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The importance of photographing your friends

Natasha, a photoshoot for a friend

This was a shoot I did with Natasha, we were totally in the flux. I mean we just had the weirdest moment, some random vibey Greek guy decided to pay our bill after having a light lunch at cafe 41, he wanted nothing in return. I think he was just looking for a way to pay it forward. Needless to say we both were freaked out...I mean after all, there is no such thing as a free lunch? We were wrong..there was indeed. Random acts of kindness are contagious! Next time I'm out and see a tannie or a oomie sitting somewhere I will be the one to sneakily pay their bill (if it is a light lunch). I love the idea of random happenings and what better way to brighten someones day! The impossible...There really is such a thing as a free lunch.

Anyway back to the shoot, a little background here...Natasha and I have been friends since high school. We are both caring people, we have seen plenty of dark together and PLENTY of light! We are both aquarius and we both have a fantastic sense of humour, naturally. I think thats mostly the reason we managed to stay friends through the growing pains of being adults.

During our session, not only did I realise that I love shooting my friends, I realised that I absolutely need to do this more! There is something beautifully awkward that happens whilst shooting someone close to you. Its a uncomfortable-comfortableness. It surprised me how often I overlook people I see most often!

After our shoot I took some time going through the photos and reflected on how the shoot went.

What elements made it fun? What made it awkward? Why I loved certain photos more and how to bring these lessons into the rest of my work I do for clients. What I got out of this shoot was incredible, I learned so much that day, and it was in no way technical. Thanks Tash!

This year I want to challenge myself, capturing the people closest to me. I feel like I missed out on candid shots during this shoot, mostly because I was to busy laughing my head off and having fun. These are the shots I crave, I need more of them. These are the shots I will be focussing on in the future. I need to learn to be the capturer and a friend at the same time. I need to notice little details about my friends that I mostly overlook because 'I know them so well’

I cant wait to shoot more friends. After all this is where it all started for me, how could I forget the importance.

All images © 2024 Jeanne van Heerden

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