Saturday, March 21, 2009

Interview to Chris Schoonwinkel Johannesburg - South Africa


Question - Tonino
Hi Chris, I don’t know you but I told you I was impressed by a picture of yours (the above one) looking to
http://www.saweddingphotographers.co.za. Is it an association? Do you think it is representative of the most important wedding photo specialists in your country?
Answer - Chris
http://www.saweddingphotographers.co.za is an agency advertising and promoting the participating wedding photographers on the internet. There are many wedding photographers in South Africa and while there could be excellent photographers advertising on http://www.saweddingphotographers.co.za there are also many others which are elsewhere represented.

Q- T
Would you like to name an example of, in you opinion, a excellent SA photographer? inside or outside the agency? I know South Africa is a quite big country. For sure you should know some important name outside from your town.
A-C
I like the work of Adam Hilton a South African photographer with an approach like myself.

Q-T
Do you feel to be more a traditional photographer or you are a wedding photojournalist?
A-C
I consider myself to be a photojournalist. I like to take photo unexpectedly. I believe you get the best photos in this way as most people are not used to this and then react in strange ways. I hate the stiff expressions of people that are posed.

Q-T
Photojournalist with some good portrait skills. I saw the wonderful portrait on the opening page of your site. Is it a digital image or you still prefer, to use a film camera? Is digital imaging today at the same quality level film photography?
A-C
I also like to take a posed shot here and there. Few people are natural posers and I get a feeling when I interact with people whether they will make good portraits or not. When I get this positive feeling I will take the opportunity. The photo you refer to was taken on the spur of the moment and the cession lasted not longer than five minutes.
In the world we live in time has become a major factor and I simply do not have the time to play around with film. The image of the lady is a digital image. I believe that the control you have in digital by far exceeds the benefit you can get from film. The digital process is also more cost effective.

Q-T
Could you tell us which kind of equipment do you use?
A-C
I use two Nikon D40’s one with a short zoom lens and a ‘non-ttl’ flash on a bracket and the other one without flash. The Nikon D40 is a small camera that suits my style of photography and allow me to react quickly. I never change lenses and I never use a tri-pot. Because of the fact that most locations are on the dark side and also because many rooms where I work are small, I work mainly on the wide-angle side (28 mm equivalent) of the lens. Most of the time I am working on manual.

Q-T
Beside’s the ceremony how long time do you need for shots? I mean do you take some photographs along the river or to the seaside with the couple? I ask this to you because in Italy, for instance, we use to shoot some pictures in nature with the bride and the groom. Do you do the same in your wonderful country?
A-C
Yes, we sometimes go out on location to do some shots if time allows, but one has to choose the location very carefully as many public places in South Africa are not safe. This photo session would not be longer than 1 hour.

Q-T
Have you got one of these photos, made into Nature, to show us?
A-C
Yes, I do. The photos are sometimes taken in parks and not always open nature.



Q-T
Fine. To finish I would like to ask you something about photo albums, because this is "The Wedding Photo Albums Blog". I know you like digital pictures and may be you also use internet to publish your albums. On the other side you probably sometimes provide a real photo album to your couples. What kind of album do you use? Do you use mats or you prefere the flush mount ones?
A-C
I sometimes provide my clients with dry-mount albums in either black or white, where the photos are mounted with photo corners. Personally I prefer the ‘dove-cut’ type where photos are slipped in. I have however lately noticed a growing trend towards ‘photobook’ products.

Q-T
Probably also in South Africa, as in each country, there are fine albums producers. In our blog we would like to promote this firms, if possible, to let everybody know who produces quality. Could you tell us two or three names of SA fine handmade photo albums?
A-C
I know about an album producer in South Africa by the name of ‘Beatnix leatherworks’ who produces fine leather-bound albums.
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To contact Chris: Chris Schoonwinkel of Weddingportraits – www.weddingportraits.co.za – email mail@weddingportraits.co.za - Tel +27824718379 or +27117646387 - South Africa
To see the Bandinelli's photo album collection: http://www.bandinelli.it/ - milano@bandinelli.it

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