Jun 12, 2022

Monarch Documentary Enters Post-Production

That's a wrap! After months of filming this is where it all comes together now. The Monarch documentary is officially in post-production with the release planned for Fall 2022. 

Monarch Documentary Editing Luke Fandrich

Jun 9, 2022

How I Ended Up With the Eiffel Tower All to Myself

Upon reflecting on some of my most memorable travel shoots during a recent discussion, I was reminded that one of them was actually from a shoot during the height of the pandemic in 2020 that I still haven't published yet. This is the brief story of how I ended up with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France all to myself for a moment.

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020

Not long after getting back from France in late 2020 I recapped the general experience of trying to follow through on a travel shoot that had been planned before the world started falling apart. I won't rehash all of that again, but you can read that original post here. The important detail is that I was in Paris and travel shooting in October 2020.

Not surprisingly, this was a weird time for a lot of reasons. Reservations for everything were more complicated, various rules were being modified weekly, and just a few days after I arrived in Paris a nightly curfew had been implemented across France's largest cities.  

I purchased a timed admission to the Eiffel Tower before I arrived in France, as naturally, visiting one of the world's most recognizable landmarks is always a must for travel shoots. My ticket was for a midweek opening and I anticipated getting some early morning shots across the city. What I didn't plan on was a national curfew reducing the hours of every business, including pushing the opening of the Eiffel Tower to a time that was now a few hours later than my ticket.

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020

I was already comfortable playing everything by ear at this point considering how complicated just getting to France had been. I showed up at the revised time with my original ticket, and this is where I stumbled into a random bit of good luck.

Everyone across Paris was still adjusting to the newly imposed curfew and as I made my way through security at the Eiffel Tower I found myself in a rather engaged conversation with one of the employees about everything that had been going on. Then I mentioned I was a professional travel photographer visiting from Canada. 

You have to remember that this was taking place not only when international travel was at a stand still, but my visit was within this weird window of time when Canadians were allowed back into France, but a lot of other countries like the U.S. and others were not. This detail became a talking point pretty much anytime my passport was visible, as unless you were up to date on all of the rules, a lot of people were still skeptical about how I got there.

In any case, our introduction was a positive one, and she offered to take me up on the first elevator with the employees as the Eiffel Tower opened. Obviously, I jumped at the chance.

For about 10 minutes I lucked into having the Eiffel Tower all to myself. 

No crowds, no people, no one in my shots. Of course, I was happy to capture the decks filled soon after as those were the images I was after from the start. But, I can't quite explain how surreal it was to be standing on an empty deck of the Eiffel Tower and feeling like I was the only person seeing it like this at that very moment. It's not everyday you get a world landmark to yourself, but what a way to put an exclamation mark on an already unforgettable experience. 

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020

Empty Eiffel Tower Paris 2020