Sometimes you just come across a gem, and you can't help but want to show it to everyone you know. Well, Saysha Baker is one of those 'gems'. We came across her photography when we were browsing through a Facebook friend's beautiful wedding pictures. After realising she was based locally in Maritzburg, we visited her website and found out she was the wedding photographer for Donna & Danie, a couple we designed wedding stationery for at the beginning of this year. We thought this was definitely fate, and we just had to feature her on our blog!
Below is our interview with her, and her favourite photographs of the two things she does very well: weddings and family portrait photography. Saysha also does engagement shoots and maternity & newborn photography shoots - find more photographs on her website and blog. Thanks Saysha for all your time and effort - we know you put a lot of thought into your answers, so thank you!
How did you get into photography? Was it a hobby that expanded into a business, or has it been a dream since you were young?
I can't say that I lived and dreamt photography. Until I came to know myself well enough, to place a value on what was important to me, photography had always been an enjoyable means of making a memory last. I bought my first camera when I was 16 years old and it was one of my most prized possessions. Later, when I became a mom, I had this need to churn out as many images of my children as possible. I was never satisfied by my need to freeze these moments of random expressions, of milestones reached, memories made. I think that wellspring of creativity flowed from watching my kids live life and it started me down a path of self discovery. I would say now that taking photographs is an extension of who I am and how I see the world and that even when I don't hold a camera in my hand I am looking through my viewfinder.
Do you do it full time now? If so, how long has your business been running?
Its officially been 2 months now that I have been working as a full-time photographer. Having started my business 4 years ago its been a gradual process of building up a client base and creating a credible brand that is sustainable.
What were you doing prior to becoming a photographer?
I worked at KZN Wildlife, first as a computer technician where I fixed computers and provided end-user computer support, then I managed the computer HelpDesk and I later developed and managed the organization's intranet. I was there for 10 years. I then worked part-time for a filming company until I made the transition to full-time photography.
What did you study?
I studied an IT diploma in hardware and software support.
Where are you based?
I am based in Pietermaritzburg.
How would you describe your photography "aesthetic"?
What inspires your photography?
People and how they respond to each other. Music for the feelings evoked. Movies for the composition of imagery.
Besides photography, what are your other loves?
When I can be selfish with my time I love to get lost in a great book. Good writing makes me happy : ) I find gardening rewarding just for the act of transforming a patch of ground into a contrast of colors and textures. Being enveloped by my kids and husband, doing family stuff, energizes me and keeps me grounded.
As a design and wedding blog, we have to ask: do you enjoy photographing weddings?
I love photographing weddings. My favorite part is all the unscripted moments that I get to capture.
If you had to choose a photographer to take your own wedding photos, who would it be? Who inspires you?
I just love Mario Sales. I am captivated by his images. His work is unpretentious and effortless. I admire many different photographers, especially our South African women photographers. Wow there is so much talent out there, photographers like Annemarie Ruthven, Jules Morgan and Andrea Carlyle. I greatly respect their style and approach to photography. I am hugely inspired by people across all walks of life. People that are real and accessible and honest. Children inspire me because they haven't yet been changed by social cues, they are vulnerable and uninhibited in their emotion and associations.
What do you see in the future for yourself in the next few years?
I hope to be fulfilled by doing what I love and enriched by the interactions I have with the many people I meet and befriend. That I will never become complacent and that I will stay unsatisfied just enough to keep me learning and exploring and pushing myself beyond what I think I am capable of.
Tell us about yourself in three words...
Motivated, honest, thoughtful.
Please finish these sentences:
Right now i'm happy about my new brand being developed and my website that is being designed.
Photography is inextricably linked to who I am.
Coffee is a necessary distraction.
I'm so aware of the value of time. I can fit a lot of verbs into one day.
People would say that I'm very hard on myself.
I get annoyed when people don't say thank-you.
A photograph is a memory for life.
When I wake up in the morning I remember to count my blessings.
I don't understand the fascination of reality TV.
I'm terrified of elevators and dentists, in equal measure.
Tomorrow I will try to worry less and smile more.
If I had a million Rand I would have our dream house built.
How can people get hold of you?
And what are your wedding/engagement shoot rates?
Engagement shoots are R950 and my wedding packages start at R7000-00.
~ PHOTO SHOOT GIVEAWAY ~
Saysha Baker is giving away a free photo shoot and this is your last week to enter - so enter now! Read what you have to do to enter below:
Please share this on your page and with your friends. People need to like this page to qualify for the lucky draw photo shoot giveaway.
MAKE THE CIRCLE BIGGER
Its competition time and a photo shoot giveaway worth R750 is up for grabs. All you have to do is nominate the FB friend you would like to be entered into the lucky draw.
Please write on this wall "I nominate *friend's name* for Saysha Baker's photo shoot giveaway."
Please make sure their name is tagged and they need to be a member of this page - Saysha Baker Photography. You can nominate more than one friend and you can get friends to nominate you.
Last chance this week for a photo shoot giveaway.
Share the love with family and friends!
All photographs are copyrighted to Saysha Baker Photography, and cannot be reproduced or copied without permission.
Labels: Durban, photography, Pietermaritzburg, Saysha Baker, Wedding Photography