Photography Feature: Duane Smith

We just loved this interview with Duane Smith. He's a photographer who has been around for a while, but we only heard of him recently after seeing a gorgeous wedding on Facebook which he shot. His images really do speak for themselves though - all we can say is, "wow!". Duane has a very unique style which is evident across all his work, and we love the way he plays with light and vibrant colour. We're sad that Durban will be losing this amazing photographer to Cape Town at the end of 2014, but we wish you well and hope a great new journey begins. Read more on Duane's photography below.

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 set sails for the UK Staright after School to give myself time to figure out what I wanted to do and experience life etc. I picked up a film camera and quickly fell in love with it. On my return back to South Africa in 2005 I found myself glued to a camera; at that time it was just a hobby but the turning point was when I shot my first wedding in 2007. It was scary, but I've gradually became more comfortable and felt myself being drawn to wedding blogs/photographers/books etc.

Tell us about yourself in three words.
Serious. Shy. Sarcastic.

What were you doing prior to becoming a photographer?
I was a chef at a B&B. I then worked as a warehouse/site manager overseeing inventory and delivery of safety goods and plant hire equipment.

Where are you based? And do you travel for your photography?
Currently based in KZN and recently started shooting weddings in Cape Town in early 2014. I will be moving to Cape Town end of 2014. I really love travelling for my weddings, it adds and element of adventure to it!

How would you describe your photography "aesthetic"?

What inspires your photography?
Good Cup of Coffee. Lines. Good Light. Forests. Music. Cold Winters.

Besides photography, what are your other loves?
Making music has been a part of me for over ten years. I'm proud to say I'm a coffee snob, so I spend a lot of time in coffee shops. Mexican food; for all future wedding couples: make sure you have Jalepeno poppers at your wedding! At the of the day photography is all I need, I never get tired of it.

Do you do wedding photography? If so, besides weddings, what else do you shoot?
I mostly do weddings (25-30 a year and growing). Other than that I do engagement and portrait shoots, styled shoots, and lots of maternity shoots lately it seems. And of course, I take lots of pictures of my beautiful daughter who recently turned one.

As a design and wedding blog, we have to ask: do you enjoy photographing weddings?
There's no other place I'd rather be! I don't think there has been a day where I've woken up and not wanted to go to work. I love spending time with my wife and daughter, but I feel most alive/inspired/content while shooting weddings. Weddings may be long days, but they aren't a drag at all.

After each wedding I sit back and think "Man, where would I ever get the chance to see places, meet people, see people at their most vulnerable and be part of something so sincere and beautiful?". Plus the food is always amazing!

If you had to choose a photographer to take your own wedding photos, who would it be? Who inspires you?
Hands down Sean Flanigan from Tacoma,Washington.

Other guys who inspire me are:
Hugh Forte,Tyler Branch,Erik Clausen, Ed Peers, Benj Haisch, Nirav Patel. Just to name a few!

What do you see in the future for yourself in the next few years?
Still covering weddings, big or small. Never losing sight of why I do this. I'd love to travel to the Pacific North West to cover a wedding or two there!

What are your wedding/engagement/general shoot rates?
Weddings start at R10 000.

How can people get hold of you?
Mobile: 078 8020 793

Please finish these sentences:

Right now I am happy about marrying the most beautiful, sincere and silliest girl in a few months.

Photography is an expensive Career

Rooibos tea is for girls and babies!

I am so grateful for Being my own boss, doing what I love, having those I have in my life, having a good meal everyday, and being featured on Ruby + Swallow ;-)

People would say that I am way to serious

I get annoyed when someone eats my left over Mexican food

A photograph is merely a piece of paper or a digital image with a ton of emotion and memories embedded in it.

In a year I will be enjoying the Cape Town winter season

When I wake up in the morning I kiss my daughter good morning, make the girls tea, have my coffee and start working

I don't understand why hardly anyone in South Africa keeps size #12 shoes

I am terrified of losing what I've worked hard for and the ones I love

Tomorrow I will be travelling for work

If I had a million Rand I would take my fiancé out for dinner.

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