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"Photographer Features" - Justin Badenhorst

18 September 2015, by Sebastian Prinz

We talk to Justin Badenhorst about his approach to photography and his recent shoots in Cape Town with Mamas & Papas.

This is the first of our new series of Q&As with some of the photographers that we work with on our productions here in Cape Town and around the world, Over to Justin:

What inspires you as a photographer and your photography?
The main thing that inspires me as a photographer is the people that I get to work with. Whether it
is the subject that I am photographing, the art director or the stylist, it’s really great to spend time
with and collaborate with interesting people. I love how you can take an idea, or concept, and with
the help of the right people, you all put your heads together, and in the end you can create
something together. I guess it’s great to be a part of a creative process. My photography is not
overly complicated or stylised. For me the most beautiful things are the simplest things. Maybe
thats one of the reason I like working with kids so much. They are so natural, spontaneous and
unpretentious, so the moments you get with them are really authentic. It’s also just a lot of fun!

Where did this passion start?
I’ve always been a visual person. Growing up in a beautiful place like the KZN south coast meant I
was surrounded by the natural beauty of rolling green hills, and the blue Indian ocean. As I child I
had a subscription to National Geographic and that was the first time that I really looked at and
paid attention to imagery. But even though I was drawn to it, I never really considered it as a
profession. Perhaps that was down to the traditional education that I received. Creative professions
were never really presented as options to us. I remember for career guidance we had a lawyer, a
doctor and an architect come give us a talk at the school, and that was it. It was only after I moved
down to Cape Town where I first encountered the film and production industry. Seeing all the
shoots going on made me think, “Hey, I could do that!” Then started the long road through years of
assisting, learning the trade, the gear, holding reflectors, lugging sandbags… It took a long time,
but I really loved it, and knew that it was what I wanted to do for a living. So you persevere, and
then you give it a go.! !!

Where are your favourite locations in the world to shoot and why?
I’d have to say Cape Town is one of my favourite places to shoot. The diversity of locations that
you can find in close proximity is hard to match. And the people that you get to work with are really
top notch. But if I could pick somewhere that I would love to go and photograph, it would be
somewhere like Alaska. It seems really wild, and remote, but beautiful. I’d love to do a trip there!

Mamas & Papas Shoots
I’ve been shooting Mamas & Papas since 2013. It’s really great when you get to work with a
particular client for an extended period of time because you really get to know the brand. You get to
be part of their evolution. They are a really great client to work with because everything is thought
out, and considered.
The concepts for the shoots are clear, and well defined by their top quality, inhouse
creative team. We have extensive correspondence before the shoot day arrives. Lots of
emails, and conference calls, and a really clear photographer's brief with reference shots and mood
boards which help you to understand what they are trying to achieve. But at the same time, they
are really open to suggestion and collaboration, which is great. It also helps that the quality or their
merchandise is so high.

The team on the shoot is always essential to making sure everything runs smoothly. The
production support that we receive from the Prinz team is invaluable. Andre, Bianca, Gary and
Bendiba are always around to help, and whatever you need, they will make it happen! Bronwyn
and Jo, our styling and hair and make up team work absolute magic on set! Apart from doing their
jobs to a T, they are also a crack kid wrangling team! Whether they are convincing a reluctant little
one to stand on the spot, or coaxing a smile out of the shyest kid, they consistently go above and
beyond. Just ask Bron where Mr Dinosaur is, and you’ll see what I mean!

And of course I couldn’t do it without my digi and lighting boys. Ian, Ollie and Phil are the dream
team. I can trust them to make sure everything works. It also doesn’t hurt they the nicest guys, with
the driest sense of humour, guaranteed to have you in stitches! That is something that is essential
for me on set, a good vibe, lots of smiles and laughter. I find you get the best out of people when
everyone is happy and enjoying themselves.

I can’t wait to get started on Mamas & Papas SS16, we have got some great concepts and
locations to work with. With the help of everyone at Prinz I’m sure it will will go smoothly and at the
end of it all, we will have another beautiful campaign. This relationship with Prinz and Mamas &
Papas is a strong one, and I look forward to many more shoots together.

Follow Justin on Instagram @justinbadenhorst and check out his website here www.justinbadenhorst.com

All images by Justin Badenhorst.

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