Photographer Profile: Jacki Bruniquel

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.

The Nikon Africa awards were held on 12 August 2010 where Jacki placed 3rd in the family category. Congratulations!

Jackie Bruniquel

I took this photo at my sister’s wedding. They got married on the beach and the wind was so ridiculously strong that after the service everyone wanted to get back to the reception venue as quickly as possible. We had planned to do a whole beach vintage creative shoot with an umbrella, a beach ball, retro deck chairs and so on but with the wind Lis was shouting to get off the beach. I knew straight away that the umbrella would get smashed in the first minute and I forced them to do a few shots on the beach!!!! This is my favorite from their whole day at it REALLY shows how windy it was with a bit of quirk! I also love the way the bright colours pop against the grey ominous sky and I love it all the more as it is of two of my most favorite people.

I did this shoot for Esjay and her band some time ago when they were out from the States. Es is the most amazing person to photograph as not only does she have her own unique style, she has an incredible energy and beauty. My friend Tamlyn Martin styled this shoot for us and I just love the quirky edginess of the pic. I also really love the colours. (have I mentioned how much I love colour? …ha ha)

When Caz, Struan, my assistant and I went off for their creative shoot this shot certainly wasn’t what we expected to come back with! We were doing our thing and suddenly I noticed all the animals and asked the owner of the property if she had any feed. Next thing you know we had the whole farm-yard around and it was just perfect as Struan grew up on a farm so why not throw a few animals into his wedding shoot! I love this pic for its quirkiness and the fact that it was one of those in the moment magic things that just happen when you don’t plan things too much! It’s actually amazing how many brides have asked me to replicate this pic since!!! Impossible really!

Engagement shoots are a HUGE thing overseas and even in Cape Town and Joburg but Durbs is slightly behind so a lot of people don’t really know what they are about. Just in case you are one of those folk, they are a pre-wedding, post-engagement photography sessions done to capture your personality as a couple. For a photographer the great thing about doing an engagement shoot is that you get to spend time with your couple, something that you don’t really have too much of on your wedding day and so you can really play around and get some awesome shots. It’s also a great way for couples to get to know their photographer so that you aren’t all nervous on your wedding day. This is one of the many pics I did for Lisa and Ty’s engagement shoot. They are such a funky, fun couple and I feel this pic really sums them up!
Thanks so much to Jacki for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat to us, it has been an absolute pleasure.  For all your photography needs you can visit Jacki’s website and her blog. Jacki and I have promised to do coffee sometime but both of our schedules have been a little crazy.  I really hope that we manage to sync soon as I have really enjoyed our email conversations.  In fact, if I could get both Jacki and Sam Maber (they also liaise via email often but have never met) in a room together to pick their brains, I would be a very happy lady.
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11 Responses to Photographer Profile: Jacki Bruniquel

  1. Bee says:

    The family photos on her website are amazing, some of them look like 3D. She’s very talented.

  2. Pingback: Plan A Photography Profile on moi! | Durban based photographer Jacki Bruniquel

  3. Thanks Amanda. I am really looking forward to that coffee and once that is done, Sam, you and I should go for dinner to chat photography and all things wonderful. Once again. Big thanks x

  4. La.K says:

    Great interview! Jacki is so talented. I love her style. If I were getting married now she would most certainly be getting a call from me.
    one day 🙂

  5. Tricia says:

    Lovely interview – well done!

  6. Robyn de Beer says:

    We feel so incredibly privileged to have had you take pics of us!! I am sooooooo excited to work with you in Feb – and to catch up with a large glass of red xxx

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention Photographer Profile: Jacki Bruniquel | Plan A Wedding & Event Management -- Topsy.com

  8. Shireen says:

    Jax is doing a maternity shoot for me in a couple weeks – really looking forward to that.

  9. Sarah says:

    Jacki, your images are amazing! You capture the emotion of the moment exquisitely! A visual feast…….

  10. Well done Jacks – these are amazing. So creative and different.

  11. Anna-Maria says:

    Wow …so interesting and creative..I love your work…it is never boring!!! Well done Jacki.

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