BTS of Joey L's Incredible Fashion Shoot in Africa at an Active Volcano

Some behind the scenes videos of shoots you just have to stop what you're doing, and watch.

You may have noticed, I will often share Joey L's work. He doesn't ask me to, he doesn't even send me the videos to let me know they're live, I do it of my own volition. Why? Because there are few photographers who push themselves quite like Joey does and as a result, pretty much every photographer can learn something from how he works.

In this BTS video, Joey and his crew trek through one of the hottest places on the planet — the Danakil Desert of Northern Ethiopia — for days on end to get to an active volcano. Once there he shoots 3 models for ZAAF, a premium African fashion brand, in some beyond testing conditions.

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🌋 Our crew climbed an active volcano, camped for days without electricity, and yet we somehow managed to photograph an advertising campaign in one of the hottest places on Earth. This new project for @zaafcollection launched online today will go down as one of the most special advertising projects I've ever worked on, both the overall vision as well as the journey creating it. Now that we have premiered the photo series and documentary at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC, we can finally start posting. A behind the scenes documentary about photographing this series ZAAF: Made in Africa is now posted on my blog (link in bio). The film is a raw look into journey as filmed by the our crew- both the grueling aspects as well as the camaraderie among our team that kept positive spirits during the entire journey. Ethiopian model Kiya Tadele @bosslady_tenu on the summit of Erta Ale- an active volcano in the Danakil Desert. This area is one of the lowest and the hottest inhabited places on earth. At more than 100 meters below sea level, it has an average temperature of 35°C/95 °F but can reach up to 50°C/122°F. The name "Erta Ale" translates to "smoking mountain" in the local Afar language. The bag is the @zaafcollection Tobiya Tote, which is handmade in Ethiopia. Thanks to all of our incredible crew: Client: @zaafcollection Models: @bosslady_tenu, @gabufords,@model_bettyw, @mihretendga Styling: @kevoabbra2, @sylvi0_0walla Production / Tour Company: @nibby_travels, @hamerland_tours Lighting Assistant: Nebiyu Bekele Behind the Scenes Video: @abenezer.z, @yonas_tadesse Documentary Film Edit: Joe Accardi - @biginjapan.nyc Photography Post Processing: @joeyldotcom, @luminosityimaging #Ethiopia #MadeInAfrica #ZAAF #Habesha #Afar #Danakil #Ethiopian #Africa #Dallol #PhaseOne #Photography #Portrait

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The results are incredible and well worth the titanic effort and significant risk that has gone in to making the final images. If you think you've been under pressure to deliver on a testing shoot, this video might make you think otherwise!

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10 Comments

Leigh Miller's picture

Like his work in general...the photojournalism imagery...these...not so much. Something feels a little off. They are technically/artistically good. They just don't really have me....as an african american.

David Leøng's picture

I "have to" stop what I'm doing and watch???

Simon Patterson's picture

Not quite, but you did "have to" stop what you're doing and comment. 😀

David Leøng's picture

Wow. My mind is blown. I never thought about it that way.

Richard Mills's picture

This is my first introduction to his work, really liked the video and would love to see more like it from him

Chad Andreo's picture

You should check out his blog.

Richard Mills's picture

I will, thank you!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

Holy moly! Great images! His blog is worth a look.

https://joeyl.com/blog/all/post/zaaf-ethiopia

David Wild's picture

oh wow those are gorgeous!!

He's a great photographer, but this sounds dangerous. I'm gonna put this in the same category as engagement photos on active train tracks.