This was a great big step in the right direction. For the last 2 years, since moving back to South Africa, I’ve taken the leap from Hobby/Blog photographer to Professional. It’s been a revealing journey for me, dabbling in all sorts of photography genres and in doing so, identifying what really makes me tick!
This opportunity was my turning point. While it was a first of its kind for me, it felt so right and so familiar! The experience reminded me of my early blog days in Mozambique; of walking down a dusty, well-trodden path into a remote village. Meeting people from different walks of life, with incredible stories – uplifting and sometimes heart breaking. It took me right back to the beginning of my photography days, back when I had a little ‘point and shoot camera’ and only used the Auto settings! It made me question why I started photography. It was simple. Photography (and blogging) started as a means of actively seeking out stories other than my own. Of acknowledging and learning about different ways of life, different realities, different beliefs hopes and struggles. For me, photography was (and still is) a study of humanity.
This photography shoot was a bit like coming the full circle. While it was an experience that broadened my picture, there was also ‘meaning’ behind it. It was a story of ‘uplifting.’
I went to Zambia to take photographs for a company called Agdevco and CHC. My task was to capture the commercial aspect of emerging smallholder farmers in the Lusaka Province and also to document how the support from these solution-seeking companies has improved the lives of the farmers and their families. After a couple of years of practicing agricultural photography right here on our own farm, coupled with my photographic experience in Mozambique and Malawi, this project made so much sense to me! I loved it and felt right at home!
There is a quote by Stephen Hawkins that is being circulated on social media right now and it resonates with me.
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.”
This is what photography does for me. It opens windows and gives me a fuller picture. And best of all, if at the same time it can help uplift people, then my cup is full!