Brett FlorensBack to Ambassadors
Bio: Internationally acclaimed South African photographer, Brett Florens, launched his career in 1992 while fulfilling national service obligations in the Police riot unit. Fortuitously, a photographic unit was formed to document political changes and Brett jumped at the chance to join it. With no photographic experience whatsoever, Brett had to learn how to photograph and document volatile situations. His unit evolved into a department dealing with politically motivated crimes and township violence, photography was necessary to record this important slice of South Africa’s history. Brett thrived on the opportunity and soon found himself in the thick of newsworthy events, creating images that found a ready market in newspapers and other media and having his work published around the globe. His passion for photography had begun.
Since then, Brett’s devotion to photography has taken him from photojournalism to a highly successful wedding, commercial, and fashion photographer. He is a Nikon Premium Ambassador and is regarded by Nikon as “one of the world’s most influential photographers”. He has published five books on wedding photography with Amherst Media USA. His work is also showcased in a coffee table book commissioned by Princess Charlene of Monaco. Brett has also produced 5 popular tutorial videos. He runs photographic workshops around the world, from South Africa, Bucharest, Dubai to Dublin, Glasgow and London, as well as an online workshop for the prestigious CreativeLive, streaming from Seattle, USA. Brett speaks annually at international conventions such as the SWPP Convention in London and the WPPI in Las Vegas.
Q&A WITH BRETT FLORENS:
Photography Genre: Weddings
BlackRapid product of choice: Sport Breathe
Age you took your first photo? My introduction to photography was not conventional and it wasn't until I was about 21 that I picked up a camera with interest.
When did you realize that you wanted to be a professional photographer? After having an image published in a newspaper in 1992, the recognition and validation ignited a desire in me to pursue a full time photographic career.
Who inspires you? Professionally, Patrick Demarchelier - I love his work ethic and the way he treats his crew and clients. His work has a kindness and softness that resonates with me. Personally, Rafael Nadal - again, his work ethic is second to none and the way he treats people is inspiring.
What camera do you use to capture most of your work? The Nikon D5 - I was given a Nikon F3 by a photojournalist back in 1993 and have been a loyal Nikon photographer since. The digital cameras that have been manufactured in the last 5 years or so have exceeded most people's expectations.
If you could photograph anyone in the world, alive or deceased, it would be… Sting - I'd love to shoot an album cover for him. He really inspires me.
What do you do when not taking photos? Run! I am a running addict. I run ultra marathons and train a lot for them. It clears my head and if I don't get my daily dose of endorphins, I believe that I get quite grumpy.
Favorite place on Earth? Home - I travel so much that home for me is my favorite place on Earth. I love Amsterdam, where I live with my wonderful wife and two teenage boys. My only wish is to be able to spend more time there.
One piece of advice for someone at the beginning stages of their photography career? Research your desired target market before you start your career. Most photographers produce a product and hope that someone will buy it, in this saturated market, you need to find out what is missing in the marketplace and produce a product to fill that gap. You need a business plan!
How do you "Live The Moment"? I embrace my emotions. I enjoy identifying and embracing them. I often step back and look around and just absorb what I am doing at the time, be it running a marathon or watching photographers become inspired at one of my workshops.