I have been lucky enough to have photographed all the stores for Nandos Zimbabwe in the past, so when they opened a new branch in Gweru, Zimbabwe I was asked to pack my bags and head out to do my thing. The brief was to capture all the different design elements in the brand new store at night as well as during the day. The images had to showcase the every angle of the store, without any people in the images so I had to work around the stores trading hours. This meant late nights and early mornings, but as I am sure you will agree the effort certainly yielded the results!
Office Design Co are a world class interior design studio in Harare who have been creating beautiful interior spaces for some of Zimbabwe’s largest corporates for over 20 years. So naturally I was thrilled when the directors Olly and Steve asked me to create some images of one of their recent interior designes for CABS bank. The brief was to capture a variety of wide angle shots of the whole interior space as well as a few close detail shots.
Client: CABS Bank, Old Mutual Properties.
Olly French - Designed
Steve Bailey Project Managed
Construction by Rogers Kativu - Delomic Construction
Shop fitting by Lovemore Wood - McWood Shopfitters
Electrical, lighting and containment by Ivan Johnson of JDI
QS team of George Mutyanda and Alfred Muzavazi - of MGP
Signage - Askeland Media
The iconic Nesbitt Arms in Chiredzi has recently undergone a soft refurb and so I was approached by the marketing team to help create some fresh images of the newly refurbished rooms and exterior of the hotel.
I am lucky enough to do a lot of food photography, so I was more than pleased when I was approached by Freddy Hirsch Zimbabwe to help them create images for their 2019 calendar. The meals where prepared by the awesome chefs at The Bistro Restaurant and my good friend Giani DiTano was in charge of the art direction. The brief was to photograph scrumptious dishes of food that showcased the range of Freddy Hirsch spices. I also photographed each spice pack in the studio along with a heaped pile of the spices to showcase the vibrant colours of each spice. I am sure you will agree that the combination of delicious food and vibrant colours complement each other well in the calendar.
I’m not sure if there is anything more peaceful to do as a photographer than to sit under a million African stars in complete silence, with only the occasional clatter of your camera’s shutter disturbing the peace. Whenever I get the opportunity to do it I always wonder why it has been so long silence I last did it, and resolve to do it again soon!
Thankfully that is often easier than it sounds, especially in Africa where, even near a large city like Harare, the light pollution is not too bad. These photographs where taken at a popular tourism destination, Domboshawa, just a 15 minute drive from the edge of Harare. In a matter of a few hours and with 2 camera’s set up I manage to capture a variety of different angles of the iconic boulders, in amongst my musings at the stars!
If you would like to learn how to photograph the stars I will be leading workshops out to Domboshawa soon, please feel free to contact me if you would like to learn more, or check out our available courses here.
Axia Corporation is one of Zimbabwe’s largest corporates with interests in the home furnishings and appliances, automative and distribution markets, so when they asked me to help them create some unique images for their 2018 annual report I was delighted!
The brief was to capture engaging images of each brands’ retail premises, staff and products that encapsulates their commitment to a quality product and service. I spent a day shooting at each brand, starting with the automative giant Transerv which you can see below.
The next day I joined the Axia marketing team at their home furnishing and appliance division TV Sales and Home where we visited a variety of their retail stores to capture the staff, retail spaces and available products.
To cap it all off we spent the day at one of the countries largest fast moving consumer goods distribution companies, Distribution Group Africa. Their distribution centre must be one of the biggest commercial spaces I have ever photographed, with the opportunity to create vast wide angle shots being around every corner! Check out some of the shots in the gallery below.
I would like to thank the marketing and admin folk from Axia as well as all the SBU’s that we visited while shooting for the annual report for their hard work and patience during this frenetic exercise!
Zuva Petroleum is one of Zimbabwe’s biggest fuel companies, with over 100 station’s around the country, so when they asked me to photograph all their stations I filled up and hit the road! The trip required a lot planning and consideration to ensure that the light was right for each station, the sheer numbers of stations there where to photography however meant that not all of them where photographed in the golden hour light. Despite this though I, and more importantly Zuva, where very happy with the results which you can see below!
I was approached by Garfunkels in 2018 to help create a variety of food and lifestyle images to promote their restaurants in Harare, the Garfunkels Grill and their takeaway business. Naturally I am always happy photographing food, even if it means I am drooling for several hours in a row! Check out some of the delicious results below.
In addition to the food photography I was also tasked with creating some lifestyle pics of their staff at work in the restaurant as well as some staged images of guests having a great time. We shot in both venues to get a variety of different shots, don’t you love the beaming smile on the Pizza makers face?
The campaign would have been incomplete without some great exterior and interior shots of the restaurant spaces, so a good amount of time was spent shooting at different times of the day to get the best results possible.
I am a great lover of Chilli sauce, and Dr Trouble is about as good as it gets! I have photographed Dr Trouble in the studio before and so was more than excited when I was asked to photograph their new bottles which had been re-labeled. The brief was to get a variety of shots of the front and back of each bottle, as well as a variety of creative shots of individual and groups of bottles. I am very happy with the results, let me what your favourite shot is in the comments below!
I am very luck to be able to travel all over southern Africa with my job, but this often means I have to take quite a lot of equipment along so I can get my various jobs done. I have often found that when I have a lot of equipment on me, the temptation is always to try and make the most of all of it. This inevitably leads to a lot of fussing over gear at the expense of capturing your scene well.
So on a recent editorial assignment to Santa Carolina Island, better known as Paradise Island in Mozambiques’ Bazaruto Archipelago, I decided to keep things simple and only use one lens. And wow what a difference that made to my modus operande! Not having any other gear with me forced me to really concentrate on the scene in front of me, how to approach it, compose it and capture it in a way that will do it justice.
Paradise Island is a true “rock Island" and is enveloped by some of the most pristine blue ocean one could wish for and this sense of timeless beauty is only further accentuated when you sail up to Paradise in a locally made dhow. It is almost too picture card perfect! Visiting Paradise Island by dhow is a very popular with the areas tourists so naturally I had to focus on this, check out some of the results below.
A visit to the Island wouldn’t be complete without a walk around the crumbling colonial-era hotel on the East flank of the Island. Once the pinnacle of colonial style luxury the hotel was abandoned in 1973 and has since been slowly reclaimed by the islands’ vegetation. Needless to say it is a visual paradise which vividly juxtaposes mans’ historic presence on the island.
So, onto the technical stuff; I was using a Venus Laowa 12mm f2.8 lens which is fully manual on a Nikon d750, and it was a match made in camera-dork heaven! The lens is small but well built but most importantly sharp as anything at all apertures and with very minimal distortion, not a barrel curve in sight! Despite having manual focus and a manual aperture ring the lens is very easy to use, which allowed me to keep the focus on creating great images.
So if you are like me and have lots of equipment, albeit to do lots of different jobs, do yourself a favour and every so often pick one of them and tackle a subject with just one lens, you will be surprised what you can achieve with minimal equipment and maximum focus!