Friday, March 27, 2009

Food at Jenny Morris

Recently we did a 2 day shoot at Jenny Morris's Giggling Gourmet's Playground . The client was Catapult Advertising for Swartland Wines.

The team consisted of Jenny Morris, the Giggling Gourmet herself, Brita du Plessis, food stylist, Jennifer, food assistant, Morne Botha, chef, myself and Jeremy as the photography contingent and Michelle van Staden for Catapult as art director and Suzanne Van Dyk for Swartland. As I can't say too much about the yummy food or the images themselves, all I can say is that it was a mad couple of days, with lotsa laughter, great creative synergy and really good food.

This was one of those shoots where one it just became clear to me again that if you want to be a pompous, arrogant, difficult, controlling, self-absorbed, angry photographer, Cape Town is not your market. You might get away with it on big budget productions facilitated here, but you're not going to be making a living as a Cape Town based artist. In the creative environment good vibes, manners and general "niceness", however offensive that might seem to some hard-core individualists, are essentials. How can one enjoy this career if you've got your head stuck up your own intestinal tract and only ever happy to scream and shout at those around you? If you are such an individual, you probably get booked through an agent. As for me who roams this industry, representing myself, that just won't do.

I appreciate it very much when people tell me I was very accomodating and "easy" to work with, really I do, and don't take it for granted, but it leaves the question: how difficult are  photographers? I've never had in all my time of assisting or working as a pro for almost 10 years, ever encountered such an individual, but unfortunately have heard rumours and had someone even once tell me that if I was half as difficult as the previous photographer they've used, they're giving up on photography and buying stock or illustrations!

I've photographed some seriously powerful individuals in the business, entertainment and political world. The common denominator? Seriously good people skills. Generally those have almost made it act as if they're the only ones that have ever made it, and those who actually have, act like they didn't. Weird, but true. I've only heard really cool things about industry greats like Anton Corbijn, Annie Leibowitz, Chase Jarvis, David Lachapel and the like. I'm sure everyone has an off-day, heaven knows I've had them, but it only makes sense to me that the better the vibe, the better the results. Just one listen to Christian Bale's palaver on the set of Terminator 3 at the DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY, no less, made me realize that it doesn't matter who you are and how you see yourself, if that's you, I'm not interested in working for or with you.

And if that's me...., I'm pretty certain you won't be working with me.

Here are some images from our shoot and I'll sneak one foody image in. Unfortunately final styled images I'll leave out.

20090203_9_29 Yummy...

20090203_122i Suzanne (Swartland), Jenny, Brita, Morne doing their thing.

20090203_207lr Jeremy and Jenny (yes strobists, it's all Speedlight, baby. Final images were lit with Visatec's)

20090204_495i Ladies and gentlemen, Jeremy Puren.

20090204_530lr Time for some fish-eye madness. It's always great if someone is willing to let you play on a portrait. The warping suits the whole comedy/light-hearted approach of the Giggling Gourmet.

20090204_535lr Jenny and Morne.

20090204_538lr Yes, I had to take one of me as well.

20090204_545lr Jenny

20090204_595lr There is always time for some air-guitar. Always.

20090204_596i Me, Jeremy, Jennifer, Jenny, Brita, Morne


Nancy said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Danie Nel said...

@ Nancy - thanx for reading. Please visit and comment often. LIke the concept of you site!