Storyteller - Rensche Mari
Rensche Mari van Dyk
Your business name:
Tell us a bit about your business:
My brand is officially 11 years old this year. I am a story teller of special occasions. I prefer using natural light for my photos and shoot mostly digital but when possible I shoot film (Medium format).
The most important part of my business is delivering something tangible for my client, there is a feeling you get when holding something in your hand, and when you see yourself and the ones you love in print - it feels valuable - the digital age and getting things quickly or ‘instant' has really deprived us from that feeling, and I see it over and over again when I give someone their album - their reaction is so much better than when they receive a blog post or a teaser on instagram.
My business also offers educational workshops. Since 2011 I have hosted workshop for photographers wanting to learn about how I work, shoot and edit. As you have read, I am a big advocate for print and have also started selling my awarded album design templates for photographers.
How long have you worked as a photographer?
2019 marks my 14th year as a photographer earning money for my craft.
Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
The word instant is a word I can never use to describe my business. It took so long for me to get here - and I know I still have a long road to where I want to be.
If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
I studied DTP, Visual Communication & Photography. After my studies in 2005 I got a job at JohnnicCommunications where I edited images for magazines like Elle, Longevity and Rooi Rose. I also started my business (together with a friend) around this time working 8-5 Mon-Fri as an image manipulator and weekends shooting weddings and family shoots.
Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
This sounds cheesy but I do feel it chose me, to tell you the truth, a love for photographs has always been in my family since the early 1900’s. My great grand father from my father’s side had a beautiful Kodak Eastman 1897 Camera that was passed from him to my dad (his name’s sake), and my dad gave it to me as I have always been fascinated by cameras. My grandmother, daughter of my great grand father, has 2 massive walls filled with family portraits, every table and bookshelf in the house has family photographs on and in the book shelves you will find albums from our family - I used to page through these albums every time I visited my grandparents (I still do - these photographs are GOLD). After I studied DTP, I started gathering all my family's old photos and started converting it to digital files by photographing old gloss photos and scanning negatives. Today we have a very large collection of images, the archive is still growing from photos we are gathering from other family members and friends.
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
When I was 17 my dad gave me his old Pentax camera and I just loved taking photographs of everyone and always thought it would be amazing to be a photographer. I opted to study BComm Marketing, but quickly lost interest and just knew my heart wasnt in it. By the end of the year I dropped out and started with some short courses in the DTP field and the rest as they is history.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I still doubt my talent, hahaha, I don't think any artist can say they have completely worked through their doubt, it keeps you on your toes and is part of the ‘artist journey’ to strive to be better. I find that keeping my head down and remember that there is always something more to learn, is the best way to work though your doubt. There will always be one more step to success.
What is your favourite accomplishment?
I have received 12 Silver Awards for my wedding album designs from WPPI, BUT by far - the best feeling only really happens when you step into a clients home and see your photographs on their walls - it is so flattering and I am glad it is treasured.
Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
I have 2 wedding photography workshops this year.
The first one has been announced: 2 Day workshop at Inimitable wedding venue (limited seats available). More details on what you will learn on my website but it includes: getting better in-camera results/posing/using artificial light/getting better images from difficult locations/your business brand/finding the right client and much more.
There is also a 3 day Retreat where I cover all the above but delve into post processing.
What your workshop dates?
2 Day workshop: 22-23 May 2019
3 Day Workshop Retreat: Bordeaux Game Farm (dates to be announced)
Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings? https://www.renschemari.com/wedding-photography-workshop/
What is your favourite lens and why?
Hands down my Carl Zeiss 80 f2 Planar lens for my medium format camera (Contax 645).
Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
Yes, my dad and I are working on a book about my grandfather, who passed away in Nov 2018, it will be stories of our ancestry, his life and our family - with beautiful photographs to help tell the story.
JUST FOR FUN
What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
Audio book: Start with Why - Simon Sinek
What’s your favourite ’90s song?
My iTunes says my fav 90’s song is Breathe a Sigh by Def Leopard.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I try to listen to audiobooks whenever I am on the road, one that always makes me think is: How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie - I can listen to it over and over again, it never gets old.
What were you like in high school?
I was the girl who chatted to everyone and I absolutely hated cliques, but I was probably in one :( I was a cheerleader - not the kind with pom-pom's but the one who directed the crowds to sing.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
Around the age of 17 I really wanted to become a professional photographer, but back then information wasn’t as readily available as it is today, so prospects looked dull and I was advised that the chances were slim for success - so I did the safe thing and I was bored out of my mind - yes it is hard to start doing something unconventional - heck it was so hard trying to learn from professionals that already made a success of it because they didn't want to teach what took them years to learn, but here is what I what I would say to myself: “Anything you do can and will be a success if your heart is in it, but remember that in order to succeed you need to learn about all the other aspects of your craft, how to trade, how to price, how to advertise and how to stay ahead of the rest"