by Brett Florens Published 01/01/2014
Brett Florens discovered that photography was what he really wanted to do while completing his South African national service in the Police Riot Squad, and he's been determined ever since to build a successful career.
There are some great back stories from photographers regarding how they first made their way in to their chosen profession, and the one told by South African photographer Brett Florens is right up there with the best of them. Brett stumbled across his passion for photography in 1992 while undertaking his national service obligations in the Police Riot Squad, having taken the opportunity to volunteer for the newly formed photographic unit largely to break the monotony of patrolling the townships.
"Prior to this I had no photographic inclinations," he says, "but once the bug had bitten I was obsessed. With no formal photographic training, I taught myself about composition and lighting by reading photographic books and magazines. I observed how filmmakers could make use of lighting techniques to create mood and tell stories and, after I was asked to photograph a colleague's wedding, I began to see wedding photography as a way to leave the police force and start my own business. As I had no other tertiary education, I had to make it work; consequently I put my heart and soul into making a go of photography as a full-time career."
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