So recently I took on a really, really cool responsibility. The thing is that I've got this drive to push my own business forward and find a way to make good money, but at the same time I've also got this drive to do stuff that leaves a true imprint and ripple of good worth behind me, and for me to be able to do both at the same time would be really ideal, and it totally came to be.
About a month ago, after delivering some photos to a client I ambled into a studio space at Arts on Main called I was shot in Joburg. I'd seen their stall at Rosebank mall before and I kind of pegged them as a cool startup that makes awesome products from photos taken in Joburg. I was only part right, as I was soon to discover, and further to that I was to learn that I had just found an opportunity to combine my drive for my business and my drive to do good stuff.
As I browsed the wide catalogue of Joburg themed goods, all beautifully crafted, colourful and energetic I noticed someone shooting some products in the corner and thought I would casually enquire as to what settings he was using and maybe have a quick chat about ISO, aperture and depth of field, as you do.
It was after a few moments chatting with him, as he told me more about himself and the business that the pin dropped and I discovered what I was Shot was actually all about.
So this guy Bernard decided to give a group of boys that lived on the streets some disposable cameras. I don't know why he did it, but I'm pretty sure it was because it felt like an awesome way to stimulate them as well as bring something cool and fun into their lives. Very soon it became clear to Bernard that this would be a perfect platform for these guys to learn skills and generate an income.
Long story short, but they became the inspiration for the entire IWS brand. They take amazing photos using disposable film cameras with a completely different perspective, which is I believe mainly due to their totally different frame of reference, and turn them into awesome products to sell to the adoring tourists and locals that pass through Arts on Main every day. It's incredible.
I chatted with Bernard about my passion, and I've since taken on the responsibility of training these guys up and furthering their skills beyond the disposable cameras and into DSLR territory, as well as managing and briefing them on any shoots that I was Shot is hired for.
That's right, you can hire us for shoots of any kind, and every time you do these guys will add a valuable skill to their toolbox and take a step closer to becoming professionals. Click here to make an enquiry.
The idea is that they can expand beyond the product creation element and start making money independently as professional photographers.
I started off with a workshop I created called "Really simple, but really effective stuff you can do to make your photos much nicer", and have since started a roster with Bernard and Stephan taking a different one of the guys with me on each job I shoot to show them the ropes.
And yesterday I ran my latest workshop with them and I focused on just one of the three most important areas of photography. Shutter speed.
After explaining the concept of shutter speed and how it can affect your photography in controlled conditions we grabbed a few cameras, courtesy of Nikon South Africa and went outside to see what cool stuff they could do while utilising shutter speed to enhance their creativity.
The photos they took blew my mind.
There's just this way that the guys shoot that brings out this edgy, energy in the photos that is awesome. I don't know if it's because their frame of reference is so different to mine or if it's just because they're awesome, or it's just because I haven't indulged in creative photography in so long, but it is quite simply put; totally inspiring.
None of these photos were taken by me, they were taken by the guys from I was Shot during a training session I was running on shutter speed.