Monday, February 21, 2011

Shooting Lawyers…

20101125_0166iNow, I’m sure there are people in other areas of business who would gladly, or scornfully, like to post a blog with a title like this. Maybe along the lines of someone being taken down for signing sureties on a business ten years ago and having sold it since just to have it burn the bank for millions, or being wrongfully tried or ….ok ok….as I’m typing this I’m watching “Law Abiding Citizen”, hehe, but honestly, my experience of attorneys have been good. Especially photographing them. Why? Generally they have a firmer grasp on word-play, irony, quick-on-your-feet humour and general knowledge than the average guy I end up photographing. In the span of 3 weeks, I photographed a total of 12 attorneys. I think a great many jokes were made on my expense, but luckily it would’ve been so clever, I don’t even realize what they were.

I’m going to start with the first group. Or firm. By the way, The Firm, by John Grisham, the book, is way better than the movie. Doesn’t even seem like the same story. But I digress. In this particular case, I had the privilege of shooting the good people at WWP . I have photographed them before, a couple of years ago, when they were still trading as DWP. Anyways, same offices, just one or two extra faces, and a new feel. Traffic was the agency responsible for hooking us up.

I was able to twist some arms and get us to also photograph the senior partners in a restaurant below their offices, for a bit of Parisian/New York style lifestyle shots. Again, I’m impressed by companies and corporates, specifically, with enough gutzpah to go ahead an try something new. Just how much more this does for your corporate profile spread is priceless.

20101125 Comp2If you have a nice location, go ahead, show it off. Especially a typically colonial restored corner building, situated over a nice little Italian restaurant. Run by a real Italian. And the best scrambled eggs you’ll have the honour to eat. And if you break a glass, don’t sweat it. Have another coffee.

Since the Ally McBeal TV-show hit screen world-wide in the 90’s, law has become suave, even quirky, modern, fun and somewhat likeable. LA Law in the 80’s and early 90’s just gave the impression of people earning too much money, living completely immoral lives and being just a tad sleezy. Ok, lots sleezy with the convertibles and the light grey suits. Since then Boston Legal has added just more humor, and Law & Order has restored some of the legal fraternity’s moral dignity.

So what was I after? Well, let’s say Boston Legal suave and Law & Order dignity. And whatever WWP is. And I can sincerely say that they were both, and genuinely nice and co-operative to boot. First-off it was the senior partners to be shot. Groups and singles. Have I mentioned I love shooting corporate portraits?

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Then some junior/article clerks:    20101125_0281i 

Again, superb guys.And then, we get to go down to the restaurant, get them coffees and play around with a long lens. The great thing about putting people in lifestyle situations is that you get to see another angle, also you make them more approachable to the average viewer. Also, it makes for better pictures. The subject – geek speak for the person on the business end of the lens – is also more at ease, shows more of the real them, and gives you more options than the normal guided portrait session.


As a last thought. The shot from the street into the window was good fun, with sun-light from the front and wireless triggered flashes in the back, shooting from the opposite pavement. Too clever? I’m not sure, that’ll be up to the viewer. I liked it though. Apart from the branding and faces being put together in an actual picture, the attitudes of the respective subjects also just says a lot about the company, their seriousness about the business they’re in and all those feel good qualities you need in your legal partner.


Anyways, wouldn’t mind shooting some more attorneys soon. Good fun.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Danie Nel Weddings: C + L


This wedding happend mid-December 2010 in the beautiful Cederberg region of Clanwilliam. As I grew up in the surrounding regions (Lambert’s Bay), played many a school sports match in Clanwilliam and had some good friends there, I really looked forward to doing this wedding. The surrounds are also just so beautiful that one cannot help but be excited. I also haven’t seen L and some of the locals in a long time, and we used to be in primary school together, so getting this gig just had a load of specialness about it.

I won’t be saying too much, except that you should enjoy the pics and pass on the link if you like!

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Last thought: when the couple is cool, and co-operative, like these two were, well, it’s all bound to be fun and laughter. And good results.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

VW Amarok vs Nissan Nivara vs Toyota Hi-Lux

20101015_0062As some might now, unfortunately closed its doors February 2011, ending a great 4 years, with a great client. Together we did many many shoots, made cars look awesome and had fun along the way. I really had the greatest time shooting for them, with not so much as once having any issues.

You can still catch the last issue at, and look out for the writers Brett Hamilton and Wilhelm Lutjeharms continuing their passion for wheels at There will still be a couple of more uploads and posts on work we did together, but alas, once those are completed, this romance will be over. Very very sadly.


Anyways, one of the last shoots we did was the VW Amarok with 2 other bakkies, outside De Doorns, in the Karoo, on the Karoo One farm. I’m not going to say too much, as on this shoot, there are two videos available, and a bunch of pics. Herewith the results and videos showing you what we got….and what got us…. But first watch the pr-friendly video, with the pr-friendly images.

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And then, watch this…

20101015_0365 The team. Peter, me, Wilhelm, Lesley (Art Director).

Monday, February 07, 2011

Outerboxthinking -On Innovation

As part of my expansion into video - herewith a video for a client of mine.

The idea was for it to be very informal, relatable, just slightly left of center and "un"-corporate, aimed at corporates.
Here is the beginning of my post. And here is the rest of it.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Svenmill at the Factory


Wow, I’m so far behind in blogging assignments, I can now fail to call it recent! Well, that’s what a Xmas season and a crazy January gets you. So, let’s try and pick up on some interior product work for Svenmill Fabrics late last year. Now, if you’re a regular, and long-time reader of the blog, you might remember some previous posts of the Svenmill guys filling up my studio and then taking over an apartment and shooting fabrics in the rain. Well, this time around (ok, and a previous time that I didn’t blog about) they lured me over to the factory. For the first shoot we used the showroom, and one or two room-sets we built, and then, this time around…, well, things went industrial.

Instead of putting on Vivaldi while reading this post, now’s the time to put on some Nine Inch Nails or Rammstein. Ok, so it’s a tad OTT, but work with me. We started the shoot civil and suburban enough, shooting room sets in the showroom again. Yet, this time I could see the ladies had some other ideas up their sleeves. Things started being thrown around and the brief became a little (READ LOT) looser as the day progressed. Well, let’s just let the pics speak, with the odd caption from me.

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Prettiness, florals, bows, Conde Naste – style piccies. Good for Constantia. Not easy to style, or shoot, but we had fun. Luckily there were guys who could lift and place floor-boards as we needed them.


Oh, but what is this? Huge warehouse space just standing around? Well, that’s no good! And there’s scaffolding standing around? Well, that’s even worse! Let’s hang fabrics all over it! Yes, that’ll be something juxta-positiony or something, but it’ll look cool, whatever we justify it with. Oh, and spikes on the wall? Let’s do some more fabrics! ( Oh, wait, I remember now. The idea was that it would be cool to shoot the fabrics in the very space it was made and designed. A novel and workable idea.)

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But wait, there is a heap of boxes! Let’s put a sofa down there!! Danie, you figure out how we can’t read the writing on the boxes and still get decent depth of field on the couch. Ok. 200mm at F4. Luckily it’s a biiiiiiig space and I can stand 15 meters back.

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Oh, and by the way, Dan, the LightZaberTM and LightBallTM shapers you made out of postage tubes and toilet light fittings are just throwing gorgeous light. Why, thanx, Self. Not bad for R25. 


Oh, but wait, here is more huge open spaces, big enough to park a cattle ranch in. Great! Imagine a studio 25 times bigger than your own. That’s what I could play with. And also, again, the Svenmill dames were keen for some classy industrial chic. And this time around, there were lamp-shades to be played with, with a couple of Philipe Starke’s in the background to play with. I tell you, space is an amazing thing.

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Now, as inevitably happens on a shoot where you hire a photographer wearing a Batman shirt, he’s gonna want to shoot himself. Twice at least. I mean, he’s wearing a super-hero shirt. So I did. It’s useful for Facebook profiles, etc. But soon afters, the ladies felt the incredible urge also to be etched on the canvas of the warehouse too.


Ok, so playtime’s over, and the last place we shoot in is the hall-way, that has a couple of really nice red doors. The perfect place for a couch and a spot to show the scatter cushions of on. Strobists, check out the 580EXII  in the roof above the couch. Just for some atmospheric spot. I really dig clamps.

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And the obligatory team photo. How many accountants do you know that take pictures of themselves after they completed the financials for a company? Well, that just shows why we do what we do. It’s a job worth remembering.