I’ve been pretty busy lately. I’ve had a lot of photoshoots modelling wise and have been learning a lot. I’m working on my acting showreel and will be starting work on a project as part of Skybok filming and editing for Yokhuselo Haven for Abused Women who is hosting a big function in honour of their 25th anniversary this month. I’m presenting in a new Industrial series for my family’s company Doubell Machines and I’m soon making the move to Johannesburg but will be making a trip to Cape Town Nov 1 for the summer season there. The word on my lips is COMMUTE ! I’ll be doing a lot of that in the time to come. Good thing I just bought a new cabin bag 😉 Acting-wise, there’s usually a great deal of castings and auditions up in Cape Town during these next 2 months of the year, so I’m excited for that. In the midst of all this, I’ve discovered a coffee shop in Port Elizabeth called La Boca. When I went the other day I had a pot of Rooibos tea (a true South African product) and an amazing cheese platter. Thank Goodness I had my laptop with me, as The Mail & Guardian contacted me for some photos of Grahamstown’s nightlife which I happened to have a lot of seeing as Skybok Profiles filmed many of their clubs last year! Watch one of our profiles of their biggest nightclub below. I did the editing and voice work and my brother did the filming. Shot on a CANON 5D MK 2 with a 50mm fixed focus lens and a 20mm wide angle lens.
Before I left for New York, I did a campaign in Cape Town, South Africa, for fashion line “Chica-Loca!”. The photos have just got back and they are super stunning! Designer Benita Allen has done a gorgeous job on her latest collection and I’m so proud I got to be a part of the launching of this collection! We shot at a beautiful Boutique Hotel called The Banksia Boutique. See more pictures from the shoot at the store’s Facebook page. Also read the online article about the new collection by popular blog “The Inimitable Blog“. Benita is a fashion designer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She has stores across the country in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban and Paarl. My favourite is its super-sexy store in Cavendish Square 🙂 “Chica-Loca!” is available online at http://chicaloca.co.za/ and also at http://www.style36.co.za/chica-loca/. Thank you to photographer Patrick Ryan for the great pictures and to Colleen van Rensburg for the make-up & hair.
So I’ve just done another shoot with my favourite photographer Sarah Keogh. She is so professional with such a great eye and is very good at what she does!! I had a lot of fun with her on this shoot and also with Nina Thompson at Kinky Curly Straight Hair Design who did my make-up and hair. Together we shot a stunning editorial with a story about a passionate love. Our protagonist is an old hollywood theatre doyenne and as the story begins, she finds herself in a majestic opera house preparing for her performance in a few hours. She is decked in pearls, lace, fur and diamonds. She is surrounded by luxury, but as she walks through the gilded rooms she is torn inside. She knows her husband is having an affair. We have the first shots of her alone around the beautiful, golden theatre. She is angst-ridden and upset. She doubts herself, questions their love, worries about the future of a marriage she thought would never end. She feels betrayed, confused, unsure and lifeless. Yet, she knows she has to put on a mask for the world in a few hours when she performs on stage for hundreds of people. She puts her bravest face on for the world, while beneath she’s far from together. She wants to tell him the truth about her feelings, but decides it might be best not to. We have a rich surrounding of opulence on the surface with deeper layers of a less-than-lavish sadness.
I liked the symbology of the props we used:
1. Pearls. Pearls symbolize Purity, Spiritual Transformation, Charity, Honesty, Wisdom and Integrity, all the best within us. The woman in our story has always been faithful to her husband. She’s honest, pure of heart and values her own integrity as well as the integrity of the relationship. But now that’s all been thrown into question. She needs to believe it hasn’t all been for nothing. Through all the anxiety, she clings on to what she’s always held dear and appeals to her greater wisdom to make sense of it all and guide her to make the best decision for her future.
2. Gold. As well as being associated with power, strength and wealth, Gold is associated with the wisdom of aging and fruition. The fiftieth wedding anniversary is golden. Our precious latter years are sometimes considered “golden years”. The height of a civilization is referred to as a “golden age”. In the same way, our protagonist feels a connection to gold as she she feels she has grown up beyond her years. Her life has catapulted her into the limelight very quickly and she is experiencing her golden years at a young age. Through this she has attained great power, wealth, strength and influence. However, she has had to sacrifice her youth and naivety. She’s learnt hard life lessons that have pushed her spiritually, emotionally and psychologically beyond the age of her peers. As a result she feels alone in the world, with the red velvet settees her only companions.
3. The Mirror. Reflecting surfaces as well as the natural reflective surface of the water plays an important role in the religious concepts of many people. It is believed that somebody who gazes at his own reflection will lose his soul in the process. Therefore Narcissus, who was in love with his own reflection, was doomed. This was because his soul was ‘captured’. In many customs, in order to bar the dead from staying on earth, people veiled the mirrors in the death chamber (especially true in the Victorian era). This was to ensure that the soul of the departed would not get trapped behind the glass and be prevented from passing to ‘the other side. The woman in our story gazes at her reflection and it is symbolic of her feeling scared and trapped in the situation she’s in. She feels she can never escape. At the same time, she wonders if she would in fact want to, as it is a means of validation of her existence. If she escaped, she might fall into nothingness and cease to exist.
4. The Star. For centuries, the symbol of the star has been used to reference divinity, intuition, the feminine, hope and guidance. Stars offer the unique ability to guide us through the night. They can also refer to one’s need to discover their own inner light. Stars exists above us as well as within us. They encourage us to reach beyond our own egos and trust in something much greater than ourselves. The woman in our story has a star around her neck, representing she has found her inner light and values her intuition to guide her in times of darkness. This is one such time, with the problem of an unfaithful spouse, and she puts her trust in her inner spirit to give her hope and guidance.
Here are a few tips I’d like to share with you about taking great photos for your Instagram:
+ Get Close up and personal
Whether you’re eating a salad, see a cute animal or want to capture a lovely moment with someone, getting close to the subject comes across really well. Enjoy an angle you wouldn’t have otherwise tried from up close and you will see your shot becomes so much more effective. Photograph that cup of coffee or your make-up spread across the vanity in a different way that you haven’t seen done before by getting close and trying a different angle. Once you add your filter it will look like something out of a magazine!
+ Stick to the square
Unfortunately, Instagram gives you a strict option of cropping when you upload your pictures. Sometimes a stunning vertical photograph you see before you wouldn’t work on Instagram. Remember that when shooting and just ‘stick to the square’ when composing your shot!
+ Tap to Focus
This is a wonderful little feature I only just realized myself. With all of these smartphones, you can tap on a subject within your frame which you specifically want to stand out in your shot. Say you are capturing a crop of daisies, but have one in particular that you want to stand out, tap it on the screen as you hold your phone up to take the picture. You’ll see it comes into focus and the others sort of fade to the background. This adds such a beautiful and interesting dimension to your shots, and I highly recommend it.
+ Be Aware of Light
Natural lighting is the best for Instagram. Rather stay away from using your flash. Move near a window if you must. If you want to specifically take a ‘mood’ shot by shooting in the dark, leave it at that and allow your peers to see what you are experiencing.
Purchase a print from 100CAMERAS.ORG and with that, provide medicine for one child for one month!
100cameras empowers marginalized children to document their lives through photography and to create positive change in their own communities. 100% of the money from the children’s purchased prints is used to raise awareness and capital to meet physical needs and empower sustainable growth within their community.
My favourite project of theirs is the one at St. Bartholomew’s Orphanage in Kajo Keji, South Sudan.