Islamabad. I might not be this wordy throughout the whole blog, just when there is a story to tell, I might tell it. I think that makes sense.

 

 

February 3rd – Islamabad, Pakistan 

 

This is wes outside the house the next morning. We slept for, an hour or two haha. Now it was time to explore the city. I was excited.

i see your cable
i see your cable
They keep following me
They keep following me
hey guys
hey guys
breakfast in Pakistan
breakfast in Pakistan
armored car rides for hours
armored car rides for hours
Effective fashion
Effective fashion

We shot these images in about 15 seconds, that is all security would allow. As soon as you attract attention, a lot of people start watching, gathering, and then I am assuming it gets to be more dangerous and that is why we have to leave. But yea very quick pulled over on the side of the road and photographed these.

these were everywhere
these were everywhere
Bulletproof-ish
Bulletproof-ish

After breakfast we went to a rug store. Or carpet. I actually just sat in my coffeeshop chair for awhile trying to decide if it as rug or carpet, and than thinking if it would be insulting in some intentional way to someone if I called it the wrong name. We went to a rugcarpet store where they would just keep throwing rugcarpets out on the floor and it was great. They actually purchased some, i was just impressed with this selling style. I just love people, and it is so interesting to me that this is what these people do all day. They are very good at it too. I don’t even like rugcarpets but I got so excited every time they would unfold another one and place it on the floor like it was magical. I would get my Aladdin on.

So many rugs
So many rugs
scoping it out
scoping it out
Living
Living

Stacks
Stacks
the whole crew
the whole crew

Next stop we went to some ancient cities/ ruins/ temples. I loved the lighting and the environment, it allowed for some nice compositions.  Sometimes I wonder if I am just crazy. Do these photographs mean more to me because I am not from here – because of what Pakistan means to me, as a person. Maybe not Islamabad in specific, but more so just the act of being in a city that resonates as unfamiliar with your brain no matter what direction you gaze. Whatever the feeling is, I like getting it. Sometimes I think when I am driving around San Diego, just pretend you are in New Zealand – would you look at these mountains the same way you are right now? You can’t really see it in these images, but everywhere we went we had a perimeter of security guards. No one could get close to us at all.

Shadow
Shadow
There are bones buried beneath where they are walking
Pup lord
Pup lord
Camo pup
Camo pup
Hi pup
Hi pup
Portrait
Portrait
They said you do this in Pakistan
They said you do this in Pakistan
So we did this in Pakistan
Jillionaire
Jillionaire
Our guides ride
Our guides ride
And we're off!
And we’re off!
This was a famous buddhist temple
This was a famous buddhist temple
just feels nice, i edited two people out of thise
just feels nice, i edited two people out of thise
use your grass wisely
use your grass wisely
we werent allowed to photograph anything to my left
we werent allowed to photograph anything to my left
hey
hey
Dinner upstairs during sunset
Dinner upstairs during sunset

I had to photograph Diplo for the Guardian newspaper.  So after dinner and before an interview he had with the local government or something we snuck a session in on the roof of one of the houses. It was dream light.

Diplo & Friends
Diplo & Friends
Diplo & Friends
Diplo & Friends
Colors were so beautiful . Obviously this is edited, but the way this photo makes you feel is how the sunset made me feel
Colors were so beautiful . Obviously this is edited, but the way this photo makes you feel is how the sunset made me feel
i edited this photo more times than usual.
i edited this photo more times than usual.
On a roof in Pakistan
On a roof in Pakistan
Shallow DOF
Shallow DOF
This is the mother of all the people that lived where we were staying
This is the mother of all the people that lived where we were staying

Getting to and from the stage that night was crazy. They didn’t have a path or barrier set up, so they formed a human chain of grown men with their arms held together. It…. kinda worked? It morphed into somewhere a circle around Diplo, and I really wish we would have clarified with the guards ahead of time that I was with him. The way to to the stage was chill, the way back trying to fight my way back to our car was a bit nuts. If you look at the images you can see the barrier for the stage is also people holding hands.

Making set list
Making set list
People in Pakistan
People in Pakistan
Human barricades
Human barricades
People in Pakistan
People in Pakistan
Live in Pakistan
Live in Pakistan
Family
Family

Security team, watch out for the dog peeSecurity team, watch out for the dog pee

what did i just tell you?
what did i just tell you?
Diplo and Jillionaire, 2am
Diplo and Jillionaire, 2am

 

February 4-7th – Sri Lanka

 

 

That night we flew out. Well, Diplo flew back to the states. I was exhausted. I think our flight took off at 5:00am, airport by 3:00am, it was a long day. He was going to be back in a few days… so we went to Sri Lanka for a short vacation. We got an airBnB on the beach and kinda lived like kings. Well, if I was a king I would eat a lot of fresh fruit. So maybe I lived like a king. I almost died on a moped a few times in Sri Lanka. It’s a beautiful place but man I gotta work on my driving into oncoming traffic skills.

 

Breakfast at the Bnb
Luke and Devon face-timing someone so they can watch the superbowl.
Our front yard view
I found a puppy
I found a puppy
Named him flip flop
My favorite guy I met in Sri Lanka, he was so kind
My favorite guy I met in Sri Lanka, he was so kind
Lukes brother came out, this is them in the morning. iPhone!!
Lukes brother came out, this is them in the morning. iPhone!!

 

 

February 8th – Mumbai, India 

 

 

Next stop, India. We met up for the day and went on a boat trip to an Island close by called Elephant Island. It is hard to see far in India, cause of the sun, mixed with what I assume in pollution? I felt like I was on another planet. People kept staring at my leg tattoos and taking pictures with Luke (the long haired bearded man in the above photo) because he is a tall white man. I think? We stayed at a nice hotel, called The Taj Palace, and I got asked which room I was in about 10 times. This is their way of making sure I was staying there. After awhile I just started saying ” I don’t know you, I am not giving you my hotel room” haha.  We went around doing things all day, we had a day off before the show the next day. So here are photos from doing things.

Arch of India with Diplo and young sir
Arch of India with Diplo and young sir
We were on elephant island
We were on elephant island
Two very well respected beings in India
Two very well respected beings in India
I have no idea
I have no idea
People outside the hotel in Mumbai
People outside the hotel in Mumbai
Late night in Mumbai
Late night in Mumbai

 

 

February 9th – Pune, India

 

 

The next morning we had to drive to Pune for the festival. It was like a six hour drive in a car hahah. I think it was supposed to be four, but it was way longer. Traffic, and such. At the time I don’t even realize, I was barely ever bored. I just looked out the window and listened to some music.

Diplos favorite, my new favorite
Diplos favorite, my new favorite
We stopped to charge computer
We stopped to charge computer
Without a Flash
Without a Flash
With A Flash
With A Flash
The Major Lazer Girls in Pune, India
The Major Lazer Girls in Pune, India
Sometimes not so great photos look great just because they do the job. This is that. I think.
Sometimes not so great photos look great just because they do the job. This is that. I think.
Live in India
Live in India
The Dancers doing the dancing
The Dancers doing the dancing
Major Lazer in Pune, India
Major Lazer in Pune, India
what goes on behind the booth
what goes on behind the booth
Flag life
Flag life
They call this the family photo. However, no one is related. Yes this is too literal.
They call this the family photo. However, no one is related. Yes this is too literal.
Crap quality, great capture. 3am at airport
Crap quality, great capture. 3am at airport

February 10th – Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The night we took the car back to Mumbai, and straight to the airport. Flight was at 5:00am or so, we were headed to Rio De Janeiro. I was quite tired. I took time at the airport to clean myself, clean my teeth, and take some deep breathes and have water. Long story short we missed our connection and spent the night in Dubai. Diplo didn’t wanna hang until about midnight, so we walked around for a few hours, maybe until 3:30am – and then back to the hotel, hit the gym, and then to the airport to actually fly to Rio.

2am in Dubai on the beach
2am in Dubai on the beach
3am in dubai
3am in dubai
Dubai at night
Dubai at night

 

 

February 11th – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

 

 

 

We got into Rio during the morning of honestly I don’t know what day. I gotta go back in and count these days. It gets so confusing. I lost track of what day it was, I just knew when time I would be working was, and that I needed to nap when possible. That day I got some time to myself, which was good cause I need an hour to go regather myself. That night we went to a sambadrome. Live music and parades for about six hours, 1:00am – 6:00am.   I can’t even begin to explain how crazy brazil is during Carnivale – a week or two long festival where people party everywhere, all the time. Once again, photos do it more justice than I ever could.

You know
This man is an actor
This man is an actor
Carnivale festival
Carnivale festival
Diplo and Pablo Vittar
Diplo and Pablo Vittar
Sambadrome
Sambadrome
Beautiful dancing
Beautiful dancing
Wow
Wow
My jaw dropped. Hurt.
My jaw dropped.  It hurt.

After that we went to a smaller more local party where Diplo Dj’ed a fit for fun.

Dancing!
Dancing!
Umbrella Swag
Umbrella Swag
This guy was amazing
This guy was amazing

 

 

February 12th – Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

 

 

 

The next morning we went on one of his favorite hikes. It was a long day. We started our adventure for the hike at around noon, and the show was the night at 3:30am. The hike involved taking an uber to base of a favela, then we hoped on the back of motorcycle, (we each got our own) took that to the base of the hike, and lastly hiking for a few hours – I sear Diplo ran the whole thing. I could barely keep up. I napped so hard somewhere in there. We also went back to the sambradrome that night before the show.

This isnt the beach
This isnt the beach
He said we were going to the beach
He said we were going to the beach
Posted
Posted
Wouldnt you be happy?
Wouldnt you be happy?
Top of the hike
Top of the hike
In focus and on top of a mountain
In focus and on top of a mountain, gj photog

We hoped in this van on the way back down, you can see the motorcycle we took on the way up, right out in front. The people in the van were from english speaking countries (I am not sure which) and they told me I look like a white suprematist. I told them that isn’t a very nice thing to say. They said well you know, like a Nazi. I told them that also isn’t a very nice thing to say. Haha.

Stuck behind a parade, but it was awesome - so technically, we became part of a parade
Stuck behind a parade, but it was awesome – so technically, we became part of a parade


 

 

 

Photos in favelas
Photos in favelas
Diplo with an actress
Diplo with an actress, i am not sure who, but someone will tell me


 

 

 

Diplo with a model
Diplo with a model, i am not sure who, but someone will tell me
Diplo at his concert
Diplo at his concert
but where is deadpool?
Cables
Jump
Jump
5am in Rio
5am in Rio
getting out isnt always easy
getting out isnt always easy
i liked the sunset more anyway
i liked the sunset…sunrise more anyway