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!

Holiday happy Snaps...

I have written often in the past about the conflict that I have when I go on holiday with the family.  To recap briefly its the internal conflict I have in finding the right balance between being on holiday with my family and getting out and doing what I love, taking pictures. Given that we often visit wild and exciting destinations this is a constant issue for me!

Our recent trip to Nyanga, Zimbabwe in mid December this year was a bit different thankfully! The cottage we stayed in was situated perfectly on the middle Connemara Lake with easy walking access to the rest of the dams and surrounds. So instead of having to stalk off on my own I could join my family on the walks and sneakily fly my drone whenever the occasion presented itself.

Quite honestly this was one of the most balanced family holidays I have managed so far, and I hope this is reflected in the awesome aerial pictures of the Connemarra area!

Shooting Sports....

In my line of work I am lucky enough to shoot a huge variety of content, and that is not limited to quite a few sporting occasions. Being a great lover of wildlife photography I have all the necessary fast camera's and long lenses to effectively shoot a large sports occasion. I love the challenge of a fast rugby game or the patience and observation required to shoot golf.

I have been lucky in my career to shoot a large number of golf days for corporates, as well as the internationally renowned Zimbabwe Open Golf tournament, check out a small selection of my golf images below. If you have a golf day coming up and would like it covered please don't hesitate to contact me.

I was very lucky to be commissioned by Old Mutual earlier this year to shoot the 2 super 15 games that were played here in Harare by 4 South African teams. Namely the Lions vs The Bulls and the Stormers vs The Cheetahs.

A few weeks ago I was commissioned by VHM Events Management  to shoot the Zimbabwe Polo Open, a sport that I had little experience with but loved every minute of!

Every year I am lucky enough to be asked by Old Mutual Zimbabwe to cover all their major sporting events, which includes a lot of Marathons, they are early starts and involve a lot of bumping around in the back of open vehicles but are incredibly fun to shoot!

If you have enjoyed these pictures and have a sporting event coming up that you would like covered, don't hesitate to contact me for a quote or more information.

Lomagundi College...

Earlier this year I was commissioned by my colleagues at The Marketing Chefs to create engaging content for one of Zimbabwe's boarding schools; Lomagundi. The school is split into a junior school as well as a college and the brief entailed getting as many appealing shots of the school, staff, grounds and activities as possible which would be used on the schools' new website being developed by the Marketing Chefs, which you can see here.

As usual the shots had to be of the highest quality and had to showcase as many different aspects of the school as possible. Needless to say it was a frantic 24 hours of shooting on site! The biggest challenge on a shoot like this is always time, its never on your side! We were shooting on the last day of the school term and so even though we had been given complete carte blanche and several awesome helpers we still had to work round class times and teachers' schedules.

Despite this the shoot went without a hitch and myself and the team from The Marketing Chefs managed to get all the content we needed. As we arrived in the afternoon of day 1 we got straight into shooting some sports practices. Like all good boarding schools in Zimbabwe sports is at the heart of the school and its students, so we were able to get a good variety of shots on the basketball court, the rugby pitch and even some equestrian images.

Early the following morning we set about shooting some sunrise and early morning shots of the school grounds. The school isn't very large which made it easier for me to find the best angles in the beautifully soft early morning light.

Boarding school starts early so there wasn't even time for a coffee break before I was shooting some setup shots of the students around the school grounds. Lomagundi College is co-ed so part of the brief was to showcase the integration on the school premises from the Junior School through to the college. The boarding houses however are same sex so I also did some shots showcasing a small portion of life for the students in the boarding houses.

A school shoot wouldn't be complete without having a good selection of classroom pictures, the trick here was to get the students looking happy and engaged, and if you remember school like I do not everyone loves the classroom! The Lomagundi children must be commended on loving their school and classroom time and so this did not prove to be an issue at all! I also shot some setup pics in the library as well as the computer lab to showcase the digital innovation that is essential the modern day school environment.

I was thrilled with the pics that we managed to get at Lomagundi, and most importantly so was the school! I would like to say a big thank you to Lomagundi for having us and to the team at The Marketing Chefs for their continuing support and creative direction! See some screen grabs from the website below or check out it out here. Please don't hesitate to be in touch if you would like any marketing shots done of your won school, business or product! 

 

 

Capturing Coffee...

We all love it, it picks us up when we are tired and smells heavenly when its being brewed but must be one of the most under appreciated staples in the kitchen. I was mulling this over early one damp morning when I decided to try and showcase some of Zimbabwe's finest coffee products. So off I shot to the shops and spent an aromatic half hour wandering around the coffee section of our local supermarket. I ended up selecting Vumba Coffee, a brand made in Zimbabwe's eastern highlands because I liked the vibrancy of the brands' logos and wanted a challenge photographing the shiny silver packaging.

Check out the time-lapse video below of me seting up the studio and shooting thje product.

I tried a few different setups initially and wasn't overly happy with the results as I wanted to hero both the packaging as well as the coffee beans themselves. I eventually settled on a setup where the light from a large 30x120cm softbox 'grazed' the product at a very low angle. I liked the striking, contrasty atmosphere that this lighting setup produced as well as the muted effect on the silver packaging.

However there where several shots that I also feel did the product justice, I did battle to contain the reflective nature of the silver packaging as well as manage the various bumps and dips created by the coffee in the package, a little bit of photoshopping was required to try and smooth out these inconsistencies.

For the above image I used a black background and a beauty dish with a tight grid to create a very focused pool of light on the product, with a very shallow depth of field this keeps the focus on the product and the mug. In this shot I particularly like how the vibrancy of the red in the label stands out against the subtle green wood and particularly the stark black background. The use of a lot of 'dead space' above the product would allow for the addition of any artwork to be added without impinging on the product shot.

I went with a similar setup in the above scene but added a few more lights so that the product was less dramatically lit as well as a background. I didn't light the background so that it wouldn't be distracting but visible enough to add an extra layer of meaning to the picture. In keeping with the more neutral look of this picture I also changed the colour of the mug to suit the overall mood of the shot.

Finally for the above shot I tried to add a sense of fun and excitement by dropping some coffee beans into the mug. I feel that the sense of movement and shadows created by the falling coffee beans adds an extra layer of excitement and vibrancy to the shot.

Overall I am happy with the results from the shoot as a whole but would lean towards the first picture being my favourite! Do email us and let us know your thoughts if you feel differently or have any feedback. Going forward I would really like to shoot and do a behind the scenes blog every month specifically on some of the wonderful products being made in Zimbabwe. So if you feel you have a uniquely Zimbabwean product that you would like showcased please be in touch!

Go behind the scenes and watch me as I setup my studio and shoot the above scenes in the below time-lapse video.