WHERE DOES THE SHOOT TAKE PLACE?
This really depends on what we are doing and could be at your home, on location or in a studio.
For weddings etc this is obviously planned in advance and for anything else, I have a variety of locations that I use.
On a unused road, along a railway line, inside an old building, in the middle of a field - I will have chatted to you before the time about what you are wanting and will already have planned ahead to get your shoot done. See each photography genre page for more info.
HOW LONG DOES THE SESSION TAKE?
A standard shoot will normally take 1 or two hours depending on what your requirements are.
1 Hour shoots generally allow for only one change of outfit if required and of course if we go for two or more hours we can look at a variety of outfits and even different locations.
I also do half hour sessions for those wanting a quick headshot for business cards etc.
Basically it is you who decides how long the session will be - I can do for instance a 1 hour fitness shoot or a whole morning at different locations and in different outfits.
WHAT OF CLOTHING, MAKE-UP AND HAIR?
Please go through the specific genre of shoot you are interested in for more detailed information.
DO YOU GIVE SOME GUIDANCE AND DIRECTION?
Yes - and I believe better than most.
Before the shoot I will Email you a short guide regarding the shoot we will be doing, filled with tips and advice.
On the day itself I will be chatting to you as we go along - guiding you every step of the way - not just directing your movements but also making sure you are comfortable and at ease.
I know there is nothing worse than a photographer that just leaves you "hanging". You bring your enthusiasm, a sense of fun and adventure and I will walk you through.
DO YOU DO UN-POSED PHOTOS?
Yes - many of the shots you get will be "un-posed" and quite natural.
At events, I constantly capture people just enjoying themselves. With family photos I will often just be chatting, getting you ready but will be waiting for special moments of interaction to grab in an image.
Even with couples, portraits and boudoir - I am always carefully watching to see if there is a moment, pose or expression that I can capture.
HOW LONG BEFORE I GET MY PHOTOS?
Within four weeks - weddings 6 to 8 weeks, although I do try for most shoots, to get it our earlier. It depends largely on where you are in the editing queue, which I work on, on a first come first serve basis - and of course the type of work done.
With a 1 hour shoot I can sometimes squeeze it in to have it done earlier - weddings, with the large amount of photos obviously take longer.
If you need the photos quicker or by a specific date, let me know before the time and I can let you know upfront whether I can accommodate you. Please bear in mind that there might be a surcharge for this rush service.
CAN I BRING SOMEONE WITH ME?
I'd really, really prefer if you don't, but yes you may. Provided they are prepared to sit quietly to one side and not interfere in the shoot at all
From experience, I know that although you think you will be more comfortable with a friend or family member with you, the reverse is actually true. Instead of going with the flow of the shoot, you end up wondering what they are thinking.
Believe me, the last thing either of us need is a backseat driver giving running commentary.
If it is more for security reasons, I would suggest we rather meet for coffee before the time and then you can grill me to your heart's content - and bring your interrogation team with you as well
WHAT FORMAT ARE MY IMAGES?
All images are High Resolution digital JPEG images, with no watermark, delivered on a disc. I also provide you in a separate folder all the images in Low Resolution, ready for posting onto social media.
And please don't ask for the RAW images - unless you just like to see me laugh.
WHAT ABOUT VIDEO, PRINTS, ALBUMS OR BOARDED IMAGES?
I do not supply these myself but provide a list of recommended service providers on a link off my main page.
Many photographers will provide this service but all they actually do is send the images to another service provider, add some profit and then get them delivered to you. Additionally, there is always some communication lost between the different parties or even options that you are not made aware of.
My philosophy is simple - I stick to what I am really good at - photography - and that's the service I provide.
If you want video, canvas prints, photobooks, albums etc, just give contact the recommended service providers, have a detailed chat about your needs and get what you want, in the way you want it. And if you give them the client code I allocate to you, you might even get a discount
DO YOU WORK WITH A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER?
For most shots no - simply because it is not needed.
For weddings, events etc there is often a need for a second shooter and I then hire someone that I trust and know is capable.
WHAT ARE YOUR WORKING HOURS?
Midnight to Midnight - or something like that. Whatever it takes.
I will work at any hour if needed. Sometimes to get that cloudy night sky we wanted. Or simply because it is the only time the client can squeeze in. Or if we need to do a gym shoot and have to wait for everyone to leave.
WILL YOU EDIT THE PHOTOS?
My workflow is in stages. First off I delete the bad ones. Those where I stumbled and lost focus, or someone stepped in between, or where I was just testing light etc.
Second stage is selecting the best of what remains and on those I do basic editing for white balance, contrast, tone etc.
Third stage is to select those that would look good as Black and White and convert and process them. Together with this process I also selectively do additional processing on other selected images.
I do not do major photoshopping like making you lose 20Kgs or other radical changes.
My reasons are simple. Everyone is beautiful as they are. From my experience, the photos that are appreciated most when looking back one day are those that were as natural as possible. An example of this is how quickly people page through the Bride and Groom shots in an album and then really take their time browsing and laughing through the candid "people having fun shots"
I use various poses, lighting techniques etc to make sure I show the best of you and hide the little flaws we all have. Sometimes I will do a little minor tough up here and there for instance where a shadow fell badly across a stretch mark.
If you really really want major image alteration done, I will refer to you a professional who specialises in that field
DO YOU HAVE A SPECIALITY?
Yes - very much so - simply put, it is people
If you look under my services provided page, you will see that although there are quite a few topics listed the absolute majority of them involve people.
I have a natural eye for reflecting people at their best. A developed
sense of intuition to what creativity to apply. It does come naturally
to me and that together with experience allows me to quickly assess
angles, lighting and so on to get the great shots we both want.
So whether it is a portrait, a wedding, boudoir, modeling
shots,children or lifestyle images, that's where I am at my best.
Of course, I am still pretty awesome at the other stuff as well
CAN I GIVE YOU A SHOT LIST FROM PINTEREST ETC?
Only if you can ship in the skyline, background, same lighting conditions and clouds in the sky.
I love Pinterest but it should be used for inspiration not copying. By all means get some idea of style and setting but we are going to create your own unique set of images - not an attempt at some else's.
I could go to the same spot ten times and come back with different pictures every time. More haze in the air. Wind bringing in dust to diffuse the sunset - or not. Moisture from pending rain. Clouds or no clouds adding mood. And of course just the different white balance of colour at different times of day.
Add to that, different atmospheric conditions around the world and city to city. Anyone who has been to the UK will attest to the permanent fogginess and those who have been in Johannesburg know of how the smog affects the sunset.
Come with a feeling rather than specifics. And trust me to give you the best shots for the location and time we have chosen.
WHAT ABOUT COPYRIGHT AND PRIVACY?
On Copyright. - Under South African law, as the photographer/artist, I own copyright. This is just a fact of life.
On Usage. - My contract does include a full release which allows you to print or distribute the images for personal use as many times as you like. and also specifically deals with my to use the images for business purposes. Of course we would love to get credited when you post them on Facebook etc.
On Privacy. - I obviously like to be able to put my work up as widely as possible for marketing purposes but do understand the need or desire for privacy sometimes.
There are essentially six places that I display/distribute my work.
One - photographer forums to which photographers and professionals subscribe.
Two - Industry platforms such as websites that specifically advertise for instance wedding photographers
Three - Compiled portfolios for specific clients in order to secure work or contracts
Four - Competition entries such as Wedding of the Year etc
Five - This website as part of the currently shown gallery
Six - Various social media channels that I have portfolios on, such as Instagram, Pinterest and so on. Facebook I generally will not post client photos on at all unless specifically requested.
So my standard conditions allow for use on the first five but allow you to decide whether I can use them on my portfolio channels on social media and separately decide for my Facebook page.
I respect your privacy and will respect your choices - particularly when it comes to boudoir and shots that are a little more risque. Ultimately you decide and I honour your decision.
On Selling Images. - You may not sell the images without my express permission. I generally will not withhold permission but will insist on specific wording in the sale agreement - for your protection and mine. You do not want your image for instance being resold a thousand times and you make nothing - or your photo being used to advertise illegal dog fights.
On Resulting Business. - If you pick up a modelling or photographic contract as a result of the shots, I ask only that you use me as the photographer if possible. And I will do the same for you.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE?
I am a proud Nikon Nation citizen and use top notch equipment not only because I want the best images I can get, but also out of respect for my clients.
My prime camera is a Nikon D750 with a D7200 as backup.
The core lenses I use for photos involving people are a 50mm f1.8 prime, a 85mm f1.8 prime, a 24-70 f2.8 zoom, and a 70-200 f2.8 zoom. Like any other photographer I love my toys so also always have other lenses around :-)
Lighting is provided by Nissin flashes running off a Yongnuo trigger and synchronisation system. Additionally, I have much to the amusement of some photographers some homemade lights manufactured out of specialist car headlights etc. While this is somewhat humorous, they are made to provide a very specific form and shape of light that I have, through experience come to apply in certain situations.
You will also see some strange shaped snoots, other gadgets and things I use to pinpoint light, create gobo shadows etc.
DO I GET ALL THE SHOTS - IF NOT HOW MANY?
All the shots no. Simple reason is that some are taken just to test the light. Others are those where we perhaps tried to get in between people to grab children playing and it failed. Or some where we went for the shot and a guest stepped in between.
All these junk shots are dumped immediately when we first go through the images, prior to editing.
Unlike many photographers I do not offer for instance a 1000 photos from a wedding or other extreme numbers. Do the math - If am am at your wedding for a total of six hours it means just over 160 photos an hour - 3 a minute. It is impossible to deliver constant high quality shooting at this rate - or you will get a lot of duplicates. Additionally, imagine trying to sit down with friends or family to go through your wedding photos - who wants to sit for eight hours with you to look at your wedding album?
My camera can shoot at 8 photos a second! All I have to do is put in on rapid mode for two minutes and I will have 960 photos for you! This is not the way professionals work. Additionally, you have factors such as weather, children not co-operating, newcomers battling with poses, people in group shots distracting each other and so on. I have even had a cow once refusing to leave the spot we had planned for the shots.
It takes a fraction of a second to take the shot but much longer to assess the lighting factors, make a decision on the composition and framing etc. Sometimes getting the person to step back just one step can make the difference between awesome and average. Or tilting their head at a certain angle. This takes time. You want 2000 photos - get a photo booth not a photographer.
What I do promise is more than enough. High quality great shots. Less is actually more. Quality wins over quantity.
So my contract for weddings says no less than 350 - although I always end up delivering much more. For a quick 1 hour family shoot you will get at least 30 awesome photos. 2Hrs you get 65; and so it steps up. The longer we are together the more time proportionately, is spent on actual shooting rather than moving around and posing.
My pricing guide gives a little more info on exactly what you get for your money.