Hey! Thanks for visiting my blog and wanting to know a little bit more about me :)
I am a young female entrepreneur from Johannesburg, South Africa - and am so so lucky to work in a job that I absolutely love - photography!
Running my own business is the best thing in the world - I was never very good at having someone else be my 'boss', so now I get to call the shots (literally), and nothing could be better. Sure, working from 8am to 11pm almost every day can be pretty exhausting, but it's also fun when I get to sleep in on Monday mornings (after a busy weekend of photo shoots), or send emails while still in my pyjamas.
I studied a BA Corporate Communication and Psychology at the University of Johannesburg, and I love how I use so much of that degree every day - from marketing strategies to advertising campaigns, to social interaction and body language.
In between that degree, literally before, during and after, I moved to Japan for a few months, then China and then Cape Town, constantly seeking out new adventures. My love for travel grew.
I once did an intermediate photography course, about ten years ago, but the class was so big, and I had NO idea what the instructor was on about, the whole thing was more of a deterrent than anything else. So for a good while all I did was snap holiday pics on automatic, with no real desire to pursue photography any further.
In the meantime I had taken up a tough job as a freelance wardrobe stylist and art director for the Johannesburg TV and film industry. This job taught me extreme discipline, how to manage high levels of stress, and the ins and outs of the entertainment world. It was incredibly challenging, exhausting and empowering.
It was then that I decided to go travelling once more and see if I could live overseas for a while. We went on an incredible European adventure, spent nearly two months living in New York, and then road tripped our way across America to LA. It was a journey of note!
Once in LA we set up a home base, and I was encouraged to pull out my camera again when a friend of mine requested head shots. I had NO idea what I was doing - I shot at the complete wrong time of day, my framing was completely off, and really truly, the pictures were HORRIBLE.
But something had ignited in me. Surrounded by a plethora of actors and models out in LA I was intrigued to see what exactly I could do with this little camera of mine, and I started recruiting friends as guinea pigs.
I turned to YouTube and the internet to teach myself the ins and outs of this business - I spent hours on acting agencies websites, read blog posts by other photographers, and slowly but surely built up a basis of knowledge about what agents wanted, and what the actors wanted!
I was hooked.
Suddenly things like the right time of day to shoot, how to build my social media brand, how to up my editing game by using Lightroom became second nature to me.
Clients kept coming back for repeat sessions, and just like that I found my confidence and my calling.
But hey - it wasn't all smooth sailing. I was still living in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and I was working about seven other jobs to help pay the bills! Anything from catering to boutiques to events - I even had my own jewellery line that I was making after hours and selling in a few stores.
Two years in and I decided it was time to come back to SA to spend some time with my family - and with that decision came the biggest motivator to expand my business into the beginnings of what it is now - a full time family-focused professional photography business!
Returning home and being back with cousins and friends and all their broods of children was all I needed to open up the next step of potential to me - and in January of 2015 I did my first ever family photo shoot.
I slowly worked to build my client base, falling back on part time wardrobe styling work to supplement my income as I went - it was a tough balance, bouncing back and forth between draining weeks on set making TV commercials, getting home late at night to edit photos, and then scraping enough time in-between all that for actual client photo shoots. The days were long (and to be honest, they still are!).
But there was a turning point, about eight months in, when I could finally start declining the styling work, and focus full time on the photography business. And that's when it to really started to thrive.
So that's where I am now - motivated, committed, all in.
I'm very lucky to have an inbox full of requests, and a busy shooting schedule - so much so that I now employ five associate photographers - brilliant, creative visionaries who shoot under my brand, in my same style, and help me cover the large number of photo shoot sessions that come in on a weekly basis. I've also taken on an editor and an assistant, as there are just only so many hours in the day.
The best part of my job is capturing the real beauty of life - I avoid anything styled (like conceptual shoots, cake smashes or studio shoots!), and aim to keep my photographs as natural and timeless as possible by focusing on things the way they are, without pushing for overly posed or fake photos! Please read up more about my photographic style here.
My newest part of my business is offering custom made photo books, something that is really taking off at the moment - visit this page to see more.
My future plan is to start offering more courses and training opportunities too - to amateur photographers, and clients looking to snap better pics. Watch this space.
So it's been quite the journey so far, filled with all the expected ups and downs. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Please feel free to read this follow up blog post - all about my photographic style.