Living in Beta

Seeing as I'm on a roll here, I might as well get another blogpost out there for the world to see. If you missed yesterday's post, you can go have a read here.

I've been busy... very busy in fact. It's a blessing. I love every second of it. It's kicking my ass and I am making mistakes, but with that I am growing and learning and talking to friends and learning from them the ins and outs and trying to remember it all as I am hurtling towards the unknown at blinding speeds.

It's all one big rush. I recently finished one of the biggest jobs I've done so far and what a great bunch of people I have had the privilege of working with. One of those people is Tasos Calantzis. Himself, his wife (Anya) and their business partner Frederick has an awesome company called Terrestrial and along with the SABS Design Institute they are doing very cool things.

After all the madness of the 43 Challenge I've been busy with personal work and other smaller client jobs. Tasos contacted me last week and asked if I would shoot his portrait for an upcoming trip he'll be taking to Australia. I said yes; thinking it'd be a quick headshot and I'd be out of there. Then we had to postpone it until Monday of this week and as I was driving home Thursday evening from a thing at church; I had an idea.

He has been building this rad little boxcar for his daughter and it struck me like a punch to the throat. I HAD to get him in a suit and tie and get him in that thing and shoot his portrait. So Sunday I decided I'd email him and see if he was keen on my whacky idea. Here is his response: "Hey Bernard; that sounds awesome! It's actually great that the car is half built! The process and all that you know. Living in Beta. "

I love that slogan: "Living in Beta". As creatives/artists/creators we are constantly living in that in between of the concept and the finished product. Always striving for something better, never quite satisfied with the results and if we are, it lasts for a very short fleeting moment and then we move on to the next thing.

So here is the image: Living In Beta

Living in Beta

Thanks for reading

Create. Fail. Retry.

Are you sitting down? Are you ready for what I am about to tell you? My VISA application to the United States has been approved. It's been quite a ride to get to this point, but I would not change it for anything. It has been a while since my last post and so much has happened and as you well know by now, I only post when there's something to talk about. So that is pretty damn exciting. Now to book plane tickets and then come June I'll hop on a plane and be there for a couple of months.

Moving on.

It's been a little more than a month since I quit my day job. I have since moved out of my apartment and moved in with a really good friend for the time being. Other than that I have been busy and what a blessing it is to be busy with something you love doing. I had to play catch up a little after the move, coz that threw things on its head, but I'm on top of things again; for the most part anyway :)

I've shot some cool stuff in the last week or so and I have a bunch of cool shoots lined up as well. Some for clients and some personal work. One shoot I am sharing here today and the other one I have to hold off on until the end of May, but I am damn excited to show you all. There's also a bunch of new work up on the site so go check out the portrait section here and there are two new bearded dudes as well. I'd hoped to be at 50 by now, but I've been kept busy with other things.

It's damn exciting to create new work, but with that comes failure (sometimes; a lot of the time).

I spoke to my friend a couple nights ago after he had shot a wedding and he wasn't stoked about it. He said there were moments where he doubted his own abilities, just coz of stupid little things going wrong, things that shouldn't go wrong, but for some reason just do. I've had those days and we all do. From pro's to amateurs to beginners. Days where just nothing seems to be going right. Whether it's gear failing or the light being crap or the client being difficult to work with or whatever other reason. You WILL have days like that. It happens and it's okay. You've tried to create something, you've failed, now you have to admit that failure; stare it in its stupid face and then retry.

It's not always going to be easy, in fact it hardly ever is, but when that next shoot goes amazing you are on top of the world again and it seems like nothing can kick your ass; right up to the moment where things just aren't working out and then the cycle starts all over again.

Pick yourself up and try again.

Here are some photos from my latest shoot I did. The awesome Melissa van Heerden who did the make-up for my CH2 shoot here, organized it and I am super happy with the shots and look forward to working with her more in the near future, so if you have a shoot and need make-up done get in touch with her here.

Here are the shots and as always; thanks for reading.


So it's 2014 already. It seems 2013 was a tough year for a lot of people, judging by Facebook statuses, Tweets, Instagrams and whatever social media outlet we use to "voice" our troubles.

In a lot of ways I think having a bad year can be a good thing. It can get you focused on more important things or challenge your perceptions and get you "in line" so to speak. It's not always fun - hell it's never fun - but that's how we grow and hopefully better ourselves; through those hardships.

Not to dwell on it too much, but the last couple of months of 2013 wasn't easy for me and I think that goes for pretty much anyone. Those final 2 months before your holiday, start grinding you down mentally. Especially with myself, I've noticed that; after more than a year of working from home, I felt miserable. That's my own fault though. I have a knack for isolating myself from the world and with the holidays that were coming up and knowing that I'd probably be alone on Christmas I just felt like crap.

But lo and behold, Christmas came and I actually didn't feel completely miserable. I actually felt kinda blessed. Millions of people are alone over the holidays and I felt that I needed that to put some things in perspective for myself. I think what also helped was the fact that I got to hang out with a good friend the day before and just dump some of this "darkness" I'd been carrying in my heart.

That being said, I really wanted to create a photo for my "Arguing with Myself" series of conceptual self-portraits. And I had the perfect place in mind, knowing that I would be going to my old hometown area over Christmas and that I would be alone, so there was no excuse to not go and make this photo.

The only reason why I almost didn't do it, was because I felt too calm on the inside. There wasn't this crazy inner turbulence that I had when I made the first two, but I decided to press on and do it anyway.

This is the image. I call it "Rebirth".

Rebirth (2).jpg

I love this spot. It looks out over the town where my mom now lives and is about 10 kilometers from the town where I grew up. It's pretty quiet up there and I was alone for an hour and a half before the sun was at the right angle to not completely blow out the highlights.

It's between 12 and 16 images stitched together. Four of them was just to get the sky to not be completely blown out. I'm happy with it and the reason for the title is, I think I MAYBE found some answers (or perhaps more questions) while pursuing this personal project. I think it might be a turning point - a "Rebirth" - of some sorts. It's not over yet and I'm thinking of expanding it and adding other people too, coz we're not in this alone.

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.