You can probably deduce from the name of my business that my name is Ewald Stander and that I’m a photographer.
But for me it is more than just that. It might sound corny to say that I have “a passion for photography” (and you kind of expect that from a photographer), but I really do. I’m excited about showing up for a shoot and the entire process that follows. Part of why I love photography is that it enables me to tell a story and with more than a decade of media photography under my belt – it comes naturally.
Photography to me is more than just capturing moments it is about capturing the essence of those moments which hopefully one day, while flipping through your wedding album on your 50th wedding anniversary, brings the emotions you experienced on that day flooding back.
A lot of emphasis is placed on the creative shoot after the ceremony, and don’t get me wrong I absolutely love that stage of the wedding as it gives me an opportunity to unleash my creativity, but often my favourite part of the day is capturing fleeting but touching moments like the tear-streaked cheek of a father as he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time, the deep breath a bride takes before her first step down the aisle or the sneak peek a couple gives each other during the ceremony.
To me, true love is a big deal and therefore being a wedding photographer is an absolute honour. I’m really blessed to see couples commit their lives to each other and to see love in action.
When did I realise I wanted to be a photographer? When I was little my parents did not allow us to play with the family camera – those days developing photographs were very expensive and so were cameras. The temptation was however just too great for the five-year-old version of myself one day and while my father was fixing something on our home’s roof, I snapped a quick one. Expecting to be scolded for it, I was surprised when the photograph was finally developed and my Dad said. “Son, that is the best photograph I’ve ever seen.” I never doubted him and those words became the driving force behind becoming a photographer.
When I’m not photographing weddings, I still do a bit of freelance work for newspapers and magazines. I still enjoy media photography as it was part of me for such a large part of my career and taught me so much – to anticipate moments, to get it right the first time and to work under pressure. I’ve been fortunate to have learnt those lessons at some of the biggest newspapers in the Eastern Cape over the past 10 years which have given me the opportunity to photograph some interesting people including presidents, politicians, sport stars, entertainers and musicians, as well as some great events like the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.