Finding Photographers: An Impromptu Shoot with Kelley Felix

So, I admit that I might be a bit of a complex creature who makes no sense to anyone but herself, but here’s the thing: I don’t do spontaneity. I know that spontaneity is supposed to be the mark of a fun and artistic character, but no. Don’t tell me we are going to do one thing and then off we go and do another thing. Ok? I can’t deal. My brain is prepped for the first thing. Now you wanna go skinny dipping instead but first you said we were going line dancing? Aikona. What am I going to do with these line-dancing shoes? But… I DO like in-the-middle-of-other-things organic spontaneity. There’s totally a difference. I don’t expect you to get it…

Anyway, I went to the Curl Talk Spring Instameet (#curltalkspringmeet) on Saturday which was run by Kelley Felix and Shavon Leander. My family members and I only expected to play photographer while there. The meet was for curly girls! I’m more of a wtf-happened-to-that-lady’s-head girl. So when I was asked to put my camera down and play model, I was of course awkward af and not-at-all mentally prepared, but flattered none-the-less. And to be honest I was a little bit excited to have attention from one of the cool kids.

Kelly Felix, though! There’s something special about feeling like you are in the hands of a collaborative artist. And there is something even more special about feeling like someone sees the same kind of beauty in you that you yourself are constantly identifying in others. Silly girl gave me the warm and fuzzies. An especially welcome feeling at the moment I will admit!

I love the way Kelley works because she is not afraid to get what she wants out of you. Her directions are quite precise which for someone like me is helpful. I don’t really know what to do when you tell me to just be yourself and act natural  so it was kind of nice to have someone telling me exactly what to do and where to put my hands and feet and hair.

She also somehow managed to charm the more-than-grumpy Noah into smiling his head off and looking like his mother is the entire point of his existence so that was an extra bonus. I keep waiting for the switch from I-love-my-mother to I-hate-my-mother to happen so I need all the photographic evidence of adoration that I can get before that actually happens.

Thank you Kelley, for making me feel arty and special. I had so much fun with you! And thank you for teaching me that art can happen with no preparation and still come out beautifully.

PS: Please excuse the tiny low-res images. For some reason WordPress is saving my images at a higher res but putting them into posts at low res because WP has no respect for how you should be able to do things as you’ve always done them and not have it just suddenly change on you. I can’t bigger or smaller these things. But I’m pushing publish anyway because life is too short for blog stress!

Check out Kelley’s Instagram for more of her gorgeous portraits. Otherwise if you’re keen to do a photoshoot with me to inspire me to say nice things about you give me a shout.

Finding Photographers: One Two Tree Photography

After grumpy-posting last week, I’m quite pleased to have another Finding Photographers instalment to present. I’ve been a little slow on my photo project this year, but thankfully the existence of Bernadette Meistre from One Two Tree Photography inspired me to book a family photoshoot as a present for the parentals this year. Even though the husband and I have a ton of professional photographs of the two of us, it’s been a while since we’ve had any family ones done. And by family I mean the whole damn brood! I couldn’t have chosen anyone better to capture our sense of “family”.

Now, we know that I’m “experimenting” with photographers on here a little bit, so I told Bernadette that she would need to tell us what to do. I wanted the Bernadette-stamp to be as authentic as possible. This “rule” of mine tends to be met with a little bit of hesitation on the photographers’ part, I admit. And I get it. When you’re working with “clients” you like to give them what they want. And here I am telling the photographers that what I want is what they want.

What would you like us to wear? Where would you like us to meet? What would you like us to do?!

So much pressure!

But Bernadette is a little bit like a magical unicorn. First she suggested a Maroon & Blue theme and then she did one of the coolest and cleverest things that has ever made me go “oh duh, what an obviously clever trick that I’ve never even remotely thought of”… She sent me a colour swatch that we could use as inspiration for our matchy-matchy photo shoot. I didn’t even have time to stress about “getting it right”. And to be honest, after she sent the cool colour palette thingy I decided  I didn’t even care how the pics turned out because I was too busy being over the moon impressed with being sent such a pretty colour scheme.  I’m kind of excited at the prospect of using such swatches to inspire myself in the future. Maybe that sounds weird… (more…)

Finding Photographers: Odette Johaar

On the 14th of May 2016, a woman walked up to me at the first EC Bloggers Meetup and kind of changed my life.

It seems so silly. Like it shouldn’t be a big deal. This lady who was a stranger, walked up to me and told me that she liked my blog. She appreciated the things I had to say. She seemed a bit shy about it, this act of approaching a sort-of stranger that she had possibly forced herself to do, but I was so charmed that she had done it. For one it felt nice to be appreciated, and for another, I know that it can be hard to approach people sometimes and I felt really good that she had deemed me worthy of overcoming that “fear” for. I’m not always that brave.

What’s more, since meeting her that day, she has introduced me to a group of girls who have significantly added value to my life. For this I will be forever grateful.

When I mentioned this Finding Photographers project to the blogger group that she had introduced me to, I knew that Odette would join in with both feet, and she did.

As I did with Meggin’s shoot, I insisted that Odette choose where she wanted to shoot and what she would like us to wear. She insisted whatever was comfortable was fine, so I decided on light coloured stuff because it seemed (to me) to fit nicely with the venue she chose.

We met at The Pearson Conservatory inside of St. George’s Park for our shoot. A good thing too since it started to rain so at least we were sheltered. Admittedly my hair looked a bit like it had been rained on by a monsoon before being struck by lightening…but you know…you can’t beg it to co-operate, it doesn’t listen.

I love the way Odette works. She’s quick an efficient, and it so easy being around her. Ever since I met her I have marvelled at the way her presence actually relaxes me (a big deal really since I am so highly strung!) and I was pleased to feel just as relaxed while having to play model for her as I am when simply enjoying her company.

I was also completely tickled by the fact that she brought along a little music box thing (seriously: I should know what these things are called) and she played music for us while we took photographs. I must admit it added to the relaxed atmosphere and her choice in music was great.

What I learned: Odette shoots in black and white because this helps her keep an eye on the contrast in her photos. I actually quite like this idea as it does actually make sense to do so.

Another thing I learned: take a hairbrush with you to photoshoots….

Mad hair aside, I’m totally happy with what we got out of our quick one-hour shoot!

PS: How friggen gorgeous is my husband though?

Finding Photographers: What I Learned from Meggin Murphy

When I was 15 I tried my first cigarette in my best friend’s dad’s office. It was kind of lame. I didn’t inhale. I just pretended I did and then followed it with a fake cough to prove that I had inhaled. Of course we went to a Christian school in a small town so it took about 3,5 seconds before the story of Kelly, Chrissy, Jacqui, and I trying cigarettes was the story of the moment. Minions of Satan, we were. Funny enough not to the grownups so much as to our fellow scholars. I giggle just thinking about those looks of disapproval. Like I said: lame.

The incident did kind of endear me to my friend Meggin Murphy for life, though, and it’s weirdly the first thing I think of when I consider our friendship. After that incident, Meggin, who was ten at the time, pulled me aside and burst into tears because she didn’t want me to die from becoming a smoker. It’s funny how potent the idea of someone giving a shit about you can be.

Anyway, Megs and I go a long way back and to this day we indulge in a strong friendship despite the kilometres that divide us, so with this project I’ve already broken some rules for her. I intend to feature mainly Port Elizabethan photographers here (it is where I am after all) but I’m making an exception for her because a.) she’s my Meggin, b.) no one else has photographed me more than this woman has, and c.) she visits Port Elizabeth often enough for us all to take advantage of her skills at some point if there are any takers.

The only issue I ever have with working with Meggin is perhaps that we are too close, which sometimes causes a bit of a hit and miss before we hit our stride. I’m awkward in front of the camera in general. Sometimes I think that  I actually find it far easier to be natural with strangers than I do with people who know me, but I’m not even sure if that’s true. Maybe I’m just awkward with everyone.

My favourite thing about Meggin is that I can always just tell her what to do without feeling idiotic about it. She really does go out of her way to understand my vision for stuff. But for this project, she was in charge. (more…)

Finding Photographers: A New Blog Project

After spending much of 2016 falling more and more in love with my photography hobby, I decided that this year I should actually start learning some things instead of just snapping away and hoping for the best. I have always adored the idea of photography as an art, and have come to know quite a few photographers in the last while. Some professionals, but many just hobbyists like myself.

This year I have decided to spend more time with my photographer friends and collaborating with them in a sort of experiment. I want to show myself, and you, how the photographic style and personality of different photographers can make  a difference when it comes to photoshoots. I especially want to show how a little element of art can be found when photographers are given all the say. I want to show how that varies from photographer to photographer, even when the subjects (myself and my husband mostly) stay the same.

So basically the premise is this:

1.Find a photographer.

2. Give them free reign over the photoshoot.

3. Share the experience.

I have my first photoshoot ready for sharing already, and I’ve got a couple of other shoots planned so long, but if you’re keen to take part in this project or if you know someone who might be please do feel free to give me a shout so that we can set up a time to play together.