African styled photo shoot.

I went totally out of my comfort zone with this photo shoot. Something I have never done before, but I love the results. I am busy with an online workshop with Robin Chavez Photography. We had a weekend challenge. The requirements were that we had to take a portrait photo at an unlikely run down location. We had to submit a portrait photo as well as a pull back of the location.

Now if you know me, you will know that I plan my sessions, styling, locations and everything long before the time. When I saw the post it was already about 7:00-8:00PM the Friday night. I didn’t have time to plan like I normally would and had to think “outside the box”.

I didn’t have a “model” to photograph and I don’t know many people with younger children. So Saturday morning I woke up early and decided to drive around and find a run down spot. That was first on the list. I must have driven around for about 2 hours and somehow landed up in Hartebeespoort dam. While I was there I kept seen these trees with yellow flowers (I have NO idea what they called). Then I went to Chameleon village just to see if I could find a child there who would be my model. Little did I know there was not even one child there.

African styled photo shoot


I walked through the market and found they had traditional Swazi Khanga’s. I searched around for about an hour, to find a Khanga and scarf that would match the yellow trees I saw at the side of the road. Anyway I bought it, but still had no model. On the way back home, I thought we must have trees like that around Fourways, so drove around about another 2 hours hoping to find one. I found 2 trees, but they were tiny, but thought I would use them anyway.

I still had no model. I drove to two informal settlements looking for anyone. I must add, the people were so friendly and helpful but it seems everyone goes visiting on weekends). I then gave up.

Sunday afternoon, I went to the shops, while driving, I found the yellow tree – a big one. I had also found a model. I was so excited. Luckily I had not taken the things I had bought out of my car. It was about 5:00pm and we also had the perfect lighting.

African styled photo shoot


African styled photo shoot

I am still in awe of how everything turned out. Yes, I spent a great deal of time driving around, buying the African attire, but with no model, I couldn’t have done it. And then at the last possible moment everything fell into place. If it was even an hour later, I would not have been able to do it as there would not have been enough light. So I must say I was truly blessed.

This is not something I would like to do again in a hurry, but it taught me so much.

1. Even the ugliest locations can give you beautiful photos.

2. Go out of your comfort zone.

3. Think outside the box. Instead of always going with pretty dresses (I always do) I went for traditional African attire.

4. Even when you think something is not possible, it can be. Just carry on and don’t give up.

5. Always carry on educating yourself, there will always be something new to learn, or something to do – even if it means it is out of your comfort zone.

African styled photo shoot

African styled photo shoot


African styled Photo shoot.