I'll never forget the day I saw my first camera. It was stached at the back of my dads closet. I was about 5 or 6 years old. It fascinated me, the looks and feel, all the buttons. Since the day I discovered it, I used to visit that closet often to just look at it. The camera didn’t have any film in it I don’t even think it worked but to see this piece of equipment held a secret. No quite sure what but it did.
Fast forward to 2017 and I guess if I have to think back, what the secret was what that camera held, what it captured. I wonder what happened to that old film camera. I never realized it might have an impact on me until I started to think about typing this blog post. Which brings me to my next point. So why am I writing this?
Well today…. Today I started a dream… or shall I say today a dream became a reality.
Let me back track again before I loose focus. You see I've always had a love for taking photos. My first camera was a point and shoot film which we took to the nearest CNA, Kodak or Fiji Film outlet and have the negatives developed. I didn’t take a lot of pictures but I did at least take some. I never had an end means to photography. As in what do I do with the photograph once I’ve taken it? I remember driving through country sides and thinking "wow that would make a pretty picture"…. but, never took it.
In 2000 I left South Africa for the USA and my stay in the US for the next 3 years made me photograph my experiences a lot more. I photographed on a point and shoot film camera. It was always excited to go and have the film developed and see which images came out. I didn't quite understand photography or the dynamics of it back then but I did enjoy it. I should really dig up that old box with those images.
Well, Fast forward to 2012 when I downloaded Instagram on my iPad, I had this photograph space but never grasped it until the end of 2013. Due to a lot of trail running and spending time outdoors I started taking pictures on my phone. Which I would post on Instagram. People started noticing. liking my images and started following me on instagram to see more of what I have to show. And thats where the BOOM factor came in. I have an end means to my photography. One can even call it a platform, but it gave me a means to photograph. Finally my photos is not just dying somewhere in a box or on a hard drive, the world could now see it.
Mid 2014 this bug started to grow on me big time. I would be out and about constantly taking photos of Cape Town. People loved it and I loved showing and capturing.
I bought my first DSLR camera in August of 2014. And have never looked back. For the first year it was just a hobby and then 18 months ago I stated dreaming a new dream. I want to become a full time photographer. Now being a graphic designer for the past 11 years this was not that far fetched from what I was doing, the only difference is I was working for a corporate company with a good income. Becoming a Full time photographer would mean having to do it all on my own. I started dreaming it, saying it. No one believed me. I dreamed it secretly and continued taking photos. In Jan of 2016 I photographed my first wedding, I fell in love with the process documenting and capturing the love between 2 people. And so Heinrich Knoetze Photography was born.
I remember lying on the couch nights on end watching tutorials on how to do this and how to do that. Then I'd go and try it out for myself. Whilst all of this was going on my main Instagram Landscape profile InstaCPTguy continued to grow organically to a +30000 followers. The calls started to come in.
Cape Town Helicopters notice me on Instagram and wanted me to come and photograph images for their website. Now having a day job this was difficult so helicopter flights had to be scheduled at sunset or on weekends. I absolutely loved it.
A call came from Chef Melissa Mayo a South African Chef living in Los Angeles and she wanted me to come photograph her and her food for an up an coming cookbook. So in September of 2016 I flew to LA to photograph her as well as Photograph some dream locations like San Francisco & Yosemite National Park.
Bookings for weddings, functions and more started coming in more and more.
In February I made the decision that I’m going to do this full time. The support from friends, family and my wife Jo-Anne has been incredible. It wasn’t easy getting here, its been hard work. But worth every late night I’ve had to sit through editing.
So, today……. My dream became a reality. It was my first day working for myself. It looked like this.
I know its not going to be easy, I know with hard work determination, and a will to success this dream will be successful. Which is why I am telling you this, so I can be accountable. There is so many people I want to thank for believing in me and making this dream a possibility. The brands that are backing me, family, friends and supporters. Thank you!!
Here is to day one of living a dream, It was good one!
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/instacptguy & http://www.instagram.com/HeinrichKnoetzePhotography