We’re talking to the photographers behind Drop Your Drink. You’ll get to learn how they work and what drives them. First up in the series is Kresha Ross, a New Zealand-based photographer.
DYD: You have such an expansive portfolio which includes portraiture and concert photography. How did you start your photographic journey and what made you focus on those genres of photography?
Kresha: I was always the kid with a camera growing up, but I had never considered making a career out of it until my husband suggested I try my hand at making it more than just a hobby. I am completely untrained and started doing an online photography course, but still haven’t finished it.
Photography is a way for me to express my creativity, and since I suck at drawing, painting, music… Seriously though, I love being able to capture specific moments in people’s lives and being the person to immortalise a memory for someone else is something very special.
I started out doing free shoots for family and friends and eventually I had people booking shoots with me. DYD is actually the culprit for getting me into concert photography. My first gig was at a 94.7 Jo’burg Day a few years back. Photographing the artists and being in the pit was like a drug to me.
DYD: Who are you as a photographer and how would you describe your style?
Kresha: I’d like to think of myself as a fun, vibey photographer that clients enjoy having around during their shoot. I have been lucky enough to remain friends with almost all of the clients I have done shoots for. I am not sure that I really have a particular style. I like the idea of my clients pretending I am not even there and just doing their thing – that way their photos are relaxed and their smiles are honest.
DYD: We’ve seen a big focus on portraiture in your work. What differentiates you from other photographers shooting portraiture?
Kresha: There are so many good photographers out there and having something unique to differentiate yourself can make or break it for you. I think the one thing that makes me a little different is the mood that I am able to capture in my pictures. I want people to look at my photographs and be able to feel exactly what that particular family or person was feeling when I took that photo. If that makes any sense.
DYD: What gear have you relied on during your progression as a photographer?
Kresha: I am still a bit of a gear noob, sticking to the very basics. I have a Nikon D3200 and 3 lenses – an 18-55mm, a 55-200mm and a 70-300mm. That’s it. I decided that until the day my photography can afford to buy me a D800, I will stick to what I have.
DYD: You’re in New Zealand now. What kind of photographic opportunities do you have there that you wouldn’t have had here?
Kresha: Well, considering I lived in Joburg, I have the beach! Photography here in Wellington is very popular and almost everyone you meet considers themselves to be a ‘professional photographer’. International musicians and live events are also on the rise in Joburg, and unfortunately to be a part of that here I would have to travel to Auckland.
DYD: Can you tell us about any great moments you’ve had as a photographer?
Kresha: I can think of three moments that really stick out for me:
– Standing in the pit while Prime Circle played at Joburg Day. The crowd was going mad behind me and a girl tapped me on the shoulder and begged me to take a photo of her and her friend. I felt really important.
– The night I photographed the MK Awards. When I arrived I was seriously nervous. Every photographer around me had these crazy fancy cameras with massive flashes on top. I had my D3200 with my on-board flash. Just before going into the hall I met Sean Brand (one of the best concert photographers IMO). What an awesome, down-to-earth guy! I sat on the floor in front of the stage, right next to Sean Brand and photographed the awards.
– Photographing Nitro Circus. Man what a rush!
DYD: In your opinion, what makes a great photographer?
Kresha: I don’t really know. To me someone either has the eye for it or they don’t. Yes, you can study and know every technique in the book and be able to take a good photo, but someone with an eye can take the same photo and make it look great.
DYD: Which local and international photographers inspire you?
Kresha: Wow, there are so many in so many different genres! From a live events perspective, I would have to say Sean Brand. His images are stunning and always crystal clear, which is an achievement on its own for concert photography.
Ashley Marston, Christine Meintjes, Candy Dunbar, Ilse Moore, Morkel Erasmus, Brendon Cremer and Adrian Steirn are also amazing and I could only hope to be able to take photos of that quality one day.
Then of course there are the incredibly talented photographers who are part of the DYD team – Yetunde, Deji, Henry, to name but a few.
DYD: Where can we find more of your work?
Kresha: My work is constantly being updated on my Facebook page, Kresha Ross Photography, https://www.facebook.com/kresharossphoto or you can have a look at my website www.kresharossphotography.co.za.