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Friday, May 15, 2015

Something Different, Something New and Something Challenging

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Work for Avocado Hair & Day Spa

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bad Phoblographer/Photopreneur

It feels like I have neglected the blog for a long time now. Not so good for someone who is trying to build a reputation as a Phoblographer eh? I must say that the Photopreneurship has been bits rewarding even though I have not Phoblogged in a number of days. A lot has been going on since I last blogged. Some high minded guy called Zambian Photographer broke. Really? And all because they saw through his bid to over price some affordable piece of gear? South Africa has had another wave of Xenophobic attacks on foreigners because foreigners are taking away their jobs and women. Really? And there has been an Earthquake in Nepal. My thoughts go out to their people of Nepal on their losses. Both of lives and infrastructure. And what is this nonsense about Bruce Jenner wanting to live as a woman? With so many grown children and having married women twice before? Hypocritical, no?

The shoes

The necklace

The Pumps

The Makeup

The silhouette

Grooms details

The groom

The couple

Happy campers

I had the opportunity to shoot Mwansa and Nonde’s wedding on April 5, 2015 and boy did we have fun. The couple was introduced to us by the Bride’s elder sister. After a few phone calls, we met to discuss the details of the wedding such as dates and locations. From the first pitch, the couple was set on hiring this photographer for their wedding. I found out that they were worried about the pricing of the services based on the beautiful images they had seen on the Facebook page. And they were shocked to find that we were very affordable.

If there was an assignment I could say was handled in a very professional manner, it was this one. All through the process I kept in touch with the couple and even met them a few days before the wedding to go over the details of the wedding as I prepared to take on the assignment. Overall, I do believe the interaction I have had with seasoned photographers and some of the hints and tidbits of photography they have shared are bearing fruit.

On the day of, I managed to get to the preparation venue on time and had a fun shoot with the accessories. I even managed to split myself between Bridal and Groom preparation. Major focus though was on the bridal preparation as I have come to learn that matters a great deal. The photoshoot was nearly disturbed by the onset of rains but we proceeded undeterred.

I must say this couple was easy to work with. They were bubbly, giggly and clearly enjoying their day. The wedding day deserves a lot of happiness and this couple was a natural. And it shows in their photos. A pat on the back for the team work my wife and I exhibited in getting the job done. We worked together on getting the business, work together through the processing of the photos and to the final delivery of the work. A very good business model I must say.

A few photos of the wedding are shared here; the couple will share the majority of their photos on their Facebook pages.

On a different note, we have continued with the #TalkingNaturalHair shots. We managed to fill spot number 5 when my sister in law came through for a fun shoot. And this coming Sunday, May 3, 2015, my wife and I will be in one location to capture as many photos as we can so that we can share one every weekend in our quest to get to 100.



Enjoy May Day and for all those who celebrate this day as International Labour Day, enjoy your well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of work.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rocking the Natural Look - No. 4

This past weekend we were visited by Ms. Nchimunya Kasongo, rocking her big Afro Hair. We shot it.

#TalkingNaturalHair #NaturalLight

#TalkingNaturalHair #NaturalLight

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Rocking the Natural Look - No. 3

The shoot this weekend was a success. I am still looking for 97 more people with natural hear to shoot. Until then, the practice sessions continue. This week, meet Ms. Busiku Mpimpa, wearing her hair proudly natural.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I am an Enthusiast... and loving it!

 So 2015 seems to be going a little slow for my Blog. I attribute that to a few things that have been going on in my life.Oh the life of an enthusiast. First of all your 7 - 5 jobs keeps you busy and then there is the name building thing. Because a lot of people do not know much about me, they are hesitant to hire me for their big events.

I am happy though that I have a few confirmed bookings for weddings and some prospects. Hopefully we will get the hype up enough to bring in a lot of clients. So as not to be idle, I have embarked on a project to photograph 100 men and women with "Talking Natural Hair". I have already photographed two and a third one is in the works. The idea behind it is to find 100 people that rock that natural hair and rock it well/proudly.

I want to see how long it will take me to photograph these 100 people before moving on to another practice session to photograph 100 strangers. The idea behind this is to continually practice between my wedding shoots.
Rocking the Natural Look #1

Rocking the Natural Look #2

Speaking of practice, I helped this one person at the office the other day and it turned out he is a photographer. A good photographer at that. This is the one time I believe that being nice to people has its benefits. We got talking about camera gear and I asked about a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. He said if there was a lens he would need for a wedding shoot, it would be this one. And he was willing to let me try it out for the wedding shoot I have on the 5th of April. Couldn't believe my luck. So I took the lens for a spin today to get familiar with the speed and difficulty I would be working with. I will need a very steady hand to work with this lens. And I will need some muscle too. The f/2.8 version is heavier than the f/4.

I am sharing some of the images from the trial I had a Munda Wanga Wildlife Sanctuary today. I caught a Leopard Tortoise couple doing their thing. #WinkWink

Flightless birdies foot.

Standing tall and pretty.

Mother peacock and her little one.

Mr. and Mrs. Tortoise making out. #RealSlow


Monday, March 2, 2015

Shooting with Jason J. Mulikita

So it has been forever since I blogged and it seems like there is a lot to be said. I  hope that this posting today marks the beginning of some form of consistency into blogging.

Last year I had the pleasure of working with Oliver Olimix Mubonde, a top notch wedding and studio photographer based in Lusaka. The opening of this year provided another unique opportunity to work with another one of Zambia's (and the Sub Region) most sought after wedding, commercial and landscape photographer. I am sure if you have been following photography even remotely you know who I am talking about.

During the holidays, I reached out to Jason J. Mulikita of JJArts Photography to ask if I could shadow him on a wedding shoot when he had space for one more person walking around with a camera. A few weeks into January of 2015, I got a surprise phone call from Jason indicating that he had a wedding coming up and if I was still interested I could join him. He didn't need to tell me twice. I accepted the invitation to shoot with him and and the rest is history or at least the future that we are talking about.

In the lead up to the shoot, I kept asking questions just so I can know what would be expected of me. And the asking paid off. When we got together on the day of the wedding, Jason was a wealth of information for this enthusiast. He shared not only the secret behind his popping wedding photographs but also the secret to most of his clients.

If I forget all the technical information he shared, the one thing I should remember is this: "Build friendships/relationships". It is not just about getting the job done at all costs and walking away with your fee. He mentioned that most of his clients come from referrals by clients he has worked with in the past. Some even from the same family. I have endeavored to build bridges with those of my clients who hire me. And I know if I do a good job, I will get the referrals going forward.

So, the principle behind building friendships is this: clients are more comfortable with you and it shows in your photos. You are not just some stranger who has come there for a day to deliver some work. You are someone they can relate to and they will be free to be themselves around you. And I saw this during the time I spent with Jason. They were like family around him. I guess all the technical skill will count for nothing if your clients look grumpy and tense in their photos.

I also learnt that macro lenses work well best for weddings. You can get so much done with a 70-200mm f2.8 lens. And if you have a camera that can take high ISO settings, bump up the ISO. I learnt that with weddings, you reasonably know what to expect. You don't have to be clicking all the time. You know the moments that are to be expected. Another thing I learnt is that having someone assist you during a shoot is a good idea. They will capture some of the minutiae while you keep focused on the main event.

I am sharing an image or two from the day I spent with Jason. By the way, Jason will be conducting training from today for the next couple of weeks. I am happy I signed up for the training. I hope that my clients will get the best photography from our growing business with Lubumbe.

You can see Jason's work from his website here or on his facebook page.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Two Weddings & A Ball

November and December combined gave me the opportunity to cover two weddins and a Marine Corps Ball.

Earlier this year I started posting photos I had taken of my wife, sisters and niece, I had no idea that people would then be interested in having me take photos of their events based on those photos. I had covered weddings before, mostly pro bono and where people promised to pay, they would give me a measly fee that would not even cover my fuel costs to get round to their events.

I didn't complain, as that still provided me with an opportunity to practice and cover events from start to finish. I know Rome was not built in a day, and I also know that you must start somewhere by taking the first step. So I kept at it.and when I got my first DSLR, I got a lot more practice hours. It is still below 10,000 shots so every shot I have taken in that range, will count as my worst. But they have gotten way better.

So, after I posted a few photos I had taken, I got an interested person calling me through my sister to ask how much I would charge for a wedding. Full day, only shooter starting at bridal dress up through to reception. I was stunned! I had not yet thought of putting a price on the service I would provide and would have done it for next to nothing. After a bit of thought, I gave her what I thought my price would be. Considering this was my first enquiry, I threw in a lot of incentive for the low price. My thought was if I could get customers to spread the word round, that would be payment enough for me. So we had a deal.

And that is how I met Grace and Lekani. Grace had been in touch all the time because her husband to be worked out of town. She is the one that filled me in on the dates, and even when there was a change after President Michael Sata died, she kept in touch and informed me of the changes. The finally got married on November 23, 2014 and their day was beautiful. My first paying clients had a successful day. And from that wedding, I have gotten a few enquiries already and I know in due time a lot more will come.

Grace & Lekani

Grace & Lekani

Grace & Lekani

Thank you for being my first paying clients!!!
Around the same time that Grace and Lekani got in touch with me, my young uncle declared his intention to marry his long standing sweetheart, Julia. They met when they were little at Libala SDA Church and they intended to wed at the same church where they met. I had shared some photos of this couple when rehearsals for their wedding started in August of this year. You can find them here.

My young uncle was determined to have me as his photographer. He could have picked anyone from the group of other talented photographers, but he chose me. And I think it helped that my wife was their matron. On December 14, 2014, they were married at Libala SDA Church.

The photo session was at Southern Sun Hotel. It rained heavily on this day but we managed to get some good photos on location using what was available to us at the time. It was also the first time I had a couple coming in for Studio shots at home. My Neewer lights worked wonders and I am sure the studio skill will get better with practice.

I am sharing a few photos from our session with the Hamoonga's here.

Shhhh! Be quiet!

Julia and Lweendo

All I told them was to act as though they were talking.
They ended up with a deep conversation as you can see.

Wrestling the bride's maids for her husband.

I fell in like with this one.

The proposal all over again.

One final event I had on December 6, 2014 was the Marine Corps Ball. I was approached to find out if I could provide photography services for the Ball. I didn't know what to say. I am friends with the person who has provided photography services for as long as I can remember for the Ball and I was a little hesitant to give my fee. But when I got the enquiry more than once, I provided my fee and we had a signing.

The contract template I was given seems like a good idea for me to have with my wedding clients. It seems like the professional thing to do where the negotiated fee is indicated and I wont forget how much I am expecting for my hobby. I had a lot of fun at the Ball, both as a guest and as a photographer. I may share one photo here but the rest will be shared by the client.

Special thanks for the opportunity to cover the Ball.

As you can see, it has been a busy couple of months for this Enthusiast. I recal a discussion that got heated on the Photographers group about how much to charge. As well as other skilled photographers who were on the more realistic side, I do think you need to somewhere. Small it may be, but it is a start nonetheless. As word gets out and as your skill improves, you will be able to charge more for your services. I am learning that you do not need to rush into bigger prices; your liability is higher. As an enthusiast, I may not be able to stomach paying back a couple thousand kwacha, but I can manage what is at my level.

I read something last week that said "Every artist was once an amateur". Little by litle, amateur skill will fade and the art will become better. Compliments of the season to you all!!!