People & Products - Judd van Rensburg
Judd van Rensburg
Your business name:
Judd van Rensburg Photography
Tell us a bit about your business:
My business is multi-faceted in the sense that I specialise in a few main areas of expertise, that encompass both people and product photography. Initially I was interested in Fashion Photography, but after studying, I met a specialist Jewellery Photographer who needed help for two weeks because he was too busy. I agreed to helping out and we ended up working together for thirteen years. Learning to light and style jewellery paved the way to an in-depth understanding of technical, large format camera work and precise use of lighting, which has been useful in many areas of product photography where technical knowledge and attention to detail is vital. After many years of shooting products, I needed some people back in my life and so i began shooting Fashion and Portraiture work again. So now my work ranges from celebrity portraiture and editorial fashion, to jewellery, decor and furniture, cosmetics and accessories.
How long have you worked as a photographer?
I have been working as a photographer for 21 years.
Do you feel it was an instant success or did it take a while to find its feet?
A little of both. When I began working, I had a strong portfolio and approached some ad agencies and began getting some good work pretty quickly. But in those days, there were no equipment rental companies, so it was a struggle to get the equipment that I needed for different jobs and had to beg and borrow because I didn't have the money to buy what I needed. I was avoiding working because, I didn't have what I needed to deliver the quality of work in my portfolio. After I began working with the established jewellery photographer, things picked up pretty quickly, because I could deliver quality work, using his studio and equipment.
If any, what kind of jobs did you have before your career took off?
None, I have only ever worked as a photographer.
Do you feel that you chose your "passion," or did it choose you?
I was studying fine arts at school, including photography, when I read a book on photojournalism. This was pre 1994 and the idea of telling stories through photography gripped me and I started carrying a camera everywhere that I went.
What made you decide to follow a creative career choice (though possibly risky) rather than something more stable?
For me, it was always going to be something in the arts. I partially went into photography because it was more stable than fine arts.
Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
Some days, I look at my body of work and think "damn, I'm good" and other days, I think I really don't know what I'm doing. I work through it by doing the work. The good news is that you never need to stop learning as a photographer.
What is your favourite accomplishment?
Difficult to answer. Usually, it's the shoot that I have just completed.
Tell us about any workshops you may offer:
Maybe I should start thinking about offering workshops?
Where should Working Creatives get more info on workshops / your offerings?
What is your favourite lens and why?
My favourite lens is the one that I need for the job at hand.
Are you working on any out of the ordinary projects at the moment?
Most recently, I have been working on a large jewellery collection of high end "Cartier" style pieces for the Dutch company that originally cut the Cullinan Diamond, for sale in the Chinese market.
JUST FOR FUN
What is playing in your CD player/iPod right now?
I have been rediscovering the genius of Pearl Jam.
What’s your favourite ’90s song?
So many, that's the era of my youth. Probably "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
Everything that I still need to do before the day ends.
What were you like in high school?
I was a bit of a loner, but I always loved learning and I was fortunate to go to a school that embraced creativity.
Knowing what you know now, what would you tell your high school self?
Stop being so afraid of girls. Don't give up maths, it'll come in handy when you own your own business. Try everything, especially the things you're frightened of.
YOUR CONTACT INFO
Your website: www.juddvr.co.za
Instagram handle: @juddvanrensburg