March 16, 2012

I wrote something stupid on Facebook the other night.

Basically I was having a go at a guy who keeps posting about how awesome he is and I ended up writing something shitty directed at the world. A lot of other people took offense and I erased it, but that’s not why I’m writing now. I just can’t figure out why I wrote it in the first place. I left a long career behind where I rarely if ever came home from work feeling I had accomplished anything worthwhile or made anyone’s life better.

And now I do all the time.

And that is awesome.

Not every shot I take is taking photography forward or re-shaping the business as we see it. But that doesn’t matter. In my workshops I talk about not looking at other wedding photographers for inspiration and that greatness is something we find within.

Black belt is a frame of mind.

So complaining about some random dude’s douchbaggery seems a little strange in hindsight. My whole social media presence can be interpreted as one long humble brag – here I am, tomorrow I’m flying here, eating mussels in Peru, oh, sorry, now I’m sipping margaritas in Stellenbosch.

Live and let live.

Shooting weddings is life-affirming and that in itself is awesome. Having a good afternoon in a park with a great couple can be equally fantastic. Receiving an email about how our images made someone cry DOES change worlds – our clients’ and ours.

So why not celebrate that?

I shot a wedding yesterday.

It was awesome.


I’ve said that least 4931389 times. SKC was here…

Jonas! This photo is breathtaking! How did you do it!?

I like the atmosphere and how color photography make it worth.

Karen – your dress is simply stunning. Who is the designer?

Wow! I just found your blog.. I really adore your photos! They are beautiful, really fantastic! I spontaneously said ‘wow’ out-loud to myself. :) Good job, and a great blog!

Magia pura!

What can I say but ‘Awesome!’ :)

Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

wow! lo que puede llegar a expresar una solo fotografía! sigo tu trabajo desde hace poquito y me resulta espectacular! felicidades!

Looking forward to this one dude.

Love your photographs.
I’m not good photographer at all.
I try hard, but whatever you do is amazing
Thanks for sharing.

Without wanting to sound corny, you are truly an inspiration Jonas. In a industry where there seem to be many wedding photographers who are in “the biz” for the wrong reasons, you truly stand out as one who actually loves and understands your clients, is very talented, humble, down-to earth, and takes pride in their work. A daggy high five to you! :)

that is just amazing. the tree and huge colour and size of it makes this look surreal. thanks and give us more!

your shots are pretty awesome, thanks for sharing!

I’m impressed, I have to say. Actually rarely do I encounter a weblog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is something that not sufficient individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my seek for something regarding this.

wow… this wedding looks amazing. Can not wait to see more! That.Dress.

brilliant – and just what i needed to be reminded of ! thank you.

Sometimes you have to call a Dbag a Dbag…

Don’t beat yourself up over it brah!

Took my breath away when I logged on today and saw that. How the hell???????? Blown away Jonas, totally

Nice photo. It has a really dreamy/smooth look to it. Gee whiz you’re good.

Nice outlook. Beautiful image. Thanks

Did you ever figure out why you might have said it?

Jonas don’t stop being genuine mate.

Gary (London)

douchebaggery? I love it….that alone was worth reading this. And that was before I saw the pic. I got one of my niece I’ll upload for you

Thats why people warm to you because you are human and not afraid to make mistakes! Great pic as well :-)

You were right .. AWSOME!!!!!!!!!

Awesome image as ever Jonas! Douchebags are a gift as they allow us the opportunity to overcome our desire to judge and condemn.

Perfect. The image and your words.

This looks like an interesting departure from your recent style. I’m keen to see where this goes.

You’re such a dude Jonas :-)

absolutely freaking killer…

incredible image, love seeing whats new on your blog :)

Love this post! LOTS
Ps) does the douchebag live in the same state as you shot this wedding?

Many lessons in this post. Keep doing what you do Jonas!

I guess that’s one thing I’ve begun telling myself starting this year, to stop comparing, to stop looking at other people’s works because it will only cause personal grief. I’d still love to admire though (grogeous photo as always btw). And oh… Stellenbosch… believe it or not I was there late February for a day. A day was too short. Needless to say I tried cramping all the wine tasting I could in one day. I fell ill close to the end of it =P… good times!

after taking the foundation workshop, i was so critical of the wedding i shot afterwards. i was too embarrassed to social media it because i didn’t think it was good enough for my new mentors to see. i quietly published the wedding, sent the slideshow to my clients. she wrote back ecstatically, saying that the pictures were even more amazing then she expected and how happy she was, and how her new husband loved it so much. It humbled me and made me realize, that in the end, wedding photography is about the clients. yeah winning recognition and awards is wonderful, but that’s just icing on the cake.

Think twice, speak once. Use your fame to influence, not belittle or berate others.

Hey Jonas,

I think the most revealing thing in your blog was when you said “I just can’t figure out why I wrote it in the first place.”

That’s cool. We’re all in the same boat. Everyone has issues that pop up from time to time, because the issues aren’t dealt with, or we’re not even aware of issues: anger, insecurities, ego – the list goes on. We all had to go through life to get to today, and sometimes we pick up shitty experiences and bring them with us.

While shooting a wonderful event like a wedding and having the career you’re building, and meeting all the wonderful people you have along the way, can be something you are happy with, satisfied about, … happiness with yourself, is something that you have to find on your own. You can’t get happiness from a thing (job, other people, an accomplishment), it’s something you sort of … have to decide to be. Maybe this all sounds dumb, I don’t know, it’s just what I believe.

My point is, yes, you get to make other people’s life better doing something you love. Yes, that is awesome, no doubt. Meeting people, being creative, making people happy and getting paid for it is truly wonderful. But you can be just as happy being a street cleaner to make a living (not that there is anything wrong with that), as you can with your current career if you decide to be.

Anyway, didn’t mean to dive deep into this… and I hope I don’t sound like a dick. Great photograph, it would look so good as a large print. Keep them coming.

Yeah I read that the other day… Maybe its just marketing, it creates hype for the clients. I wouldn’t think too much about it.

This pic is awesome though.

I applaud your honesty Jonas.

Best wedding ever!! x

I just love the softness of the trees and the ease of the shot- fantastical.

This is absolutely breathtaking!

Amen… VIVE Y DEJA VIVIR, great words

Looking forward to a full blog post!

True words and magical picture from your yesterday wedding. All of us can write stupid words in any situation, this is not important and easy to understand. The most important are your conclusion for your and your blog followers: LIVE AND LET LIVE

Some honest words! Great shot, looks almost like 3D.

True words !! U must be a great guy.. :-) Our lives would be always about make someone happy.. that’s the point..

This scene felt eerily familiar – then I saw the tag “McClaren Vale”. I was born there (it’s spelt ‘McLaren’ by the way, champ).

This image takes me down the rabbit-hole. I hope Karen and Armin live in a castle and hang it in the halls..!

Bilden har fångat mig….kan inte sluta titta på den.

Beautiful work from an interesting point of view which goes hand in hand. Awesome! :)

Amazing texture in that photos…WOW… the problem with written text rather than spoken word is people put their own tone in so often when you’re not trying to offend they do. I like how you say it how it is!

swedish is awesome+ :)

ett ord bror. häftigt. my sweedish is awesome.

awesome. as for the image; speechless.

Jonas- You write as well as you shoot… now that is awesome!

Right on. you are awesome! Well said.

Surround yourself with happy people and your life will be happier – Weddings are one of the happiest times of peoples lives!

word up. i completely agree.

I applaud you. both for saying “everyone’s work isn’t awesome all the time, wake up.” AND for saying “shooting a wedding is, in and of itself, awesome.” thanks.

Don’t take other photographers to heart, there are some great photographers out there with great personalities and there are some reall arrogant ones as well, you sound like you fall into the first. Just enjoy what you do and do it well is what I say. I love taking inspirations of things I see and use that to create beautiful images.

You’re human, that’s just how it goes. From the same place that indirectly/publicly called out his douchbaggery comes words/photos that inspire/remind us to look within ourselves to express our vision. Hope that guy knows who he is and takes a lesson from this.

This is great Jonas.. breathtaking image.. can’t wait to see more of this wedding!

Wow. That is such a beautiful picture. That dress is such a dream!

Keep on trucking. Enjoy the ride.

Thank you for always inspiring, and creating images that are always a feast for the eyes. Your work always makes me want to be better.

keep it simple – beautiful !

love. love. love. didn’t see the previous post, but you are right. Live and let live. If we were all the same, wouldn’t this be a boring world indeed?


To true. Love your writing.

Super elegant. Have to agree on the blackbelt… nice analogy.
Keep on keeping on.

So true-,Love it – thank you :)

oh dear, jonas, you heart makes me wish i knew you in person. plus douchebaggery is such an excellent word.

Bravo & beautiful image.