Archive: My approach to Photography

Wedding Guests

This one is for my photographer friends …….

A good wedding photographer isn’t just a good picture taker. You need to have the people skills of a ninja, have an enormous sense of diplomacy, patience, assertiveness and humor. You will need to learn how to deal with different personalities whilst undergoing a huge amount of stress. No one wants to hire a bossy be –yatch and so much of your future business will happen as a result of word of mouth. The way you conduct yourself on a wedding day will sell you as much as your pictures.

How you deal with the wedding guests is as important as how you deal with your bride and groom. Whether you have a wedding of 6 people or 600 people you need to treat everyone with respect. They are an extension of the couple

Today I am going to take a tongue and cheek look at some of the guests you will encounter along the way.

How to unboring your wedding pics? – Start by asking yourself what you love about your job.

I recently gave a lecture to a group of 30 odd photographers on behalf of Nikon on “How to unboring your wedding Photography” and one of the questions I asked the audience was “What is it about wedding photography that makes you love it?”

I believe that in order to make authentic images we need to turn inward to discover what we really love and what we are drawn to instead of blindly copying trends or trying to do what everyone else is doing. If we know what we like and why, then we can apply these to our own work and use it as a map or a guide. If we keep coming back to this map we can create our own path instead of looking at everyone else and following the status quo which aside from being boring, can be an endless cycle.

Africa Centre Architectural Shoot with East Coast Architects and Raw Studios

When Bartjan Hooft from East Coast Architects contacted me to ask if I would be interested in photographing The Africa Centre in Mtubatuba I initially thought to turn down the job. I mean what on earth do I know about photographing buildings? After meeting with him and hearing that they didn’t want to hire an architectural photographer because they wanted to use someone with an artistic eye and a fresh approach my mind was slightly put at ease. It was however only when I read that they practice social and green architecture and had a good look through their site that I was moved to rise to the challenge. It must be mentioned that my boyfriend Riaan Van Jaarsveldt also had alot to do with the shift as he works in architecture and has a keen interest in the architectural photography, so we decided to do the job together.

Should photographers share images with other service providers? Let me open the can of worms.

A couple of years ago I was invited to talk at the Wedding Friends Conference that was held up in Joburg. They asked me to be on a panel of industry experts to talk about various topics relating to wedding suppliers. My topic was on whether photographers should share their images with other vendors at no cost. I planned to write a blog about it but things got pretty chaotic in my personal and work life after this conference and I just never got around to it.

The value of photography today.

The other day I heard a photographer waxing lyrical about the doomed state of the photographic industry. He complained how difficult things are due to the huge increase in the number of photographers in the world with the advent of digital photography. Today whilst backing up old hard drives I made a folder of all the many shoots I have done for my brother and his wife and it got me thinking. There may be more photographers now than ever before, but human beings now place more value on photography than ever before.