Shoot Your Shot
Its 9am on a Thursday morning and I’m in a parking-lot littered with Mercedes Benz tributes to the sports car world. They lay dormant, undisturbed. It was like walking through a sleeping pride of Lions. Gracious in beauty but no stranger to power and ferociousness.
This week we did the whole meet and greet thing differently, it wasn’t at your typical restaurant and for some reason, I was the subject of the entire thing. We started out at The Mercedes Benz HQ in Centurion, where we would be having a photoshoot with the one and only AMG GTs Edition 1! Snowy for short.
Meet Amu, a Law student at the University of Pretoria who had to go beyond himself, in search of something more, a taste of life but by being the source of its flavour. Pursuing a law degree made me question where on the balancing beam “sterring” was. His reply was simple yet spoke such volumes, he wanted to fund the passion. The reason I connect to this so well is because of a mantra I had adopted, “we do what we have to so we can do what we want to.”
Amu had always enjoyed being behind the lens, refining his craft in its infancy. From his VGA camera phone he worked on his visual aspect and so began the tale of Amu in a world that is as cut-throat as it gets, photography.
Starting out as a hobby, his love and passion grew as the image started to form. Under the wing of his older brother who had pursued it before him, discovering the art became an obsession. Challenging himself at every avenue, he ventured into the industry by starting out at a few family events and then graduating to the streets. It was here where he learnt that he was not alone. Photographers were booming and finding his identity was the only solution to the vast competition.
Capturing a moment to many is the simple act of taking a picture, but adding your personality, your ideals and moulding the very essence
around you, that is the art. Taking the initiative to share this experience with the world, Amu went on to start Apex Photography.
Breaking into the industry was his biggest challenge. Not having any qualifications or degree in media meant that he had to be working twice as hard to get his shot/shotsss. Adamant that one’s quality of work should determine the value of one’s craft, he carried this ethos into Apex Photography where he faced further trials and tribulations.
It’s in moments like these that we realise that planning to walk the journey is far easier than walking it. We should never forget that getting started is what is important. There will always be a lesson in trying and then failing but if we fail to try, we have yet to discover the wonders we could ultimately achieve.
Working with him and Snowy was an experience next to none. From the outside looking in, as bystanders we may not see the meticulous detail that goes into the planning and preparation of a shoot. An element of storytelling that helps viewers indulge in their senses.
I asked Amu if, for the most part it, was smooth sailing. To my surprise he mentioned being turned down by the school newspaper. He was eager and zealous about his work but at the time, he simply didn’t have what it took. Lamenting on this point, he mentioned that by not knowing that he wasn’t good enough, he would not have been determined to improve.
I learnt a lot today, Snowy for one, devours the road it’s set to prey upon and secondly, put yourself out there. If there is something out there that speaks to you in a way nothing else does. Have the conversation, see where it goes. Rejection is a part of life which isn’t the end, the end is determined by how you handle that rejection.
I’ll leave you with two quotes, “Everyone else is taken so just do you” – Amu Motshwane and from Snowy, “Vrrrrrr phhaaaa”, well, not really but you get the picture!