Today, we’re getting to know Danita Marais a little bit better! This is part of a series of interviews we will be having with KIKI members. If you would like to be interviewed go to our interview page and answer a few questions!
Website/ Blog: www.trureflection.co.za
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/truReflect
1. When and how did the photography bug bite you?
I started to work for a Photographer as his Graphic Designer. While editing the photos (this was for a film photographer who converted to Digital and knew nothing about computers and Photoshop) the bug bit!
I was amazed at what stories could be told through images. And what a bonus to be part of these moments and memories captured forever!
The Photographer (my boss then) encouraged me to play around with the equipment and my new found love grew stronger from then on.
2. Your house is on fire, your family, equipment and pets are safe, but you only have time to take 2 items, what would it be?
Definitely my wedding album and handbag with all my personal documents in.
(I have a second backup of all my work & photos ever done stored in a separate safe location for times such as this)
3. If you could have a conversation with anyone about anything, who would it be and what would you talk about?
President Nelson Mandela – on how he kept a positive, productive and visionary attitude through prison and all life’s hardships and challenges. How he kept on dreaming and pursuing though people could not see or understand his perspective for united people and a better future.
4. What can you talk about for hours? (apart from photography)
I love to read, so I will usually share ideas or concepts on whatever subjects I’m busy on. For example a new technique or business trend or concept.
5. What makes you really angry?
Narrow minded and impatient people who think their always right and will not take time to build a relationship with others or take the time to listen to someone else’s perspective.
6. You help an old lady load her groceries in her car; only to find out she is extremely wealthy. She wants to buy you something to say ‘thanks’. What would you choose?
That she gives the money to a charity of my choice.
7. What subject matter do you love shooting?
Weddings and people
8. If you could only take one lens on every shoot (even if you don’t currently own it), which one would it be and why?
The Canon 50mm f1.4 lens. I love the out of focus / blurred background effect and the totally different view which you get from the normal. Your subject also stands out clearer from all clutter. It also makes you think different and gives you exercise, because it has no zoom!
9. If you had all the time in the world to do one photography project, what would it be?
Underwater photography on fashion!
10. Have you ever had one of those embarrassing moments at a shoot? Would you tell us what happened and how you survived?
I am trying my best to be better with peoples names! It’s embarrassing to say but when I tend to get too busy, for example in the wedding season, my mind calls people by different names :) [not bad names, I just get confused with all the people I meet in studio and with weddings].So when I utter the wrong name and don’t get a response or a frowning face, I know I did something wrong. Currently I’m really focused on doing better. I repeat the couples names before the shoot (especially if it is a weird spelling or pronunciation), and I make a small note which I carry with me, also my assistant is a big help with this…
11. What music do you listen to when you have to get through long hours of admin and editing?
Songs with positive and inspirational words. Also anything with a good lively beat – to keep me from boredom in front of the computer (no computer = no editing = missing deadlines and angry clients). For example: Move mountains by Choclair. It also helps to arrange your favourite songs together in a group so you don’t have to skip in between or waste time searching everywhere for something good to listen to.
12. Which aspect of your craft are you the least and most confident in?
Least – Technical aspects on cameras and lenses. Most – People skills and editing
13. When you have to make big decisions, which do you prefer? “Flipping a coin”, “Comparing the pro’s and con’s” or “going with the flow”.
14. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Venice – I would love to see if the quality of life and beautiful scenery displayed on photos really exists!
15. Give a link to one of your recent shoots that you absolutely loved shooting? Why did you enjoy it so much?
This wedding of Stephan & Karien took place in Ugie, Eastern Cape, S.A. On the day before the wedding I was received with open arms and the site visit (to determine where in the field we will be taking photos) felt like a 4×4 excursion. I met Karien for her bridal photos before their ceremony and with the pouring rain and no electricity, we played around with poses and her smiles inspired me to search for creative light and angles. My assistant, Mariska and I bought gum boots before the wedding and we used it for the duration of the bridal couple shoot in the mud and field. Challenges like weather, no electricity and unforeseeable circumstances helps one to jump out of your comfort zone and explore different new options… and when we survive the storm we have an incredible story to share.