Emet photography {Interview}

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

 One of the questions this week at the Miss South Africa pageant was 'What is the most underrated thing about South Africa?', and while I agree with one of the contestants that our food is underrated {she didn't win}, I would have to say it is our talent! There are so many amazing artists and creatives in our country, but I believe that they aren't given half the chance that overseas artists and creatives are given. 

I often like to make it my mission to share some of these talents with the outside world, and today I am featuring Monique and Corlia from Emet Photography. How lucky am I to know one of these ladies?! 

Check out their beautiful photography and their quirky and funny interview below.

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Tell me a little bit about yourselves.
 
C: I’m Corlia, happily married for nearly 25 years, my 2 children, Ruard and Carmen are the light of my life. I’ve been a photographer for the past 6 years, for the first 4 years I did it part time, since  Monique  and I got together at  the beginning of 2011 we invested much  more time into the business. I’m very thankful that she is in my life, she brings a young exciting energy to the business, and keeps met on my toes. I love people, music and art and I get to do 2 of them on a weekly basis through my photography, what a privilege.

M: I am Monique, a fun loving, 28 year old with a love for people.  I have an amazing husband who believes in me more than I believe in myself and who supports me to no end.  I am crazy about music, enjoy sports, own the two cutest Jack Russels on this Planet and am deeply in love with my Saviour Jesus Christ.

Why and when did you two start this business? 
 
M: In the beginning of 2011 I photographed a Wedding with Vanessa (a relative).  This particular wedding was my first rain drenched one, extremely romantic though...and here I realised I never want to shoot a wedding alone again.  Vanessa and Corlia were acquaintances and she mentioned our glorious but rainy wedding to Corlia.  Corlia, at that time, had already been a photographer for a few years, and so after a Maxi’s coffee, where we shared our visions and interests, we were inseparable.  We both have something to bring to the table; Corlia has a lot of experience in photography, how to approach clients and how to run a business where I am still young, ambitious, keener on taking chances and doing new creative things.  We stretch one another but also complement one another in a unique way.

What has been your proudest moment since you started?
 
M:I don’t have a certain specific one.  The moments that make me proud are when clients comment:  “The photographs exceeded our best expectations” or “I have never felt so relaxed while being photographed” and “I can’t stop staring at these pictures”.  But the best:  Happy clients who come back for more...

C: The day that I could actually understand when somebody was talking about   F-stop, shutter speed and ISO.



What is your main source of inspiration and how do you continue to get new ideas project after project?
 
M: The main thing in photography (Accept for the influence of light - LOL) is to stay fresh and new and yes this is a challenging task.  I am not going to lie and say that we come up with all our ideas on our own, some of them we do and others we find on pinterest or from other photographer’s work which inspire us, however we always try to put our own unique spin onto these ideas – ‘Emetize’ it a bit.  My main inspiration is people; their love, their lives and relationships, their joys and sorrows, their determination, their individuality...the list is endless.
 
C: My main source of inspiration will be the people that I take photos of. Each person is unique, and I do my best to capture that. Every comment on our work like a ‘WOW’ or a ‘like’ on facebook, that is awesome to me. To get new ideas, you have to get creative. To stay creative you have to use the full potential of the location where you shoot and incorporate the individualism of your client.

What is your photography style?
 
C: Our style of photography is elegant, romantic and simplistic. We are professional but give a personal service to our clients to meet their needs.

M: Emet Photography is passionate about people & photography.  Our images reflect a sense of elegance, style, simplicity, fun and enthusiasm that captures the eye and heart.  Our approach is professional, but still very personal in order to meet individual needs of our clients.  We absolutely love what we do!!
 
Any tips for beginners?
C: Yes, if you want to be a good photographer….learn everything you can about light….know how your equipment works, camera, flash etc.

M: I felt like I had to know it all and had to own the best equipment before I could start but thanks to my sister-in-law, Mercia I started without having the above.  If I were to wait before I knew it all I still wouldn’t have started ever.  The best way to learn and grow is to swim in the deep waters...  Start by photographing your friends and family.  We all know someone who is either pregnant, or has a baby, people with birthday parties, Kitchen Tea’s and Baby showers.  Start by working for free until you feel comfortable with your work...when those same friends start coming back for more, you know you can start charging for your work...  If you are interested in photographing weddings, find a photographer whose work you admire and ask them if you can come and carry their bags etc just to learn...  Always be open to learn new things, you can read up on the internet, sign up for SLR Lounge newsletters etc.  Nikon South-Africa also has free workshops which are awesome...and to all the Nikon fans, I just want to make myself clear:  I’m not saying Nikon is awesome, just their workshops ;), CANON RULES!!   You don’t have to formally study to become a photographer, yes it does help but it is not a must.  All you need is a little bit of courage, lots of passion for people, as well as photography and a camera...  Rome was not built in a day, hey!
 

Have you had any bloopers? 

M: In 2005 I went on an outreach to Malawi, I was fascinated by the emotions in the children’s eyes, the stories these eyes told trough the dust all hard on their faces.  Faces stung with tears and others with laughter.  People who have so little and yet are filled with so much joy and peace.  This awakened the Photo Journalist inside of me.  I loved the country and wanted to capture something of this story and also take a part of it home with me.  It was then that I knew I needed and definitely, desperately wanted a camera.    A year later (one day before my next outreach to Malawi) I bought my first SLR Camera, a Canon 350D.  Very excited I packed my brand new camera in for my second trip to Malawi.  On arrival I opened the camera bag only to realise I forgot the power cable for the charger!!!!  I wanted to laugh, cry and scream all at once!  Luckily I went back a third time, and it was glorious.  One day (when my work is famous) I would like to sell photographs of certain areas and people in Malawi for lots of money, and use this to build more schools for these children and to uplift their communities.
 
C: We once had a pre-school’s photoshoot with props; for the boys we had a picnic basket with a fishing rod, hat, bread and apples.  one little boy ate the apples…..luckily we bought a whole bag of apples.

 

What would be your dream photoshoot?
 

C: Oh, one has so many dreams…….to do the shoot for a cover page of a magazine.

M: I don’t have a specific dream shoot I want to do.  I would love though to explore film photography with my very own darkroom.  And the pictures I’d like to develop would all be pictures that speak to the heart...  The story of the bum sleeping under his plastic bag in Church Square; life, love, struggle and joy written over an old woman’s face;  the ongoing wars in Africa...things that matter.  Also random stuff that I love to photography that don’t matter to anyone at all.

Something you might still be learning? 
 
C: This is the part that I love about photography;  you never stop learning,  software is a big challenge , editing, people, marketing and composition, and the list goes on.

M: Oh I learn new things every day, new things about photography, editing, business, designing, composition and people...  The most valuable lesson these last few months has to be, not to strife to photograph beautiful, glamorous people, but to rather be thankful for the privilege to be part of documenting genuine, down to earth people’s lives.
 

And just for the heck of it, what would you do if you won the lottery?
 
C: I do not play the lottery, so I guess I will never win. My focus in live has never been money, rather my family and friends.

M: I don’t play the lotto, but if I were to win so  much money I would firstly buy new camera equipment (Canon 5D Mark III and a 16-35 mm Wide angle lens to add to my kit), Apple computer, I would buy  editing programs, I’d give my husband money to start his own many small businesses.  I would bless Zóé Academy (a ministry team currently situated in Pretoria) with the opportunity to start a business to support them financially with a consistent monthly income.  And maybe I would buy myself a horse...       


4 comments:

Lisamarie said...

These two girls are awesome!! What a fun post, Megan.

Idele said...

Lovit lovit lovit!

Idele said...

Lovit, lovit, lovit!

Sam said...

Great interview Megan! Thanks for sharing their immense photographic talent with us. I am always inspired by other artists and creative souls, especially when they are fellow Safricans.

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