In the weeks surrounding Heritage Day, we found ourselves reminiscing about where we have come from as a company and pondering where we are headed as members of the South African creative community. In the course of all this introspection, we realised we had yet to sit down and share the heritage of Orms with our online family.

To include the broader Orms community in our internal journey of looking back, Mike Ormrod, the founder of Orms and Jason, his son and the Managing Director of Orms, sat down to tell beloved stories from Orms’ history, offer insights into our future direction and share how our community inspires us everyday. We recorded the conversation as a video to upload to our Facebook.

This frank, warm discussion between Mike and Jason covers the following aspects of Orms’ heritage and present.

  • The origin of Mike’s passion for photography and his early days of engaging in the medium
  • Where and how Mike learnt the trade of selling photographic gear
  • The beginning of Orms as we know it, from starting out in Mike’s garage to eventually occupying multiple locations on Roeland Street
  • How the shift from analogue photography to shooting on DSLRs and now mirrorless cameras affected Orms over the years
  • Jason’s first introduction to photography and his origins in the Orms family business
  • What Jason has learnt from being hands-on at a grassroots level in all of Orms’ departments from day one
  • New creative and community ventures we are excited to share with the Orms family
  • How we have adapted and supported our community during the global pandemic and consequent South African lockdown

You can experience the full conversation by watching it on our Facebook or via the embedded player below.


In the conversation, Jason mentioned the Orms Circle Mentorship Programme which offers a woman-identifying creative the opportunity to be guided through the process of producing her first solo exhibition. While applications for the 2020 running of Orms Circle have closed, you can still learn more about what the programme offers and our past mentees.

Another thrilling development Mike and Jason covered is FORM, the latest cornerstone of our established Print Room & Framing department that specialises in creative wallpaper and textile printing. We are currently accepting designs for the FORM Design Library. You can find out how to submit your original artwork and images here or click through here to learn more about FORM.

Finally, this past Friday we debuted a new series on our IGTV. “Orms Presents” is a weekly feature where we screen a handpicked motion picture creation from one videographic visual artist. You can watch our first screening on our IGTV channel and use the hashtag #ifilmwithorms to submit your Instagram videos for a feature.

Categories: Community