WILD LOVE SERIES
It is probably a cliche but yes my story does start with "I've always had a camera in my hand ever since I was five". My parents realised I could handle a camera at an early age, so I had the job of always capturing events and family gatherings. Little did they know I would one day be serious about it, and do it as a profession. I grew up in a traditional Afrikaans family, where getting a "real job" meant becoming a doctor, a banker or a lawyer or running your own business as long as it was your dad's business, not your own...
I was born in South Africa, a country of diversity, and color, so I am proud to be different. My parents still cannot understand why I am artistic if they never actually stimulated me in that way. I was born an artist, greatly influenced by my artistic grandmother who made me believe I could do or be anything in life.
I completely ignored my parents when they tried to convince me to become a school teacher, or work for the family business, so I can have a stable life. So I set off to beautiful London to work and travel for two years. Here I worked hard at submitting a portfolio to go to art school, knowing that they won't approve. They received multiple acceptance letters from different universities in the post, whilst I was traveling Europe. When I got back, they gave in and allowed me to go to Art school where I got my BA degree in Information Design at The Open Window. Before finishing my studies I had already booked my first few commissions, with companies such as Apple ZA and got paid for my very first wedding, even before I had physically done a wedding, yes I never did work for free to get experience, I was a serious entrepreneur before I actually was a pro photographer. My Dad could be proud, because his business ethic had rubbed off on me.
Yes, I fell in love with photography since my very first commission. In spite of me getting paid for shoots, my parents still didn't believe that photography was a real job, I think to this day, they still don't, but what they do know is that I have a talent for it, and I enjoy it, and it has taken me across the globe allowing me to learn from International artists and meet international clients.
So in a nutshell: I am Schantel Merwe and I'm an international lifestyle photographer. I'm a lover of God, I love my husband, my beautiful daughters, farm life, my camera and people. My mind literally thinks in images. I remember writing math exams in school, and remembering the picture of the formula before concluding the sum. This proves why I never became a math genius but rather a photographer.
Photography is my passion and has always been, especially people's photography. Portraiture is my favorite and I have been a portrait photographer for over 13 years, traveling to the US, London, Paris, Germany, Dubai, Mauritius and Greece for sessions. My style can be described as journalistic, lifestyle, natural-light photography with an elegant, fun twist.
I have recently started shooting with film again, to give my work an added artistic feel, and to give my clients more options. So now I also call myself a hybrid photographer. To me my clients are potential friends and I become so involved with their photoshoot that I get emotional when paging through their albums and prints afterwards. This is why many of my clients book me for family, newborn and other photography sessions afterwards.
My Wild Love - Romantic Collective shoot experience and memories...
Well, if you know a bit about me, I am an outdoors person. I love adventure, I love animals, and though this wasn’t my first encounter with elephants and other wildlife, it is truly a unique experience every time.
The team was amazing. Everyone is so passionate about their work and dreams and everyone worked so hard - at a pace most athletes would think is challenging. But we pulled through, and as a reward we have memories of bushveld nights and a bonfire, braai vleis and heartfelt talks that will stay in our hearts forever.
Will always remember this!!
Make Up Stylist on The Romantic Collective Wild Love Series Shoot.
Filipa O is a precision specialist in the finer details of fashion and style.
A variety of talented celebrity South Africans in - Fashion, Contemporary Music, Radio, Film, Springbok Rugby.
Who I work with:
South African industry CEO’s, Surgeons, Marketing Managers, Executive Assistants, SME’s
A personal styling Ethos toward a collection with a fresh, energetic edge.
Whilst working together on a fashion styling and portraiture collab around 18 months ago, Donnalee proudly shared her concept and vision for the Romantic Collective with me. It is a privilege to witness the fruition of passion, clarity of vision and to share in her joy as her range unfolds.
Our safari adventure - for the Romantic Collective Wild Love season 2 range, was the ultimate setting.
Luxury accommodation and amazing hospitality from Zebula Golf Estate and Spa. The most incredible experience of walking amongst the majestic and charismatic elephants who are so tirelessly cared for and loved by the staff of Adventures with Elephants.
The Romantic Collective is sophisticated, fashionable and versatile, wishing you continued success Donnalee, Ivan and Comien
To our WILDY BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING partners
on our second season WILD LOVE shoot,
Adventures With Elephants and Zebula Golf Estate & Spa in Bela Bela - Where do we even begin to thank you for the beyond AMAZING memories that we got to make, for your hospitality, kindness and love.
Thank you for dreaming with us and for being part of this soul touching project, we are forever GRATEFUL!!
Zebula Golf Estate & Spa: