So last week I travelled back to South Africa for my grandfather’s 80th birthday. It was so inspiring to see all the friends that were there who have been in his life for so long, and not only that but to also witness the love my grandparents have for each other after almost 60 years of marriage!
I took my camera along to the party because I figured they would enjoy having some proper photos of the evening… I’m not a hundred percent satisfied with the shots because the lighting was so bad inside the venue and I’m still trying to figure out light in general.
But here are some of my favourites from the evening… Enjoy!
Yours in light,
If you read my previous post here on Dreamer’s Domain – you have seen that I am previously from South Africa. You know, where it’s ridiculously warm and we all ride lions to school? Yeah, that place. So moving to the chilly UK was a serious shift in my personal temperature gauge. As in, it […]
via The 7 Essentials to Survive the UK… — Dreamers Domain
Moving to the UK, and not knowing anyone in our new home, I had lost my database of willing models. No more dancing/singing actors that were exceptionally eager to pose for a couple of pics. No, I had to improvise.
So I did. I found Jags. Jags is my uncle and aunts 9 year old Golden retriever. A little bit on the heavy side but a sweetheart and absolute BABY! What a diva!
We went for our normal early morning walk together and the sunrise was just right to create some lovely character pics of Jags in action. The light in the UK is so different to that in South Africa and I am learning to adapt and change my settings accordingly. But Jags was a ball of fun and did his own thing while I just snapped away.
I obviously couldn’t get him to sign any disclosure forms and if there are any casting agencies wanting to offer him some modelling work then you can contact him through me. Diva’s of his standard never speak directly to the press.
Thanks Jags for your epic shmodelling skills.
Wesley was my first photo shoot since moving to the UK. We already knew each other from theatre school in Cape Town and went even further back knowing each other in high school. Wesley was a drama major with a seriously strong singing voice and had moved to the UK roughly 8months before me to pursue his dream of performing. He needed some new headshots and when he heard I was in the area, we agreed to meet up in a park closest to his place and take some nice pics.
I was worried about the light. For me, the best light that I was accustomed to was the afternoon light in SA – at around 4:30/5pm. At 5pm in England, it’s dark. Like, seriously dark. Night time.
We met up at about 3pm though and the light was holding out nicely. I arrived early so that I could scout some nice locations and test my settings against the light – I think as a photographer, especially one just starting out, it’s important to know what kinda settings you need and to have them set before the model arrives. This way, you are not making them wait around while you fiddle with ISOs and Shutter Speeds. More so in our case, as we were chasing the sun.
In the end I was quite happy with the end result; Wes was happy with his head shots and was able to use them for a show that he was in a few weeks later. What I really like about being a photographer is when the model likes the photo and uses it for jobs, representations and things like that. It shows that they are proud of the pictures, which makes me proud of them too.
Wes was a lot of fun to shoot with – he’s not naturally a model and frequently asked me for advice on poses and such. This was great for me because it allowed me to give some direction and practice my control over the shoot itself. Overall, we had fun together and were both pleased with the days progress.
Not to self though: don’t wear your favourite jeans or sneakers if you are going to be knee deep in a pile of soggy leaves in a park trying to get “that” photo. I have certainly learnt my lesson in this regard. So have my jeans. (May they RIP)
With this beauty! It certainly helps going to a theatre school because when you decide to do a dance photo shoot and need a model – you can literally take your pick! And damn did I hit the Jackpot! Monique is a ‘dance-majoring’ beauty from Cape Town and was quick to jump (excuse the pun) at the opportunity to do a action shoot with me.
We met up at her house and then found a lovely green park/field vibe that was around the corner and was perfect for what we wanted. It was the most beautiful day with the sunset coming through the trees in the perfect way.
As you can see, I don’t have much to say about this shoot; purely because I was so happy with it and had such a nice chilled time that there wasn’t anything to complain about.
Monique was lovely and didn’t need much guidance about what jumps to do because she already had a plethora (word drop!) of dance moves and jumps that she knew would look awesome! A total pleasure working with this chick, something I would happily do again!
Lol, I wish. But this “meet cute” was strictly professional, with Dirk and I meeting up at his place to take some photos in the early morning sun.
Dirk is also a photographer who has an incredible talent for head shots and is slowly expanding to become one seriously bad ass dude behind the lens.
I was probably the most nervous meeting up with him on a slightly overcast week day – photographing a fellow photographer will ruffle even the most experienced photographers feathers. But Dirk was gracious, as usual, and incredibly understanding whilst I stood and shot about 50 pictures of the wall to simply figure out the light.
It was my first time shooting in a morning light and I was surprised by how different the effects came out. I struggled to say the least. A lot of over exposed mess and then it was suddenly far too dark and I was trying to salvage some beautiful shots in post production. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong! I felt like a total noob who might as well be using a disposable! Ok, maybe not that bad…
I’ve posted up some of his pics, the ones I can kinda be proud of but overall I decided I am either a vampire and seriously prefer a decent sunset or I need WAY more practice with morning light. Only problem is that means I have to get out of bed before 9am. Meh…
But a massive thanks to Dirk for his effortless suave and making my shoddy pictures still look good. You shmodel you – you’re just far too good looking! *swoon*
My next photo shoot was with the very lovely Tali. Tali is a neuropsychologist by trade with a massive love for dance. We met in an elevator one day when she asked me if the only unidentified button on the button pad was “where the fairies came out of”. I knew then and there that we would become friends and I was right. Turns out she was also my neighbour and had an affinity for stress baking so whenever there was a big exam looming, I could always expect a couple of baked goodies sticky taped to my front door. Needless to say, Best Neighbour EVER!
Tali is a really talented dancer and when we scheduled a photoshoot I explained to her that it would be so lovely to have some action pics done as well. We didn’t venture far from our apartment building, but managed to take the majority of our shots in the building car park or just outside.
Apart from a couple of douche bags who thought it would be fun to shout obscenities to us as they walked past, it was a lovely fun experience where we could experiment with different angles and jumps to see what looked most effective.
Overall, we had a a wonderful time together and I learnt some valuable lessons about how to capture jumps better through my camera settings. In retrospect, a flash or more dramatic lighting would have really taken this shoot to the next level but that is why we do these shoots, so that we can learn and grow.
Here’s a couple of pictures from the shoot we did. Let me know what you think!