Monday 15 September 2014

Hello September

It dawned on me that it's been a little over a year since I have been working as a full-time photographer. Saying it out loud, it sounded like such an easy decision. But after I thought about it long and hard, I had not anticipated that I would doubt this decision. Because whatever the choice you make when you are young, people will ALWAYS talk and tell you to do something which offers more security. That dreaming is nonsense.

Growing up in a country like Mauritius, people strive for their children and want them doing prestigious jobs so that yes, I dare say it, so that they can bask in your success and take pride and tell their friends how their kid succeeded. Yes, of course, you're thinking, they want you to have a good start in adulthood and they want your happiness. But then, we have all, at some point, understood that their idea of happiness and ours differ very much. They want you to be doing what's acceptable to them most of the time. It's not a bad thing, but how it can shape a young adult into doing something they won't like in 20 years is a potential reality too.

Friends on the other hand, are always so excited and supportive when you decide to follow your heart and do the job you love. It's a good and bad thing that they don't worry about your future in the way your parents would. They do not ask you 10 times whether you get enough money doing your dream job or if this dream job is not a stupid idea in the end. I do not hold a grudge against them for doing so. Friends are always supportive and sometimes they pull your feet back to the ground again, that's why we love them most of the time. However, you cannot wait on others to question your choices for you, or wait on them to give you support. You need to think on your own and follow your guts instead of listening to people's opinions all the time for every single decision you need to make. You need confidence to affirm yourself and to succeed as well. 

Right after university, I dived into photography full-time but I never exactly thought: "Hell yeah, right now this is me being a professional photographer!" I took the jobs as they came and I found it was natural for me to be doing this. Don't think it never occurred to me to work in an office or something like that; I did go to a few interviews and I did not like them at all. I sucked at those interviews just so you know, maybe stress, maybe because of my parents pressuring me into looking for a 'decent job' or maybe, it was because of the unappealing nature of the interviewers [why for God sake do they have to joke about me taking their corporate pictures or ask if I can photoshop their spots!!!]). I did not go for any other interviews in 2014 because if there was one thing that those interviews made me realise, it was that they comforted me in my choice of being a photographer.

So now, it has been one year and I am happy, doing a job I love. As I was telling clients of mine the other day, it has been a good ride so far (not without mishaps), working with friends I adore, meeting wonderful people and I am growing into a person I am proud of. Many young adults cannot boast of being proud of their achievements early in adulthood. Some are still adjusting and trying to strike the right balance. Others haven't figured out what they are about and they lack a sense of direction and confidence. It is sometimes the thing you need most in life: confidence in yourself and also, you need to learn to take pride in the little steps you take towards a better life. Whether there are some people out there who are better than you at the same job, do not let yourself feel down. Trusting yourself, and trusting that you can be better to do something great for yourself, is what you got to do. If you don't compliment yourself at times (don't get cocky though!), you soon forget how good you are, how much better you can be.

For now, I'll stop talking and share with you some of the works I did over the past weeks. I cannot recall all but here are a few I am most excited about:


Stylist: Jasmina Ruben
MUA: Cedric Lanappe
Model: Katia Moochooram

I already a photoshoot for Diva shop (Bagatelle) a few months ago and here I was at it again. With the team of the day, the shoot was a blast. But to be able to realise that shoot, we had quite a few mishaps. On the morning of the shoot, it was raining in Curepipe. How do you shoot dresses and long gowns in such a weather? We waited, unsure. The rain finally stopped and off we went to Curepipe. But then, bad luck kept pursuing us. Just when we were shooting the first dress, it started raining again! Nevertheless, we managed and we perhaps got some much nicer images at the second location than those we would have got if we had stayed to the first location. And I have to thank Katia a whole lotta because this girl is simply amazing to have shot with me patiently in the cold till late ! Also, a big thank you to Jasmina Ruben, for this opportunity. As always, she proves to be amazing and so fun. But funnier is the person behind those beautiful make ups Katia donned for the shoot. Cedric Lanappe is something of a magician, come to think of it. For with him, a simple shoot becomes an exciting moment. And this very exciting moment yielded the following result:

Behind the shoot of Diva with Katia Moochooram as model

Model: Katia Moochooram by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Katia Moochooram by photographer Khatleen Minerve and make up by Cedric Lanappe

Model: Katia Moochooram by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Katia Moochooram by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Katia Moochooram by photographer Khatleen Minerve


Stylist: Anita Tankou
MUA: Cedric Lanappe
Models: Sandrine Hoffted & Chandré Meiring

Now, I want to talk about Karamelle. Quite some time ago, I met with Anita Tankou, the brain behind this new brand. Coming straight from Cameroun, she is driven, focused and funny. But she is also very interested in fashion. She told me that she wanted to use the traditional printed fabrics from Africa and infuse a modern and fashionable touch to them. So this is what Karamelle is about. Up till now, we've done almost a handful of shoots together and here are some of my favourite images from the second shoot with models Sandrine Hoffted & Chandré Melanie Meiring and a make up done by Cedric Lanappe:

Model: Sandrine Hoffted by photographer Khatleen Minerve
Model: Sandrine Hoffted by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Chandré Meiring by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Sandrine Hoffted by photographer Khatleen Minerve


Styling: Anita Tankou
Make up artist: Armelle Bathfield
Models: Ornella Chantoiseau, Gabriella Chan Sin, Nadia Souchon, Emily Bauluck & Anita Tankou

Model: Nadia Souchon by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Nadia Souchon by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Nadia Souchon by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Anita Tankou by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Emily Bauluck by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Ornella Chantoiseau by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Gabriella Chan Sin by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Gabriella Chan Sin by photographer Khatleen Minerve

Model: Gabriella Chan Sin by photographer Khatleen Minerve


Photography / Hairstyling / Concept: Khatleen Minerve
Model: Sean Craig
Fashion Stylist: Jasmina Ruben
Make up artist: Cedric Lanappe
Light assistant: Jeffree Minerve

I also had the opportunity to work with another person that I truly adore shooting. The muse for this new shoot was Sean Craig. I have done four shoots with him and a fifth one, last July. Whether you see him in the streets or at a coffee shop, he always appears to be such a sweet and endearing guy. He does not really look like model material at first look. But put this oh-so-sweet guy in front of a camera, and he transforms. Sean did not disappoint again for this theme I set up for him. I took my inspiration from James Dean. The man remains to date, a timeless style icon. Coco Chanel said “Fashion changes, but style endures.” She was right. You can't go wrong channeling James Dean provided you can pull the attitude!

Moodboard for the shoot of Sean Craig

So I set up a team quickly and I was very lucky to get Cedric Lanappe as make up artist. Busy as he is, he was free when I called him a couple of days before the shoot. Another member of the team was my dear friend Jasmina Ruben who collaborated on this shoot as stylist. And of course, I was the photographer. Here is an overview of our collaboration:

Model: Sean Craig by photographer Khatleen Minerve


The fun thing about shooting sisters is seeing just to how extent people can be similar but at the same time, very different. I was asked by Melissa to shoot her sister Victoria and herself. Having shot with Melissa before, I was certain that this new shoot would be just as lovely. The girls were lovely but not the weather. It was raining very much at times. But we had to make do.
Here is what we came up with:

Melissa & Victoria Jasmin

Photography & Make up: 
Khatleen Minerve

So here comes the end of this very long post. I hope you enjoyed the pictures. 
And for reading till the end, thank you very much. 
Have a lovely week ahead!

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