Photographing what I love…

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The past few months I have been thinking a lot about my love for photography and trying to make a living from doing what I love. I started doubting myself why don’t I get any business? Is there something wrong with my work? Why can’t I approach people and tell them I am a photographer and that I would love to do a shoot with them. Why if people ask me what I charge I feel guilty about my pricing and always end up giving them discounts without them knowing it and still don’t get the business? Yes I am a self taught photographer and I don’t have any formal training but I love what I do. I work hard and keep learning new skills. I have changed my logo for a cleaner look. I branded the back window of my car. I also got myself a T- shirt with my logo on and on the back it says photographer and my cellphone number. I am a my own walking advertisement.

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Sunday night I started watching a workshop I downloaded last year; Confronting your challenges. Sue Bryce said something that’s hitting a nerve. She said if you are not doing it you don’t want to do it. My first reaction was but I love doing it. Why did this upset me so much? Then later she talked about if you are a genuine photographer you will do anything to just take photo’s and to make a success of your business. I felt relieved that’s me. I will even shoot for free just to take photo’s. Two days before a shoot I do my planning. What props I am going to use what backdrops, what poses and I memorise it. I treat all my clients with respect and I give them my best if they paid for a shoot or got a voucher I sponsored. I get sick very easy and I did many shoots with a fever and aching body. I did a wedding last year while sick with food poisoning. This did not stop me. I can not disappoint my clients I made them a promise that I will give them beautiful photo’s/memories. I do love photography, I do want to be a photographer with all my heart and soul. When I walk in shopping malls and I see the windows I imagine how I would incorporate the items in a shoot. I don’t see a basket I see a baby in it. I don’t see a hat I see beautiful face wearing it…. When I drive around I would say wow this would make a beautiful photo…

Business have been very slow since the beginning of the year. Because of all the time I have on my hands I started editing vacation photo’s and I realized something very shocking… Isn’t vacation photo’s suppose to be all about the people that is with you, the activities that you do as a family? When I go through my photo’s 95 % of what I captured was birds, animals, flowers and landscapes… When I had my student what did I teach her to photograph 95% birds, animals, flowers and landscapes…. Now I am sitting with another question how do I make a living of photographing nature in all it’s beauty. How can I incorporate it in my business? Everybody that follows my blog will know that I use my nature photo’s and put quotes on them. Yes I have thought about selling them but how to market them? When I walk into stores and see the postcards I think by myself wow I have beautiful landscapes for postcards….

When I look back I started out photography with landscape photography and flower photography. When I got my Canon EOS 500D I started with bird photography. It was only when I had my website that I started focusing on portrait photography. Since then I have tried macro photography, Low light photography and I am not finished yet. I will not give up until I do it perfectly.

Don’t get me wrong I do love capturing weddings, babies, children, families, events and portraits. I get excited when I look at the back of my camera and see that I nailed a shot. When I edit I relive the shoot and when I get to the special moments I feel so happy that I got the chance to photograph them. I have a very important job! I capture moments and freeze them for eternity.

Okay now I am totally confused can one person love what they do so much that they can’t identify what she loves doing the most?

When I am in nature I am relaxed, I can sit on a rock for hours to get the shot that I want. I think it’s a lot like hunting and fishing… Nothing bothers me and I even catch myself talking to myself telling myself that this is the life. This I can do full time and it would be great if I can get paid for it too.

I love traveling and my long term plan was to go overseas in 2016. Well things did not work out like I wished and this plan will have to be moved on a few years. I asked for a map of South Africa for my birthday. I want to visit and photograph all the different towns, cities and parks in South Africa. This is a great project for me but lets face it without an income from my photography I am not able to do this. So to do what I think I really wanted to do from the very beginning I need funds.Travel photography is an expensive genre and for now I will only do this occasionally. My car don’t run on air, I don’t run on air and I need a place to lie down my head at night. South Africa is not the country it was many years ago where you can stop go lie on your back seat and sleep for an hour or two. It’s not safe. When I go on trips I always take the boys with or my mom and dad. LOL and by luck I will take a photo or two of them also (this is embarrassing to say and I feel ashamed).

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When I am busy with a family/portrait shoot you are working against the clock. You have to produce a certain amount of photo’s. People are much more complex and one have to be very careful what you say. You deal with different identities the whole time and have to keep that in mind. Not everybody are extroverts not everybody like a camera pointing at them. 99% of women don’t like their bodies. When I look at a photo I just see the beauty shining through. They only see their ears, crooked teeth and nose… We can’t all be perfect, God made us and to Him we are perfect. Working with newborns and babies is my favourite. Why? Because I capture the innocence, beauty and the greatest gift of God. Yes it is stressful I may come across confident when working with the babies but inside I am praying that I don’t let them fall, bump their head or make them feel insecure. Also the new mommies are like a Lioness just waiting to pounce and take her precious bundle. When setting up you feel their eyes on you watching your every move. But when you show them the photo’s and see how their faces light up that is precious and then I know why I do it. Unfortunately I don’t do it enough anymore. There was a time where I did one a month and then it just stopped.I still get emails asking for my packages but that is where it stops. When I look at facebook I see they did their shoot at either a more expensive photographer or a cheaper photographer. This is when I start doubting myself and ask questions like what is wrong with my work?

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In February started a glamour photography course that I bought last year . I have my models lined up for test shoots I just need to get through this course first. To be honest I started with a bang and then I got so depressed because I don’t earn any money and I stopped. I was not concentrating and frankly I did not feel like picking up my camera and practice and I am the one preaching to everyone that photography is 95% practice and 5% teorie.

My husband, boys and friends was suppose to go hunting the beginning of April 2015. Due to my depressed state I told them I am not going with I’ll rather stay at home and edit the event I did that weekend. God decided that He needed to help me out of this depressed state. My husband got a call a week before the hunting trip that they can’t go anymore. So our friends organized a house at Montagu Springs for the week. They asked me if I am coming with. I thought about it and decided why not. This breakaway did much more for me than anybody would realize. While sitting on the rock taking photo’s of the ducks I felt at ease. The next morning I woke up early took my camera and started walking and ended up in the dried up river taking photo’s. Once again God and nature came to my rescue…

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Back home I was feeling much better and I was feeling more positive. I decided that in order to get more work I need to clean up my computer hard drive and also my external drives. First I needed to finish all my paid and free shoots. I finished the Sunshine festivals photo’s within 3 days. It normally takes me 2 weeks. I did a talent search but did not get paid for it. The contestants have to buy their photo’s… Not doing it this way ever again. I finished that in one day. Posted it online and are now waiting for the orders. I had a matric ball I finished this in 2 days and this normally takes me 4 days. While editing I realized that my I don’t need to do that much anymore. I only do the very basic tweaks on contrast, sharpening and cropping. The rest I already did in camera.

I am currently editing all my personal photo’s. Making space for all the work that is going to come in when I am finished with my course. Yes I have started my course again. Had to start at the beginning again and make sure that I nail every aspect of this course. The marketing part of it is a bit scary. I have trouble introducing myself and selling my services…. But I have to be positive that I will overcome this hurdle. If all goes according to plan I will in the near future get to Travel more and very soon my map will be one colorful pinboard…. Then I can start getting maps of other countries…

While writing this very long post I came to the conclusion that I love to capture everything and freeze special moments for eternity.

Photographing what I love……. EVERYTHING…

Thank you for stopping by.

Coreen

St Anthony in the Valley

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Last year I had the pleasure to capture a wedding at St Anthony Chapel in the Valley. What a beautiful little Chapel and the surroundings is ideal for some rustic wedding photo’s…

Here are some information from a website on St Anthony Chapel in the Valley.

The story of St Anthony in the Valley.      10 December 1999

The year 1997 was financially a low point in the history of the farm. The vineyards needed to be replanted with better cultivars. Some of the farm equipment had to be replaced. I then made a promise to God that if I succeeded in selling a portion of the farm, I would use some of the money to build a chapel for the community. In December 1997 a portion of the farm was sold.

Part of the chapel was an existing building, dating from the early 1960’s. The building was originally used as a dairy and at one stage as a house. In 1980 I realised the farm staff needed a hall/meeting place and we changed this building into a community hall. It was used for religious and other community purposes, at one stage even as a crèche and afterwards a clinic. Today this building has been altered, extended and is now the chapel.

The chapel is dedicated to my late parents, Pieter & Inah Visser, who taught us children to respect every one else, their religion, their beliefs and their “mens wees’. The two windows at the entrance are dedicated to our family lines. The “wheat window” representing the bread or the Body of Christ in the Eucharist is dedicated to my mother’s side, the Jordaan’s. They were wheat farmers in the Bredasdorp area. The “grape window” representing the wine or the Blood of Christ in the Eucharist is dedicated to my father’s side, the Visser’s. They were wine farmers in the Stellenbosch area.

The tabernacle doors are made from Oregon pine. This wood comes from the original interior window shutters of the farmhouse (Villeria) which was on the portion that I sold. The altar top is made from solid Burmese teak. This wood comes from a huge vat that stood outside the Nagenoeg house. When I was a child it was used to store our drinking water. The same wood was used for the 14 Stations of the Cross (which represent the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem), the cross section of the crucifix, the shelves for the statues and the hymn notice board. No explanation is needed for the two wine vats at the altar. This is a wine farm and my father was a trained cooper, and Jesus’ first miracle was changing water into wine at Canaan, at a wedding feast. Wine plays a big roll in Christianity and in the Bible. Each year on St Vincent’s day we have a blessing of the harvest. He is the patron saint of wine growers and his feast day is on 21 January.

During my pilgrimage in September 1999, I bought the St Anthony’s statue in Fatima, Portugal. His feast day is 13 June. He is the Patron Saint, not only of Portugal but also of lost causes and couples. In the chapel there are two statues of Our Lady, namely, Our Lady of Fatima and Our Lady of Lourdes, France. Both are very special places for me. I visited these places firstly as a non-Catholic in 1989 and then as a Catholic in 1999. The small “Sacred Heart” has a long history. When my father bought Villeria in 1963, the statue was left behind by the previous owners. I have always kept it with me wherever I moved. It now has found its rightful place in St Anthony’s. The Crucifix figure was bought in Oberammergau, Germany where the Passion Play is performed once every 10 years. The olive wood Sacred Heart was bought by me in Shepherd’s Field outside Bethlehem in Israel as well as the Crusader’s Cross (also known as the Jerusalem Cross), which hangs above St Anthony’s statue in the back of the chapel above the doors.

Most of the other articles in the chapel have been donated by various people. There are too many names to mention them all. I would like to say once again thank you to everyone for their generosity.

Different denominations, mostly through staff members, use the chapel. Sometimes there is up to three or four church services on a Sunday. On the 4 December 1999, His Grace, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Lawrence Henry blessed the chapel. In his sermon he mentioned that he would like the chapel to become a place of pilgrimage for all the people from the Cape Town area. Today the chapel and community hall are used very frequently for retreats, not only Catholic but many other religious denominations from all over the Western Cape.

As you can see everything has its special God given place in St Anthony and in my life.

I would like to thank God for all these privileges. I am truly blessed.
Schalk W Visser
082 414 8333 or beesting@mweb.co.za

The money that we receive for the weddings will help pay the school fees and school clothes for the children from the workers on the farm.

Eden on the bay

I had a shoot at Eden on the bay with a lovely couple about a week ago.  The wind was howling and I decided to put away my Canon EF 18-200mm lense and use only my Canon EF 50mm for the shoot. My reason was simply because of the wind it would be much easier to handle in the wind and I was afraid that sand will get into the lense. Normally with my outdoor shoots I use my Canon EF 18-200mm and for my studio shoots I normally use my Canon EF 50mm.

Here are some of the photo’s I took while we were waiting for the couple. Lian my youngest came with to help me. He ended up carrying  props, backpack and shoes…
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Hein Smit Design Featuring on my Partners page.

Hein and I started talking via Facebook after I took photo’s of Mrs Cape Town 2013 in one of the dresses he designed for her out of old and unused ties. I personally met him for the first time at one of the  Save the Tie, Save a Child meetings. Hein is a very talented and passionate designer and I love his work.  CW_364510441271_709329359113756_2403644597468235616_n

Hein is launching his own clothing line Blue Chameleon and I have the pleasure to capture it for him. If you would like to order any items of this clothing line please contact Hein via Email: hein@heinsmitdesign.co.za or phone him on his Cell: 073 816 4884 for an appointment. The best of all is you can pick and choose what colors you want it in and also mix and match allot of the items.

For more on his Blue Chameleon clothing line please visit my partners page or click here.

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Wilken Family’s Outdoor Shoot Featuring on Website

The Wilken Family also wanted a fun outdoor shoot and fun it was indeed. At first we wanted to do both shoots on one day but I sat down and started thinking about the kids and the fact that they get tired and bored very easily. The evening of our meeting I suggested that we split the two photo shoots and also explained my reasons why. Mom and dad had no problems and understood completely where I was coming from.

I took Lian my youngest son with to assist me with the shoot. I just love the fact that both my boys are also interested in photography and I use them when they want to help. The kids loved him and like always he helped a great deal to get them to look at the camera. Because of the ages of the kids I tried to do the family portraits first and get them out of the way and then we moved on to all the fun and games. I had a blast photographing the Wilken Family.

This time of year the gardens at Joostenberg Bistro are just stunning and as you all know by now I just love taking photo’s there. The owners of Bistro and Farm are very good to me and I always visit the Bistro after a shoot for a to die for Dark Chocolate Milkshake.  This is just my way to thank them for the use of their beautiful gardens. I also try to give them some publicity and always tag them in my posts and on my social media pages.  Most of the families that had their photo shoots at  Joostenberg Bistro are still visiting there on a regular basis.
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For some more photo’s of their family shoot please click here.

Badenhorst Family Shoot Featuring on Website

A while back I got an email from Armand’s shooting coach and teacher. She wanted to book a family shoot for her and the three men in her life.

We went to Joostenberg Bistro on the R304 for their photo shoot. Of course I took Armand with to assist me with the shoot. We had a blast and laughed alot.  It took the oldest a while to warm up to the camera an in the end the boys were literally swinging in the trees….BFam133BFam66 BFam19 BFam120BFam126 BFam129

 

For some more photo’s of their family shoot please click here.

Wilken Family’s Vintage Shoot Featuring on Website

 

Danette contacted me one day and asked if I do vintage shoots… Well I never did one before but as you all know by now I never say no to learn something new…. First I panicked because what do I use for props? Then one afternoon I was dusting my show cabinet and there it was…. Old camera’s, my toy car my grandfather bought me when I was small, my Mother’s sewing machine from her childhood a old telephone my Father brought home one day and the list goes on….. In the end I had lot’s to choose from.

I hardly ever do set up’s for my shoots but after doing this Vintage shoot I think I’ll do it more often. I just have no idea where I am going to put all the props…. When it came to the editing of the shoot I did not do much I just played with the different effects.

I am very happy with the end results of this shoot

Wilken0035vint Wilken0037bw Wilken0060sepold Wilken0088vintFor some more photo’s of their family shoot please click here.

Strydom Family Shoot Featuring on Website

I met Natasha and her kids about three years back. I was very honored when she asked me to do their family portraits for them.

Normally children take a while to warm up to the camera, but not these two. They had their own ideas of how they would like to pose. The shoot was a breeze. Before we could blink the shoot was done.

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For some more photo’s of their family shoot please click here.

Dudley and his Friend’s Matric Farewell featuring on website.

A few months before Dudley’s matric farewell his mother phoned and asked if it would be okay if is best friends are included in the photo shoot. My answer was the more the merrier….

It was a very busy afternoon but we had a ball….DA121 DA115 DA58 DA56

To view the rest of Dudley’s Matric Farewell shoot click here.

Thank you for stopping by.

Robert’s Matric Farewell featuring on website.

Robert and his partner  for the dance is best friends. We did their Matric Farewell shoot at Joostenberg Bistro on the R304. I just love this venue for my shoots. So many different and natural “backdrops” to choose from.
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To view the rest of Robert’s Matric Farewell shoot click here.

Thank you for stopping by.