The Journey

While sitting waiting for some of my SD cards to import and editing at early hours of the morning as most full-time togs do, it got me thinking about my journey that has become photography.
Thinking back on art classes and making an image with a coffee tin painted black on the inside and letting light in to create an image, then going into the darkroom and developing that image (sorry I saw no value in that at the time as I would have liked to have kept the image it in hindsight) Spending many a school holiday snapping away on the beach at items my mind found to be an interesting subject among them I loved dogs running and splashing about with a Canon film camera and saving enough money to have the spools developed. My camera was sadly stolen during a renovation at our family home as a child and I just gave up on the idea!!  In about 2009 I remember doing a random road trip with a friend and discovering creative imagery on the cellphone I had at the time ( yes the mighty cellphone vs camera debate ) and the penny dropped again.

The First Year

In 2015 I made an unexpected and sudden major career change to take care of my mom who had a bad accident and needed full-time care. I completed my Business and my Photography Diplomas and pursued my career as a full-time Photographer ( I Capture imagery). Canon seemed to always be a brand of choice even all the way back then, I never knew they would walk the journey with me as they have. In 2009 I started with a small Canon Powershot A495, then upgraded to the Canon Powershot SX210IS with its in-camera selective colouring (Yes the biggest sin the photography world) I then outgrew that very quickly and upgraded to a Canon SX50HS, Canon SX60HS, Canon 70D and then Canon 6D and now the Canon 5D4!

Always believe

I have always seen things that others might just walk past, and always believe there is beauty in everything we see. I remember finding the photography community in 2013 and I was quite intimidated by the pure brilliance out there.  Then I had the guts to post things and was gutted when I was told that my work was not good enough etc. needless to say,  I did not allow for the opinions of others to kill my spirit and today I’m thankful I did not. I created a group which has grown to over 500 photographers from beginners to some really spectacular photographers that have become like family. I created the group to encourage the creative spirits out there and to give them hope, assistance and to let their light shine. We all learn from each other and give advice and assistance freely.

Thank You

With this post, I would like to thank a few people and not only them but everyone that has made a difference in my life as a person and as an artist. One such person was stranger to whom I’m very thankful today, Sean Thompson,  that I met on Noordhoek beach one night during a shoot… told me he thought my work was pretty cool and that I can take what others are saying and improve, but at the end of the day If you like it… then that’s all that matters!! He also showed me not to follow sheep and I should have faith in what I’m doing. I will never forget that evening as it was something I will carry with me forever. With my sudden career change, I met another special person who came into my life Mark Swandale he is not only a great friend, but an encourager and motivator, and a great business partner. We have learned so much from each other and continue to go from strength to strength.

The Special People

Last but not least, and as mentioned these are only a few that I decided to highlight but there, there are many others who have really impacted my journey, including each of the members on my Photography Group and all my students. I have learned so much from other artists and have made some pretty great industry friendships. There are many brilliant artists in the industry you look up too and are inspired by. One of them, Andrew Aveley saw my worth, encouraged me and continues to push me not only as a photographer but as a person too, to be the best I can be with my creative talent.

Roll Model

I hope I can be the same role model for someone else one day, as there is nothing more rewarding having people come up to you telling you how much they love your work and thank you for all your help and encouragement like some of the group members. I would like to encourage every person with a dream to pursue it with all your heart and its normal to have doubt and some block at stages in the journey. Beauty is really in the eye of the beholder and never blow out someone else’s candle, rather offer help or give words of encouragement. Learn as much as you can and try all things new. Don’t forget all the people that have made your journey what it is, and stay humble. Hard work and determination is what drives one to be successful.
Thanks to all my clients and my friends and family (especially my mom)who have supported my growing business. I never try and compete with anyone but myself as you will waste too much time and energy trying to be someone your not, and lose focus on where your heading. Be bold… be different.. be creative… be you!! You’re an original, not a copy so don’t try and be one!

“No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams –

Melanie Cornelius
Love and light
Melanie C

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