All about me and why I do photography as a job.
Professional Portrait Photographer
Digital Imaging Specialist
Hi, I’m Dirk. I’m the best professional portrait photographer in the Western Cape that I know of. If not the best, then definitely the most entertaining.
I take portrait photos of nice people for a living, and I love my job! Sometimes I make difficult people act nice so I can take good photos of them too.
I know what it’s like to walk into a strange place to perform in front of a camera, and I bring that understanding to my work with people who come to my studio for photographs. I want you to feel safe, secure and cared for. As an actor, I know that the camera doesn’t lie, and any uncertainty is going to show on your face. We don’t want that.
How I get great results
Positive energy is the one thing that makes portrait photos pop! I don’t need you grinning like an idiot, just a feeling of contentment will do. But don’t stress about it. I often coach people on how to get that elusive element right. I didn’t call my website Real Happy Pictures for nothing!
I’ve been photographing people for years and I’ve even built a relatively successful career as an actor using headshots I took myself! That’s one of the things that got me started in studio portraiture: I had all the equipment and the skills because I needed them to do my own photographs. I didn’t want to spend tons of money updating my headshots every six months but knew from my experience working part-time at a casting agency just how important good photographs are to the casting process.
When I needed a new career that was flexible and acting-related, photography was an easy choice. I didn’t realise then how hard it could be…
You could stop reading now if you want to. I know, it’s a novel. But just in case enquiring minds want to know…
My irrelevant personal details
I don’t discuss politics, racism or religion – I’m happy to live and let live. I hate labels and what they do to people. I respect your pronouns, but I don’t define myself by what other people call me any more. I don’t do assignations or interludes, but I’m no prude. I don’t have a romantic partner but I prefer it that way and I have a loving, nurturing family who accepts me just the way I am. I feel very fortunate. I have lovely responsible parents, siblings, nephews and nieces and even a grand-nephew. I’m not going to point out who they are in the photos on my site, because this website is for you and your photographs.
When in your quest for the perfect picture you realise that you can’t get the results you’re looking for and can’t afford the time and gear to learn the complicated art of digital photography, I’m the guy who does it for you or shows you how to do the one thing you need to do often and how to do it well.
As an Imaging Specialist, I have a deep understanding of the intricacies of digital image formats and their uses. I have a strong grounding in art too, which helps. My focus (excuse the pun) is on creating the best images to suit your purpose using photography, but also photo manipulation, computer-generated images, video and graphic design. I’ll employ various tools to make the pictures you need.
The Studio at Blessings
My little studio is inside Blessings Melkbosstrand, a friendly informal coffee shop with rustic charm. I share the room with other creatives who offer informal workshops, and art and craft classes at certain times, so it’s important to book before you come through. Whatsapp me to set up a photo session.
We’ll close the door to give us some privacy during your photoshoot, but you won’t be isolated and you’re welcome to bring a friend as long as they leave the directing to me!
Taking photographs inside with flash and plain backdrops ensures that my models don’t have to worry about outside interference or the weather. My office/kitchen works well as a changing room and there is a bathroom right next door.
For location shoots, I pack light – mostly just my camera and a flash unit, but since my equipment is light and easy to set up you can book me for studio portrait gigs in remote locations, like your office or garden – I do weddings, parties, corporate events and location/lifestyle shoots with a mix of natural and flash photography. I’m pretty adaptable in that area.
I even photograph people in the ocean with my GoPro sometimes.