Destination Denmark

I remember the first day of this year. I was at a backpackers in the middle of the Drakensburg, South Africa, wandering with the full extent of my curiosity what adventures awaited me in the next 365 days. Two months earlier I had applied for a photography bootcamp hosted by Yuri Arcurs, A Danish Photographer and the number one stock photographer in the world. I had recieved confirmation that my application was successful and that I would take part in the two week bootcamp and try my luck at earning an all expenses paid, 3 year commercial photography education. On the first of January 2012 I was watching the first sunsrise of the new year, completely unaware that my life was about to change forever.  That for the next three years, I would be watching the sun rise from different parts all over the world. 

Through the gracious gift of the universe I survived the bootcamp and am now a part of the Yuri Arcurs photography family. We’ve been busy shooting like maniacs with an assignment almost every week. It blows my mind to think that before this whole ride, I had never directed a model or worked in a profeessional studio. My idea of good lighting was the sun and editing was a simple matter of a contrast layer in Photoshop. Its four months in and already I’ve had more shoots than I can count; shooting everything from Sexy men to Genius Kids. We’ve also had a series of exams that have tested not only our knowledge, but our will and desire to be the best and nerdiest photographers possible. I must admit that at times it was like being in a boxing ring, out for the count and leaning on the ropes; but after getting your ass kicked for long enough you start to fight back and realise how much strength lies in your dream. 

The photographs in this post are some of my favourites (so far) and just a slight glimpse of the evolution of my photography over the past few months. The shoots have been crazy but mostly filled with an anxious determination to surpass my comfort zones and my skill level. In the next two weeks, my new found family and I will be embarking on a trip to Denmark for three months. Follow me on my travels and into the depths of what I love so much.

 My first full day shoot in the studio.

 

Upload from May 29, 2012

This assignment was about endurance and creativity. We had to see what its like to be on our feet for 8 hours, while keeping the momentum and spirit of the shoot, the producer and the model. Having to tell a beautiful and experienced model what to do and how to do it was extremely intimidating at first!  But after a couple of hours and a little help from my friend Jimi Hendrix, the 8 hours started to feel like minutes and before i knew it, I had devoured the  first taste of the professional pie. I love looking back at this shoot because I learnt so much in terms of lighting and model direction. I also learnt that the studio is my playground, filled with infinite possiblities!

My first male model!

Upload from May 29, 2012

One fine Monday morning, Yuri walks into the office with a mischievous smile on his face and says: “Girls! this week you’ll be shooting sexy men!”. As you can imagine, this statement was followed by a chorus of shrieks, gasps and heart palpatations. After all the ladies had fanned themselves and caught our breathes, we sat down to look at our brief. The first question that came to my mind was “What is sexy?”. For me, its all about subtlety. Its about the nuances, gestures and body language of a man that send a trickle of sweat running down my back. When it came to the day of the shoot, I was a ball of nerves! This was my first time shooting a male model and I was honestly afraid that his hotness would fog up my eyes and render me completely useless. Thankfully when I arrived on set, the shy girl gave way to the proffesional photographer with a job at hand. I love the photographs from this shoot because I made a personal breakthrough…as it turns out, beautiful people are people too! :) 

Shooting with a 2 year old

Upload from May 29, 2012

I’m sure you’ve heard crazy tales of models and their superb egos. None of those stories compare to the very specific needs of a gorgeous two year old, with the cutest face I’ve ever seen and the loudest scream I’ve ever heard. Working with babies is considered to be the toughest job in photography. They move off their mark, they throw random objects at you and if dont charm them from the begining, the whole shoot is at risk. Luckily for me, I had an artilary of Finding Nemo toys and McDonalds fries to win over this adorable future super model. This shoot was tricky and had me dancing around like Barney at parts, but i was so grateful for it because a good photography needs to learn how to cultivate their patience. This shoot was also part of my final exam, where I had to capture the essence of a Super Talented Kid. This is the shoot that gaurenteed me a plane ticket to Denmark and a solid place in the army of Yuri Arcurs Photographers.

7 comments

Camilla
Wow Maps you are such an inspiration! So so stoked for you, you are going places my girl :) keep it up!!!
Mapodile
Thank you so much Camilla :)
Farrah
You are amazing owl-ninja woman. i salute your magnificence. xxx
Olebogeng
Dear you are everything hey.totally inspiring.beautiful. you make me wanna be a better photographer.thank you
Mapodile
Mapodile
Thank you Farrah, so so sweet you.
Mapodile
Mapodile
Hello Olebogeng, thank u for taking time to view my work and for the kind words of encouragement :) How did you come across my blog?
Anthony Camble
I just don't understand how you managed to pull this off!!! This is just amazing!! You are something else and I am now officially a fan of your work. Word!

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