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.

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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! :)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

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

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

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

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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?


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