Jani B visited Vietnam and captured some unbelievable travel photos. We caught up with her to learn more about her experience.
Jani-Marie Breedt, better known as Jani B Photography is certainly no stranger to the world of photography. She’s probably best known for her impossibly beautiful wedding images. Today however we decided to catch up with her on another, more personal passion; travel photography. And more specifically the images and experience from her trip to Vietnam.
OC: First things first, tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you love shooting?
Jani: I’m a Cape Town based wedding photographer with a love of travel and cats. I love shooting documentary style, and that’s why I love travel photography so much.
OC: Who or what got you interested in photography as a career?
Jani: I studied graphic design, and photography was one of my subjects. The photography bug only bit me when I bought my 1st digital camera 5 years after graduating.
OC: Was this a personal project for you?
Jani: I love traveling and experiencing diffident cultures, so yes this was a personal project but my dream would be to make travel photography my way of earning a living.
OC: How would you describe your approach / aim?
Jani: When I travel, my camera is always with me, so I basically capture as we go and hopefully it tells a story by the time I’m done. I will however if I’m ever commissioned for a travel job, try and tell a specific story and will obviously shoot more with the specific brief in mind.
OC: Portraits are often taken on the street, they’re not something that was planned or set up by you. Did you find this to be a challenge or did you find it almost easier?
Jani: I love the honesty of street photography, capturing a subject as is. The moment you interfere or pose that subject, you almost transfer your personality to the subject matter. I definitely find it easier and more honest to capture the subject as is – even if it’s not always their best angle.
OC: Did you feel out of your comfort zone and what (if anything) did you find challenging?
Jani: I learned a very valuable lesson on my trip to Vietnam. I went there after seeing a friends photos and I went with a preconceived idea. During our trip I definitely learned to let it be. We where faced with Typhoon Vincente, it rained for days on end. I also found the locals not open to being captured without a monetary incentive. So I really felt very disappointed that I didn’t get the images I envisioned before I went on the trip. In retrospect, I captured different images but it still makes me happy and I also get to relive the trip. It also taught me to not go with a preconceived idea, and capture what is there at that moment.
OC: What sort of gear would you typically travel with? Is there anything you would leave behind next time or maybe something you simply can’t go without?
Jani: I like traveling light, so I normally take one wide angle (24 or 35mm) and one long lens 85mm (I shoot with prime lenses), and then make do with what I have. I also don’t take a flash and would rather shoot wide open at a high ISO than use flash.
OC: Visually, your most memorable destination, and why? If you could pick any destination today, what would be next?
Jani: Gosh that’s so difficult to choose only one, they are all different and beautiful in their own right, Vietnam was pretty spectacular, purely because it was so different to anything I’ve experienced before. If I could go anywhere, it’ will be Iceland.
OC: If you could have a drink or a cup of coffee with any photographer, who would you pick, and why?
Jani: Vivian Maier, I think she was ahead of her time, never seeking fame and fortune. Her photos are raw, honest and real.
OC: Any advice?
Jani: Shoot for yourself and the rest will come.