Jacki introduced herself to me via email a few weeks back and I am so happy that she did! Her work absolutely blew me away! Being an amateur photographer, I get very excited when I see so much talent. We have only ever conversed via email, but as you will see from our interview below, what shines through so clearly is her passion for her craft.
Tell us a little about Jacki Bruniquel… I am a Durban based artist and a photographer who is deeply passionate and committed to my work. I particularly enjoy photographing people and am constantly pushing myself to be more creative and come up with new ways of doing things. I am definitely not a cookie cutter photographer who churns out the same old stuff. I love Maine Coon cats, Nikon, Apple Mac ,traveling, the ocean, my boyfriend Stu and my great family, I love the colour turquoise and could never ever live in a white house.
When and how did you get into photography? I shot my first wedding when I was about 22 and had just finished my Fine Art degree from UCT. That was 11 years ago (heaven forbid I am getting old) but after having graduated from one of the best art schools in the country the thought of being a wedding photographer was far too boring for me, I wanted to make exhibitions and travel the world and so on. And I did!!!! Still people were always asking me to photograph their weddings …. I did and I enjoyed it. After years of travel I returned to South Africa to finish a Diploma in Photography from the Durban University of Technology to add more of a technical element to my knowledge. Once again the weddings followed me but I was always slightly turned off the idea of wedding photography as there was just so much cheese out there, I really don’t like cheesy work and I guess my non conventional approach had people begging me to photograph their weddings for them. It was at this point that I started looking at international photographers on blogs like Rock and Roll Bride, Green Wedding Shoes and The Wedding Chicks and I realized that my approach was actually really in line with what was going on internationally. I also realized that photographing weddings satisfied so many of my needs ……. I love photographing people, I love telling stories with pics and capturing moments, and I love being creative. So I decided to re-look at my life and more actively market myself as a wedding photographer who services clients with an appreciation for photography and deliver the best product that I possibly can. I will of course continue to do other work though.
How would you describe your photographic style? Having a fine art background and a technical education as well I would say …… my style is creative and progressive with a strong technical edge. I love colour, interesting compositions and form. I love whimsical and dreamy. I love narratives in photographs.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph? I think for a photograph to be good it has to have that WOW factor …. The thing which makes you look twice and keep looking!
What is the number-one best photography related moment you have had? That’s a tough one …. I love every moment I am behind a camera. I really love travel photography …. And some of my most fondest memories are missioning around Indonesia with my camera.
The following is a selection of Jacki’s favourite pics and what she loves about them…
Whenever I go down to visit my sister who has a guest house in Umdumbi, Transkei I go out into the community to take portraits of people. When I return I take the prints so the word spreads fast and suddenly I have many many keen subjects! I love this pic because of the crazy little outfits Mom had dressed them in – one doesn’t really expect to see red sequins in the Kei but she dressed them in their best for their shoot (just forgot to wipe the snotty nose which just adds to it all!) I love playing with colour in my photography (must be my fine art background) and specifically chose to include lots of sky so that the red would pop, then those birds came into the frame and I just got goosebumps!
There are so many reasons why I love this pic. First of all it is of my cousin Robyn’s little one Josh and his Dad. They live in the Uk and were out here visiting (great treat for me, i adore this little family!). Every evening Josh watched Percy the Pig. In one episode Percy found a seashell and found the sound of the sea inside of it. Little Josh was hugely intrigued by this and when he spotted my shell he latched onto it!!! And so the shell came everywhere even to our beach shoot. I love catching sentimental moments with stories behind them and this is really one of those shots for me. This is one of the photos that got into the finals of the Nikon Africa Photographic Awards.