The photographic journey
The Photographic Journey – The birth of Divine Photography
In this blog post, I want to share with you where Divine Photo started and where we are going. So get yourself a scrumptious cup of tea and biscuit and enjoy the read.
In 2008, my matric year, I had made my choice to go study photography at Stellenbosch. But with funding being limited I couldn’t afford the 3 years, neither could my parents at the time. I then got a great opportunity to go study Hotel Management. For the next 4 years, I put my dream of becoming a wedding and travel photographer on the back burner. Till I had forgotten completely about it because of the long hours of working in the hotel industry
I lived and work and carried on with life, and in 2012 I had the opportunity to go do an internship year with a church and my first task was to take photos at one of their first-year services. It was then that my passion for photography and design was awoken again. I help out in the church’s media office during this year, always thinking I want to be like them.
During 2012 I decided to launch Louis Smith Photography and with the help of my good friend Theo Pedro, we developed the brand identity. I was doing small shoots here and there, some huis dan’s photos and smaller gatherings. In September 2012, I helped take some photos at Shofar’s annual conference. This was my training ground. With low light and no flashes. It was fun and I enjoyed being challenged by it. I was also introduced to great photographers like Lizelle Lotter and Mare Rootman. Who I to this day look up to.
One night during 2012, I was on my way home after taking photos at a church event, I was mugged and my gear was stolen from me. I was in the pits about it, because it was the only gear I had, and it was borrowed to me. A few days after the mugging, a friend reached out and said I can use his camera if I have shoots.
In December 2012 I traveled to Kenya with a mission team, and I was giving the portfolio of photography and video. Without a camera, I put out my faith and contacted a friend to ask if she has an old camera that I could use and she was able to help me out with on to take to Kenya. When we got back to South Africa, I was still faced with the dilemma of not having my own gear to shoot with. But God was faithful as every and I was blessed with a beautiful camera that I still use today.
At the end of 2012, I had been offered a position at the church as a video editor, and I was very keen to take it.
Over the course of the next few years, I found very a little time to develop the brand and to market my business. But in 2013, I made the choice to change my business name from Louis Smith Photography to Divine Photography. The idea behind Divine Photography was to deliver a professional service for people and to not only document their love stories but to document the glory of God bring to people together.
In 2014 I welcomed my beautiful wife into the business and she becomes co-owner with me. She started to handle my admin and started helping me on shoots.
That is how Divine Photography was started. Still not having lots of time to develop the business and get it fully functioning. In 2016 I decided to quit my day job and to some contract work for Consuming Fire Films. So that I can have more time to build my website, build my portfolio and to market myself.
What next for Divine Photographer? Well, the future is unknown, but my dreams are to be a household name. To educate myself more. To offer more flexible packages. To expanded what Divine Photography does.
I am truly thankful for the journey that I have walked to be where I am at today and without people like Lizelle and the church and people encouraging me to pursue this dream, I wouldn’t have been able to make to this point.
- So here is some advice for people that are starting out, never lose faith, God is in control.
- Even when things are going slow, just hold on, it will get better.
- Build your brand strong.
- Get your name out there, even if you have to do some free shoots.
- Never stop learning.
- And don’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing the best you can.
Here are some photos of my journey as a husband, father, worshiper, and photographer