Enzoani chats with international photographer, Brett Florens, as he discusses his unconventional introduction to photography, his creative style and his aspirations. Stay tuned as we take a closer look at some of our favourite images and discover the ideas and inspiration behind them. To explore the Enzoani collections in person, contact your nearest Enzoani Retailer here!
"Photography is my passion. This is my purpose. I strive every day to become better and I love the journey." - Brett Florens
How did you get started with photography?
My introduction to photography was unconventional. I started as a forensic photographer in a riot unit during South Africa’s Apartheid era. I was working in one of the most dangerous places on earth around the early 1990s, with huge political turmoil and politically motivated crimes. After 6 years of photographing the most distressing scenes, I decided to use my skills and the craft that I had learnt to photograph happier moments. Weddings and family portraits were a way for me to leave the police force. I didn’t have any other formal education, so I learnt to earn a living from my camera. I started photographing for colleagues and then moved on to shooting weddings for clients. It’s been a really cool journey from there on. In 2003, I moved to the more affluent end of the market and I now specialize in luxury destination weddings. I travel all over the world, capturing some amazing locations, that I could never have dreamt of going to without my photography career.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style is very editorial. I target the fashion conscious. I tend to draw inspiration from the sort of images you see in high-end magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper's Bazaar. I try to target the same demographic as those magazines are targeting, therefore my work is continuously evolving with the changes in trends and styles.
Featured above: GALI | 2012 Enzoani
What was your inspiration for the desert shoot with the BT18-28 gown?
I really enjoy shooting in the desert. The solitude of being there resonates with me. These images are extraordinary in the sense that it’s not your everyday type of image. The desert is not easily accessible to a lot of photographers, and therefore the images have more of an impact. In this particular shoot, I liked the interaction between the colors and the muted tones of the landscape. The graphic elements, such as the rocky desert areas and the naturally triangular landscape worked so well in the images. It was a great location to complement the dress.
In 2015, you created a floral themed shoot with Enzoani gowns. What was your inspiration for this shoot?
I take a lot of inspiration from perfume adverts because of the beautiful imagery. I find it so fascinating that they can sell you a fragrance based on an image. At the time of the floral shoot, there was a really amazing perfume advert made by Dior, where the model falls into a bed of flowers and I just thought it worked really well. I was collaborating with a top florist at the time, Christine Wright, and we had a vision of creating something extraordinary. We were really proud of the resulting images.
Advice to aspiring photographers?
Honing your craft is fundamental. Align yourself with brands that resonate with your specific target demographic. Unfortunately, in this competitive market, it’s not always possible to just shoot what you like, so it’s really important that you shoot imagery that resonates with your target market. Look at the industry and find out what’s missing – create a product that will sell and give you a sustainable career.
Featured above: HARROGATE | 2015 Blue by Enzoani
Any big aspirations for the future?
Recently I've been putting a lot more energy into my teaching and mentoring, primarily in regard to the business side of photography. It’s been inspirational to see that my transfer of industry knowledge is having a positive effect on the photographic community. I also have a new learning channel that I’m working on called The Focal Lounge which is an online platform, but I would really like to have a physical academy where I can impart the knowledge that I have gained over the years to aspiring photographers.
Photographer: Brett Florens
Florist: Christine Wright, Horticouture