To be a suc­cess­ful PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE - *See more of her work on In­sta­gram @ riz_barnes and @@riz_bar­nes_­por­fo­lio *In cel­e­bra­tion of Women’s Month, we cel­e­brate women en­trepreneurs #Gir­lBosses like Barnes.

While the field of pho­tog­ra­phy is pre­dom­i­nantly male, fe­male pho­tog­ra­phers are making se­ri­ous moves in the in­dus­try and de­fy­ing the norm. Rizqua Barnes, a Cape Town-based pho­tog­ra­pher, is some­one who has been at the fore­front of the new wave of fe­male pho­tog­ra­phers who have gained well de­served recog­ni­tion and praise.

Cur­rently, with smart­phones offering high def­i­ni­tion cam­eras, just about any­one can la­bel them­selves as a pho­tog­ra­pher. How­ever, it’s the pro­fes­sion­als such as Barnes who stand out.

The des­ig­nated play­ing fields are so­cial me­dia plat­forms such as pic­ture driven In­sta­gram, Face­book and Pinterest. Pho­tog­ra­phers and blog­gers com­pete for a spot in glossy mag­a­zines, news­pa­per and on­line por­tals.

The lead­ing and pop­u­lar pho­tog­ra­pher gen­res in­clude gen­eral pho­tog­ra­phy, so­cials, por­traits, na­ture and fash­ion.

Carv­ing your spot at the top is not easy, and like any other ca­reer, the field re­quires hard work, fo­cus and in­di­vid­u­al­ity, says Barnes.

I first met Barnes about two years ago on live video shar­ing plat­form Snapchat. Her pic­tures of her daugh­ter Nura melted my heart and her ev­ery­day life in­trigued me. Her di­verse pro­fes­sional port­fo­lio on In­sta­gram in­cludes pho­tos of mod­els, per­son­al­i­ties, fash­ion blog­gers and just about ev­ery other thing that catches her eye.

Cu­ri­ous about how she be­came a pho­tog­ra­pher, I asked her: “When was the first time you picked up a cam­era?”

She said: “I was in Stan­dard 5 (grade 7). I don’t re­mem­ber what type of cam­era it was ex­actly but I got it from my aunt and it was a film cam­era. I bor­rowed it for camp.

“I was way too young at the time and never re­ally gave it much thought. Think­ing about it now, tak­ing pic­tures is some­thing that I have al­ways en­joyed.

“My dad Fuad Bar­ne­shad a cam­era as well and was al­ways tak­ing pic­tures of our fam­ily. When I fin­ished school, my sis­ter Quanita loaned me her cam­era when we went on hol­i­day and I took pic­tures of every­thing.

“I went on a pad­dling boat and the cam­era fell into the ocean… we still laugh about this to­day. Since then I am al­ways su­per care­ful with a cam­era.

“I was al­ways ob­sessed with sun­light, light and trees. There is a cer­tain time dur­ing the day, the hour be­fore sun­set, when the sun shines on spots which are usu­ally hidden dur­ing the day… the golden hour, it’s called.”

Barnes’s fas­ci­na­tion with light and sun­light still drives most of her in­spi­ra­tion. Along with trees, rain­fall and tex­tures which comes from study­ing in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing.

“Af­ter class in var­sity I will walk around town tak­ing pic­tures of where the sun hit on tree leaves or pud­dles of wa­ter af­ter rain­fall.Even though I stud­ied pho­tog­ra­phy af­ter in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing… my fas­ci­na­tion with tex­tures and fab­rics is still ev­i­dent in my work.

“I be­lieve that in­te­rior (dec­o­rat­ing) and pho­tog­ra­phy goes hand in hand. At the time I never re­ally thought about it like that but I see it now. My dad wasn’t too keen on me do­ing pho­tog­ra­phy full time un­til years later,” says Barnes.

Now a fully fledged “Girl Boss” (#Gir­lBoss is a word re­fer­ring to a woman en­tre­pre­neur), Barnes cred­its Face­book for pro­pel­ling her ca­reer.

“I have been on my toes since the be­gin­ning of my ca­reer and I am still on my toes. Ever since Face­book hap­pened, things have been hap­pen­ing for me and it hasn’t stopped,” she says.

“From wed­dings to en­gage­ments to 21st birthdays, ma­tric dances and fam­ily

Al­ways be pa­tient with your clients and your­self.

Un­der­stand that pho­tog­ra­phy be­comes more of a life skill than a skill.

Be ac­tive on so­cial me­dia. Only you can hype your­self up. Make a fuss about every­thing. You are your brand.

Shoot more per­sonal work, this ac­tu­ally keeps you sane.

Meet other pho­tog­ra­phers. Con­nect and share ideas.

Never stop build­ing your port­fo­lio.

Mod­est fash­ion blog­ger and stylist Na­bi­lah Kariem wear­ing Twin Im­age Cloth­ing.

Model Ash­leigh Her­man wear­ing The De­sign Ware­house

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