Photographing Loyiso Bala

Right now I am on the other side of the world sitting in the dining room of a photographer I admire very much. I never thought this would happen. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I'd hop on a plane to America.

I feel incredibly blessed. In a very short amount of time my life has been flip-turned, upside down (a little reference to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air if you didn't notice :P). And it's probably going to flip over a couple more times, but this is exactly what I asked for.

I was terrified and excited. I told a friend the other day I was scared and she told me, she wants to be scared again. I thought that was quite beautiful. It's not a fear for your life kinda scared; more a fear of the unknown and it's exhilarating :)

A month ago or so I mentioned that I was doing a shoot that I wasn't allowed to share until the end of May. Well, the time has come and I can finally talk about it.

At the beginning of April I received an email from a local record company (Merchant Music) who wanted me to photograph one of their artists. I was stoked. I've been making music in some way or form since I was 15 and even though my life has taken a different turn I will always love making music.

So, right before easter weekend I shot the local artist Loyiso Bala's latest CD/DVD combo cover and the inserts.

The cover image

The cover image

He wanted a "backstage" look and feel for it, so by some luck we managed to get permission to shoot at the Pretoria State Theater and man was it awesome! It was also a little tricky! That place swallows light! Everything is black backstage. The "ceilings" are like 5 stories high and swallow massive steel doors. It's cavernous!

BTS shots by the awesome Ett Venter. Thanks dude.

We had 3 hours to play around and it was glorious. Loyiso is such a kind and friendly dude, just patiently waiting while my assistant and I set up for each next shot. Very chilled out even though right after the shoot he was hopping on a plane to Cape Town for a show, then back to Johannesburg and then off to Port Elizabeth for a stint of shows over the easter weekend. It's awesome being so passionate over something.

It was such a good shoot and I came away from it very happy and also managed to get out of a tricky situation with a police officer for being on my phone while driving to another shoot. I guess he was feeling generous with easter being a day away :)

Here are some more shots.

Thanks for reading