Living it up and La Rochelle..

Nestled in the Imbeza valley near Penhalonga in Zimbabwe's Eastern Highlands is possibly one of the countries best kept tourism secrets; La Rochelle Country House. The former home of the eccentric Courtauld family it was generously donated to the National Trust of Zimbabwe on their passing and has recently been refurbished and offers sumptuous cuisine and unique boutique accommodation to the discerning visitor.

La Rochelle are focusing on the experiential traveller and so a large portion of my brief was to showcase, often in close detail, the unique settings, drinks, dining and more that is on offer at La Rochelle.

And it is certainly undeniable that La Rochelle is one of the most unique buildings in Zimbabwe, the original architects where instructed by the Courtauld's to create one of the most 'ambitious' homes of their time (in the 1960's). True to form and built on a large scale for entertaining their guests, the facade of La Rochelle is truly fascinating.

Thankfully I had a good amount of time at La Rochelle which allowed me to capture as many of the experiences on offer. From exceptional food and drinks to wandering through the immense and captivating gardens, sipping gin and tonics by the pool or enjoying a relaxing session in the Spa, there was certainly a lot of opportunity to create and capture some stunning marketing pictures. Because of this, I would like the images to speak for themselves, so sit back, relax and enjoy the splendor of La Rochelle!

Batonka and the beautiful Blue...

Batonka Guest Lodge must be one of the most well appointed small boutique lodges in Victoria Falls so when they asked me to help them update their marketing gallery I was thrilled! Although the focus was to create some fresh material to be used as signature images for the lodge's new marketing strategies some more general shots of the public areas and rooms where required to replace older images. You can see some of the great results below.

The owners of the lodge really love the look and vibe of the property in the 'blue light' just after sunset so as the sun started to dip over the horizon there was some frantic activity to ensure that all the areas we wanted to cover were well prepped and looking fantastic. I'm sure you will agree that the character of the lodge is really accentuated by the soft tones and poppy colours of that magical blue hour. 

In addition to the beautiful blue images above we took to the air to look for some unique angles of the lodge that really showcase the green haven that it is. As usual my drone did not disappoint and I was able to capture a stunning sunset above the lodge. 

All in all I am sure you will agree with me that the shoot was a great success, thankfully so did the owners of Batonka Guest Lodge who where thrilled with some of the fresh angles that we managed to capture! I had great fun shooting Batonka and would like to thank the owners for the opportunity to shoot and showcase the lodge.

Focusing on Food...

Food is certainly a large part of the overall experience that we have come to expect from modern travel and so a large part of my job when photographing hotels and safari lodges is to showcase the amazing food on offer. So when Zimbabwean hotel giant Rainbow Tourism Group wanted to showcase some of the premier dishes available at their hotels I was all too happy to rise to the occasion. I would like to let the food do all the talking here, so below are some of the delicious results...

Going for Green Fuel...

I was contracted by Green Fuel Zimbabwe last year to visit their sugar cane plantations on their Chisumbanje estate in Zimbabwe's South Eastern region to create a photo library of their Agricultural, Plant and Community developments. Green Fuel currently harvest about 9000 hectares of sugarcane on both their Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje estates which is then processed at the plant to produce ethanol that is blended with Zimbabwe's imported fuel. 

My brief included showcasing the various agricultural developments and activities around the estate, their processing plant as well as their various community development projects. As usual I used a good mix of on the ground pictures as well and aerial shots to showcase the size and scale of the agricultural operation which you can see below.

Green Fuel have invested a lot of time and money developing the community surrounding their estates with investments in small scale agricultural projects as well as the rehabilitation of the local library and learning centre. Green Fuel also created a sewing project were men and woman from the community have been trained to make the necessary safety garments required by the companies' agrictural and plant workers.

Lastly to the plant; its architecture is visually appealing and well light at night which lent itself to well to being photographed in the 'blue light' after sunset. A good amount of time spent observing the operations in the plant resulted in some great detail images as well as of staff working. I always make mention of the invaluable use of my drone in conveying the size and relative perspective of such a large structure and it was no less applicable here, with some great aerial images being captured.

All in all Iw as very happy with the results of my visit to Green Fuel and look forward to my next assignment for Green Fuel, I would like to thank the management and particularly the marketinfg department at Green Fuel for their continued support.

Capturing Prime Seeds...

I have been lucky enough to work with some of Zimbabwe's biggest agro-businesses and for the last three years have been having a lot of fun shooting a wide variety of images for Prime SeedCo. Initially Prime Seeds and now part of the SeedCo group Prime SeedCo provides high quality vegetable seed for sale in the Zimbabwean and African markets. I was engaged several years ago to help build up Prime Seeds' image database for use across all of their marketing databases and have photographed their products in the field and studio and from the air. You can see a selection of the images I have created for them in some of Prime SeedCo's marketing materials below.

Being a sales based company its essential to have a good selection of well shot product images and we have photographed all of Prime SeedCo's brands in our studio over the years, some of which you can see in the above posters.

Prime SeedCo also operates a substantial demo plot that farmers who are interested in their products can visit to see the veggies in the field as well as ask any of the knowledgeable staff any technical questions. Due to the seasonality of the different veggies I spend a few days in the field throughout the seasons in order to capture all the varieties on offer.

Prime SeedCo also hosts farmer field days throughout the year where both large scale and small scale farmers from around the country are invited to the demo plot to learn all about the varieties of veggies on offer and to learn best farming practices and the development in current agricultural trends. These field days are a great way of educating the local farming industry as well as showcase all the seasonal veggies at the demo plot.

Prime SeedCo also have a variety of commercial outlets around Zimbabwe and before the rebrand from Prime Seeds to SeedCo was completed I photographed one of their larger stores in Harare.

I thoroughly enjoy all the shoots I have done for Prime SeedCo over the years and look forward to the assignments I will be commissioned to carry out in 2018!

Sweet experiences in Zimbabwe's lowveld...

I have been very fortunate to shoot for Tongaat Hulett in Zimbabwe's low veld sugar hub for the past several years and have enjoyed working with the sugar giant immensely. The scale of the agriculture and the overwhelming size of the production process offers almost unending photographic opportunities.

I was contracted by Tongaat to photograph their Zimbabwean operations for the 2017 annual report. The brief was to get as many dynamic shots of their operations, production and people as possible, with a key focus being on capturing unique and captivating images of their staff at work in all environments.

This really pleased the portrait photographer in me and I think i can say that i managed to get some honest and engaging shots of the Tongaat staff...

Tongaat have a massive agricultural footprint in Zimbabwe's low-veld, focused around the Triangle and Hippo Valley Estates with total land under sugar cane of roughly 40 000 hectares. When the operations are in full swing there are so many photographic opportunities avaiable that I was spoiled for choice. Cleary a major part of the brief was to capture the agricultural and harvesting side of the operations, which you can see below.

Each estate has its own sugar mill and combined can crush over 4.5 million tonnes of sugar cane annually, which produces roughly 600 000 tonnes of sugar! Massive is the only word that really describes this undertaking! I was lucky enough to spend a few days in the mills documenting the process form start to finish and learning all about the fascinating process that eventually results in processed sugar. 

The best way to appreciate the size of the agricultural footprint as well as the mills in my opinion is with aerial pictures. This is were my drone always shines, allowing me to capture unique angles and wide, stretching vistas.

All in all I always enjoy my assignments down to Tongaat Hulett and am already looking forward to my next assignment! If you have an agricultural project that you would like photographed, please don't hesiatte to contact me.

Travelling with Africa's biggest seed producers...

I have been fortunate enough to have worked with the amazing team at SeedCo for the past 8 years now and within that time I have travelled to Malawi, Zambia and all over Zimbabwe with the marketing and production team covering everything from plant openings, field days and farm visits. Thanks to SeedCo I have seen areas of Zimbabwe that I would never have visited on my own and met people from all walks of life that have broadened my horizons, and for that I would really like to praise the whole team at SeedCo!

Towards the end of last year I was commissioned by SeedCo to capture engaging images of their farmers for an Africa-wide marketing campaign. It was very visual throughout Zimbabwe in the form of press ads and large billboards and many of the images where used on their group webiste. You can see some of the final visuals below...

I have spent a lot of time with SeedCo visiting their large and small scale farmers all over Zimbabwe who grow both maize (SeedCo's main crop) as well as wheat and soya. The portraits of the farmers are used across most of SeedCo's advertising platforms..

An advertising campaign would amount to nothing without pictures of the product and I have spent a lot of time photographing SeedCo's products, from maize to wheat, soya and millet. The close up shots have helped to convey the essence of quality that is essential to getting good harvests. Wide shots as well as close up and macro images help get as much information about the product out to the customer.

Some of the large scale farmers I have visited grow large tracks of crops and so the best way to convey the size of these operations is with aerial shots.

SeedCo host a lot of farmer field days that focus on educating both small scale and large scale farmers on new product developments as well as how to get the best yield from their products. Often hundreds of farmers are present on the day and it always makes for some great visuals.

I would like to sincerely thank SeedCo for their support over the past eight years and I look forward to working closely with them again in 2018 to help portray their brand in the best light possible.

Luxury in the heart of Harare...

I am very fortunate to be able to travel all over Zimbabwe and southern Africa photographing luxury lodges, hotels and BnB's but luckily for me I only had to head around the corner to photograph the luxurious no 18 Guest Lodge in Harare.

Situated in the heart of Harare's northern suburbs is offers the perfect blend of luxurious comfort and homeliness. Its spacious interiors and open plan living areas made it a joy for me to photograph as space was never an issue and I could move around quite easily to ensure that I got the perfect angle every time.

As is the norm with any shoot of a tourism product the aim was to showcase all aspects of the lodge, from the public areas through to the rooms and the amenities on offer. As you can see from the images below the public areas are invitingly comfortable and well appointed.

The rooms where equally well appointed and offered a comfortable environment in which any traveller could unwind and relax.

The exterior of the guest lodge offers a warm, inviting facade as you drive through the gates.

The lodge also offers amazing facilities to its clients including a very healthy menu to choose from.

If you have a tourism product that you would like photographed, please don't hesitate to contact us!