15 Questions with PROFOTO

1 – When did your commercial photography career start, and what was your first commercial job?

My photography career started in 2008, where I worked for a company called One League in Cape Town. I assisted renowned national and international photographers including; Justin Polkey and Antonia Steyn to name a few. My first paid commercial job was for a clothing brand in Johannesburg called Unleashed clothing. In the same year I’ve also photographed my first wedding for my cousin at Lourensford Wine Estate. (didn’t take weddings too serious then.

2 – What camera did you use to shoot your very first commercial job with?

I’ve photographed the wedding with a Canon 400D, and kit lens as at that time it was all I had at my disposal. However the commercial job I’ve rented a Canon 5d mkii.

3 – Can you remember your first payday, and how much did you earn for that very first job?

Yes, haha, I was living in Cape Town at the time, Oranjesicht, and although I was working 3 jobs at the time; rent completely took my whole pay in one go. For the Commercial job I got paid R800, and the wedding R5,500 if I remember correctly.

4 – Did you have any formal education in photography, and if so, where.? If not, how did you learn your craft?

Yes, after I’ve assisted photographers in Cape Town for a year, I’ve decided that it was time to get something official behind my name; I’ve completed my BA degree in Visual communication at The Open Window in Pretoria; specializing in Film and Photography, and from there furthered my craft in self study and working in the field.

5 – Is there a genre in photography that is on your “bucket list” and something you still aspire to get involved with?

During my studies we were introduced into all of the genres in photography; architecture, products, fashion, journalist/events, food, fineart etc. It was only after my studies that Ive explored a bit into underwater photography, but haven’t taken it further, and would love to explore this aspect a bit more.

6 – How important is Tech in your career, referring to the latest and greatest that the manufacturers supply?

It is quite essential, although I strongly believe that tech is just a tool to help you do your job, it is vital to have gear that does not fail on you, or give you inconsistent results. A big part of my craft relies heavy on my equipment, as there are no second chances.

7 – In your world, what technological advancement or improvement made the biggest difference to your career

My lighting, I can honestly say that investing in good and proper light was the biggest and best investment I could have ever done in my photography, and wished I’ve invested in Profoto earlier in my career, I mean it was a brand which Ive always rented when facing big commercial jobs. Cheaper brands was great, and worked up to a point, but I had to replace it every year or so, which financially almost crippled me.

8 – If you could change just one thing about the greater industry, what would that be?

Access to good and quality education. We see many new workshops pop up everywhere, but good education is hard to come by.

9 – How do you see the future of the photographic business in all segments of the market?

Changed, but for the better… This pandemic is hitting everyone and everything hard, and I believe that once, or even during this period, new and exciting ventures will open up and arise from this.

10 – Do you have a single image from your commercial career that stands out as a personal favorite? Please share

Yes I think my latest image which Ive captured in the Garden route with brilliant suppliers is so far one of my favorite shots on the commercial side Credit to; Make up and Hair: Dienkie van der Berg Wilna Allpass
Flowers: Yes exclusive flowers Yes exclusive weddings and events
Dress: Gert Johan Coetzee
Location: Villa Ocean Voice

As for my favorite wedding shot, I cant place it on just one photo, as I am a sucker for moments, but I guess if I have to choose one, Id go with this one.

11 – What do you see as your biggest challenge in the next 24 months?

Adressing a few things in my business would be the most important, as this pandemic has hit everyone really hard, not just financially, but personally aswell. So my goal for the next 24 months would be to get my strategy back inline with the new developments in the industry.

12 – If you had R 100 000 today to blow on hardware, what would you buy?

Id get myself more B10’s, absolutely love the lights!

13 – How do you feel about attending workshops to better your skills, and how would you like to see workshops in general being formulated?

One is never too experienced to learn, so definitely keen to attend workshops which will enrich my creativity, skills and business. Workshops needs to be hands on and interactive, targeting the attendee’s weakest points so that when they attend, they will be empowered with new knowledge and skills which they can apply in their own craft.

14 – Who is your biggest Icon in the photographic world, past or present?

I have quite a few, but I must say that I am a big fan of Erik Almas

15 – If you were given a choice, and could only choose one, would you shoot in color or B&W for the rest of your life?

Wow that’s a very difficult decision, as each one has their place, for example Ill only use black and white if colour is not contributing to the story of the photograph. So I guess Ive actually just answered it; although I am a big fan of Black and White, in this regard Id choose colour.