As the world turns, the way we navigate it transforms. Acknowledging just how much ‘work and travel’ has changed shape in recent years, we wanted to capture the feeling of energy that imbues us when we travel to new destinations: the new experiences waiting for us, the essence of being across different locations, pushing time zones, waking in and stepping out from different sunrises, sunsets and settings, place to place.
Sometimes this is fast paced and frenetic, with the sense of rapid flow and quick change; other times we’re deeper in the moment, reflective and serene. Whether it’s on that first train downtown, the first glimpse of a new cityscape from the hotel window, a solo workout before daybreak or a night flight to the next destination, life in transit moves in all sorts of ways – but it always moves.
Émigré champions this new movement of work and travel: one that’s never bound by a single location, routine or interaction – a culture that places value in meeting each other face to face, in making good first impressions and meaningful connections that last the distance and enrich our personal and professional lives.
Travel Sharp and Work Smart with Émigré.
Q&A with Director and Photographer, Scott Pommier
We caught up with the artist behind our latest brand video, US-based Canadian director, photographer and world traveller Scott Pommier, delving into his inspirations for the Émigré project, how travel and face-to-face connection has transformed his personal and professional life over the years, and what it means to travel well through his lens.
Please tell us a little bit on your background.
I'm a skateboarder, turned skateboard photographer, turned commercial photographer, turned commercial director…and I do a little clay sculpting on the side.
What got you excited to work with Émigré?
I work in advertising where a lot of time and effort goes into creating the appearance that useless things or poorly-made things are valuable. By contrast, Émigré's product line is both useful and well-crafted.
Why did you choose Vancouver to shoot the campaign?
There were a lot of reasons. I know the city well enough that I could picture a number of the locations that we might need. Vancouver has been assembled piece by piece over the decades, so many eras are represented in the architecture. There's also a ton of production there which makes it easier to find a talented crew.
Talk a little bit about the concept for the video? What was the idea and what are you trying to convey?
The idea was to capture the hustle and bustle of travel but also those liminal moments, the disjointed experiences we have when we're away from home, the best of which are beautiful and poignant.
What’s the relationship between work, travel, face-to-face connections in your own career?
I've done a few projects where everyone involved was on set for a portion of the shoot, and later some key collaborators were remote. The difference in those two experiences was staggering.
What role has travel played in your work?
I'm a citizen of one country, I'm based in another, the client might be from a third and on occasion we're shooting in a fourth. I travel for nearly every project.
What has been your most enriching travel experience for work?
The most enriching were probably early on. It's impossible to identify the underlying attitudes of your environment until you plunk yourself into another environment.
What does ‘travelling well’ mean to you?
The first lesson I learned is some version of what's printed on the back of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: "Don't Panic." A certain amount of chaos is inherent. A flight will be delayed, a reservation will be lost, plans will need to be changed on the fly. Discomfort is the price you pay or the chance to experience something you wouldn't have planned, to meet someone you wouldn't have otherwise crossed paths with, to end up somewhere you may not have ever decided to visit. These tend to be the things we remember for the rest of our lives.
How have you learned to travel well?
I'm a younger sibling. My parents insisted that my brother let me tag along. I started travelling pretty early. The thing you learn is to keep things light and simple so that you can be responsive. It's not a matter of being ready for anything with all manner of gadgets. That being said, after spending a night sleeping on the floor of JFK, I will always travel with a jacket that could serve as a pillow in a pinch.
What are your essential travel go-to’s and must haves?
I'm quite sure this is a boring answer, but I must have headphones. I have a hard time falling asleep without listening to a lecture of some kind. They can also help you to block out extraneous noise, help you to return, if briefly to something familiar, or simply signal to your seatmate that for the moment you'd prefer to be left alone. That may sound like it cuts against what I said above about the exciting adventure of meeting new people, but...there's a time and a place for that, and in most cases that's not a transatlantic flight.