For today’s ISPWP member spotlight, we feature Johannesburg, South Africa wedding photographer Jaco Viljoen of Jaco Viljoen Photography.
Jaco Viljoen Bio:
I am a wedding photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I love traveling, meeting new and interesting people and seeing new places. I have an undying passion for photography and to create photographs that will last a lifetime.
How did you get your start and why did you chose wedding photography as a career?
My career started out as a freelance newspaper photographer and I spend years after that in advertising, I started realizing that there is much more satisfying things to photograph than hardship and pain. I was doing wedding photography on the side for years and always loved it, so I decided to pursue a full time career in wedding photography. And I never looked back on that decision.
How has your extensive experience in wedding photography helped you in difficult circumstances on a wedding day?
Experience is everything in wedding photography, the more weddings you shoot the better you get in all aspects of the game. The bride and groom will always have certain expectations of there wedding photographer, producing great images is not where it stops. Calming the nerves and taking control over situations is expected from professionals and one only learns these things from experience.
Tell us about some of the more unique weddings you’ve shot.
For me every wedding is unique, special and different. From the décor to the people, everything is different but also have so much in common, Love.
What are some of your favorite local venues?
I am a wedding photographer based in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am very fortunate to be able to capture weddings all over South Africa. From the city to the bush, from maintains to beaches. Because I travel so much I hardly ever shoot at the same venue more than once in a season.
What advice would you give a bride who is looking for a wedding photographer?
Make sure you get along with your photographer, you will be spending most of the day with him/her. If you are not comfortable it will show in the pictures. Also forget about the camera and enjoy yourself!
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day to photograph?
For me the bride and groom’s portraits are always something special and something I look forward too. But I also enjoy photographing the details at the venue and all the bride’s accessories.
What kinds of weddings do you love to photograph?
I love all types of weddings, especially where the people are relaxed and enjoying their time.
What are your top tips for brides to help them get great photos on their wedding day?
Just be yourself and relax, don’t worry about the pictures. The best photographs will come out when you are comfortable with the photographer.
How important is it to hire an experienced wedding photographer?
The question is, will you trust Uncle Bob doing a brain surgery? If he is not a surgeon the answer will be NO! So hire a professional and be sure to get the result that you are looking for in your wedding photography.
What do you find is the biggest challenge in wedding photography?
Not to dehydrate myself. Working in a hot country brings challenges other than photography.
Do you do “destination weddings?” If so, what are your favorite destinations?
Yes, I love traveling and shooting at new locations. I travel for weddings all over the world and been shooting in the USA, United Kingdom and Europe.
What do you do for fun when you’re not shooting weddings?
Watch sports, play golf and enjoying life with my wife and our lovely dog.
How would you describe your style of photography?
Fun, Romantic, Relaxed and Natural.
What do you offer to clients that is unique? What is your Unique Selling Proposition?
Every wedding becomes a personal affair for me, from meeting the client for the first time to delivering the final product, I make sure that I am happy with everything before handing it over to a client.
Do you offer albums? If so, describe the albums you offer and why you think it’s important to provide albums.
Yes, I find that the wedding album is the most exciting part of the product. We design our albums closely with the bride and groom and we get the result that will last for ages.
What’s the best photography-related advice you’ve been given?
Be honest and true to yourself and your clients.
What would you say was the biggest reason for your success?
I have a very personal approach to my wedding photography and business, as one of my clients has told me, “I walked into their life’s as their wedding photographer but walked out as their friend.”
Thanks for the interview Jaco! Use the comment section below to ask Jaco a question or leave a comment.