I got my first camera when I was four years old, and I still have the photos to prove it. Old square black and white prints, slightly out of focus and yellowed over the years. Taken on a Kodak Instamatic 25. I’ve had many cameras since and my passion for photography grew stronger over the years. I did not however become a pro photographer after school. Life first had a few lessons to teach me. I got involved in a few businesses, learning more about selling and marketing along the way. All lessons that will help me with my ultimate business one day… being a pro photographer.

I made the switch in 2009. I was now a full time pro photographer. And I basically had NO idea what I was doing. I was on a very steep learning curve. I knew about marketing and selling, but I had a lot to learn about photography. I spent every single moment of my life learning and reading about and watching YouTube videos about my passion, my job. Photography. In fact, I still do, I don’t think you ever stop learning. I still spend all my free time learning and reading about photography.

I started off shooting weddings. The first one was in Welkom, Free State, December 2009. A Facebook friend of mine asked me to shoot her son’s wedding. To be honest, I have never been so scared in my life. My wife Surika edited the photos. I shot 18 weddings in my first year. It was more due to my selling than my photography skills I think. But, I was learning, fast.

I decided to start a studio, but I didn’t have the money to buy my first studio equipment. I got people to pay in advance, telling them I want to start a studio. I promised them a very good price. And two shoots for the price of one. I got enough people to invest in my dream to allow me to buy a basic studio kit. My first “studio” was in my lounge. We had to carry the lounge suite and everything else out whenever I get a studio shoot.

It is now a few years after that first tumultuous years. Years of incredible sacrifices regarding the hours we worked and the effort we have put in. We still work incredibly hard, but we are still enjoying every second planning and growing our photography business. We have now added a second photographer to our business. We have also added a videography department with three full time videographers.

I still shoot my 50 weddings a year personally, and do a lot of shoots in my studio. My personal little kingdom. We have used our business expertise to expand into corporate and commercial photography as well.

On a personal level I am married to the most awesome intelligent woman, my wife and business partner Surika. I have three children. We love the outdoors, camping at places where few other people go. Exploring our beautiful country. I take my camera everywhere. I shoot 1000’s of photos, even on holiday. I live my dream every day. Work is fun, because i do what i love. I take photos of people. I am a Pro photographer. For me the ultimate job in the world!

Why am I telling you all this? Well, there is a good chance that I might photograph you one day if you are reading this.

Jean-Luc Godard once said; “When you photograph a face… you photograph the soul behind it” So if I am going to see that much about you, surely you must know a little bit about me?

God creates the beauty. My camera and I are a witness.

See you soon!

JC Crafford