Photography Feature: Jacki Bruniquel

We have been some of Jacki Bruniquel's biggest fans since before we started this blog. And when you see her photographs below, you'll understand why. With her artistic photographic techniques and raw talent, she has produced the most gorgeously unique compilations of images, that will stop you in your tracks with their beauty. Jacki is not just your average photographer; she's an artist. 

We know that many people agree, as Jacki's schedule is generally booked up months in advance! One of the lovely brides we have been working with this year (see her farmstyle vintage wedding moodboard here and save the dates here) asked Jacki to be her wedding photographer - and we know Roxy was absolutely thrilled when she said yes! Roxy and Dale are getting married this Sunday on Dale's farm - and we for one are already dying to see what photographs Jacki comes up with. 

For now, enjoy our interview with this beyond-talented photographer; we hope her favourite photographs inspire you!
Tell us about yourself in three words... 
I am Jacki 

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? 
From a very young age I always knew I wanted to be an artist. Throughout my whole school career art was a big part of my life and I was lucky enough to have parents who encouraged this. After matric I went on to study Fine Art at Michaelis, University of Cape Town and that is where the magic really began. Even though I had planned to become a painter, it was there that that my love affair with photography started. Ever since then I have moved between art and photography and try my best to combine the two! Nowadays I take pictures of people and I make lots of pictures of people at weddings.

What were you doing prior to becoming a photographer? 
After University and before I became a professional photographer, I traveled the world. Some of my favorite memories are picnicking in the Himalayas, hitchhiking around Mexico, eating gelato in Florence, surfing perfect waves in Indonesia and dancing on moonlit beaches in Thailand. I have a gypsy’s heart and love nothing better than exploring.

After many years abroad Africa called me home and I went back to Tech to study photography as I felt I needed more of a technical backbone so far as my photography was concerned. I went straight into 2nd year with my UCT credits. Whilst I was studying I had a number of small exhibitions of mixed media art. When I finished with Tech I continued practicing mainly as an artist. I also gave workshops around the country on my art process. Here is a clip from a feature Top Billing did on me.

Throughout this time people asked me to shoot weddings and I took on this work here and there but was rather reluctant to actually label myself as a wedding photographer. Then I started looking at the amazing work of inspirational wedding photographers abroad and realized that wedding photography was the perfect way to combine creativity with photojournalism. The fact that there was no art director looking over your shoulder and telling you what to do was an added bonus! I decided to jump head first into the wedding photography world and it’s been a fast ride since then! 
What did you study?
I have completed a Bachelor of Art in Fine Art from UCT and a Diploma in Photography from the Durban Institute of Technology. (Yes I studied a lot! – 6 years to be exact)

You are based in Durban, but often travel around South Africa to shoot. Why not stay in one city? 
As I said before I have a gypsy’s heart … I love to travel and experience new things, new people, and new scenery …. Any chance I get to travel I grab it!

How would you describe your photography "aesthetic"? 
Creative, quirky, narrative, soulful, memorable, magic.This is what I strive for when I shoot, I don’t always get there but it is what I aim for anyway... 
As a design and wedding blog, we have to ask: do you enjoy photographing weddings? 
I love shooting weddings; I wouldn’t do them if I didn’t. 

If you had to choose a photographer to take your own wedding photos, who would it be? Who inspires you?
Oh good grief I am in that exact position right now! There are so many amazing photographers out there. I am friends with some super talented people! But at my wedding I want them to relax and enjoy the day. It’s a tough one! A really tough one!

I try not look at too many wedding photographers, as I don’t like to be influenced. There are quite a few who blow me away, like Jeff Newsom, Jonas Peterson, The Image is Found, …. in fact pretty much all of the award-winning photographers on the Fearless Photographers site. I love their work but that doesn’t mean I try to be like them. I think this is a mistake many photographers make. Be yourself ….not someone else.

My favorite non-wedding photographers are Sally Mann, Sebasiao Salgado, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Duane Michals, David Goldblatt to name but a very very small few. 

What are your wedding/engagement shoot rates? 
I am not a cheap photographer because I put so much into what I do. I would rather take on less work and do it to the best of my ability than spread myself thin. I give a lot of myself to my clients and I am a perfectionist.  
 What inspires your photography? 
People, places, balance, light, colour, emotion, beauty

Besides photography, what are your other loves? 
My fiancé, my family, my friends, yoga, the ocean, travel, my pot plants, my home, polka dots, Maine coons, treasure hunting, music, art, colour.

Besides wedding photography, do you shoot anything else? 
Portraits and travel... 

What do you see in the future for yourself in the next few years?
I would definitely like to be living a balanced life where I am being kind to myself and everyone around me. As far as work is concerned I want to start shooting more conceptual portraits and start teaching workshops again. (I really enjoy teaching and have begun putting a workshop for photographers together). I want to start exhibiting Fine Art again and it’s a dream to one day publish a book. I am sure I will also still be shooting weddings for special people! 
Please finish these sentences:

Right now I am happy about... the fact that I recently took some time off to regroup and recharge. Putting back into one’s creative spirit is as important as being creative. If you don’t put back into the creative well it will dry up eventually!

Photography is... one way of making pictures

Rooibos tea is... hideous

I am so grateful for... the life I lead

People would say that I am... a bit of a workaholic!

I get annoyed when... the Internet is slow

A photograph is... a child of light

In a year I will be... teaching workshops!

When I wake up in the morning... I write in my journal, look at the ocean and give thanks for 10 good things in my life (this is a new habit and is one of the best habits I have picked up!)

I don't understand... many things, that is why life is so exciting

I am terrified of... needles

Tomorrow I will be... editing a beautiful Oyster Box wedding I shot on the weekend

If I had a million Rand I would... take some time off “life” to take photographs for amazing causes. I would also put down a deposit on a house and buy some cool camera gear ….. and maybe throw a big party for all my favorite folk!

How can people get hold of you? 
People can get hold of me on via my website (contact tab on the left hand side of the page) or email me on jacki{@} (brackets there to prevent spam) They can also join my facebook page or twitter 

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