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!
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.
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...
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
For those of you who follow us regularly on our various social media platforms the fact that I now have a drone is not new, and if you are reading this for the first time, whoop whoop Scottyphotography now has a drone!
I have had the opportunity to use it a fair bit in the past month or so in various different situations shooting both corporate and personal work and have been loving every minute of it! I have always been a fan of aerial photography and have always tried to do as much as possible when time and budget allowed. Now this is where the drone comes into its own, aside from the cost of purchasing it it doesn't cost me anything extra to fly it, with the added advantage of being able to do so whenever I want and where ever I happen to be.
Yes it may be a bit bulky to have with me all the time but who cares when you can zip it up and grab a few shots from a completely different perspective? As a professional photographer being able to offer my clients a huge variety of images from different perspectives, including some aerial ones, is a big deal that will outweigh any minor inconveniences.
I was in the vicinity of the spectacular Great Zimbabwe National Monument a few weeks ago and couldn't pass up the opportunity to spend a few days there. I have been lucky enough to photograph the monument many times in the past but have never seen or photographed it from the air. Needless to say I had a fantastic time and managed to get some stunning results!
So what have I learnt about the drone and its capabilities over the past month or so? Firstly that planning is key, the battery life on my particular drone only gives me around 15 minutes of flight time, which doesn't give me a lot of time to faf around once its up. This makes me think critically about what I want to achieve before I send it up and this can only be a good thing.
Secondly, the mobility is fantastic! I can hover directly over a subject and shoot straight down in order to get detail or abstract shots and the next minute I can zip off up to 500 metres away to get that distant, all encompassing shot.
This mobility allows me to capture a variety of pics of the same scene, essential for building up a good story board around a particular subject. I can showcase the fine detail and shape of the Great Enclosure above as well as place it in its context in relation to its environment and the valley (below).
Lastly I have to talk about the performance of the camera's sensor, yes its quite small and so suffers from a bit of noise at high ISO but the drone is such a stable platform that I can shoot at 100 or 200 ISO quite happily down to 1/15th of a second and get sharp images. The sharpness of the resulting images is fantastic and the resolution has withstood the stringent attention of the quality control departments at the various stock libraries I supply with flying colours.
Another huge advantage is to be able to shoot in manual mode as well as create 5 stop bracket sets. This allows me to shoot into the sun and use clever HDR post processing techniques to create images full of detail and colour, like the ones below.
So in summary; the drone is an awesome tool that allows me to capture that unique aerial angle without too much fuss, but often with spectacular results!
Do you need some aerial images done? Don't hesitate to contact us with your ideas!