Cover Shoot – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union

FWA 2015 Aug-Sep OFC

Portrait – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union by Jay Caboz.

Portrait – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union.

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – The Radisson, Sandton, South Africa

It isn’t a day like any other when you get to meet the most powerful woman in Africa.

I need to say off the bat that a photoshoot with such a prestigious leader doesn’t happen by chance. The Forbes Africa Woman team try to the best of their ability to plan for shoots and come up with concept that can both emulate the subject matter as well as make them look great.

Politicians, I suppose like most people who are famous, I don’t know why this is, have little time to spare when it comes to photographs. I have lost count the number of times we have dealt with figures in the public eye and they assume we can work magic in five minutes or less.  But we try our best to get what we can.

To reveal a little of what goes on behind the scenes: I had been on standby,  for this shot,  for several months. Literally we were told that this photoshoot could happen at any moment and that we were to drop everything we were doing and get it done. The only other time I have been on standby like this was when Nelson Mandela died. This was the level of importance we placed into this shoot.

Even still, it came as a surprise when at 6pm our editor Methil Renuka, calls us on from her holiday in Kerala, India, to tell us that the photoshoot would happen the next morning. Such is the dedication and drive of this team that we are always on our phones.

Over a scratchy public telephone line, from who knows where in the jungle, Renuka says: “It’s happening Jay, tomorrow. The shoot’s tomorrow.I can’t hear you but she’s coming tomorrow. Can you hear me????? Jay? …
” then line drop — received in a furniture store parking lot as we were closing up shop with the inside fashion shoot and squeezing lights back into the boot of Kris with a K, our art director’s, Renault Megan.

So the Forbes Africa Team had less than 24 hours.  We were to be given 45 minutes. Then the emails and phone calls began.

If you are familiar with the media business, it can take weeks to organize the personnel needed to organize a shoot. It is a near on impossible to organize lights, a stylist, make up artist, venue, snacks, photographer and an assistant in 24 hours. But we did it.

Luckily with such a big name many people are willing to drop what they are doing to collaborate. The Radisson, in Sandton, graciously lent us their penthouse suite for the day to set up lights and plan the shoot.

We were able to get into the venue, set up lights and be ready in time for her excellency. Time is the key word word here.

It took two hours to set up the lights, move the furniture and plan, shot by shot, pose by pose, how we were going to do this to maximize our limited time Dlamini-Zuma.

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Remember when I said that we had 45 minutes: Well it took the make up artist 45 minutes. Thus when Dlamini-Zuma came into the room, she should have already have left.

Dlamini-Zuma is wonderful lady, very polite and friendly to talk with. But, it is amazing that someone who is able to stand up in front of millions of people and make a speech can be shy in front of the camera. Our prep work had prepared us for this fact – she’s not a professional model.  That’s part of our job at Forbes Africa, getting the subject to come out of their shell and let their true self shine through.

We introduced ourselves, had a bit of a chit chat to release the tension in the room and got to work. I aim to get the subject to forget about all the people in the room and the bright lights. If you, as the photographer, act professionally, are composed, and act as if  you know what you are doing that confidence will shine through and you can get your subject to relax.

The time flew. We had managed to squeeze a half hour with several poses and interior magazine shots. Dlamini-Zuma shook our hands, said thanks for the photoshoot and ambled out the door.

Time to shoot: 30 minutes

Time to prepare for 30 minute shoot: 2 hours set-up, less than 24 hours to organize a team of helpers, a 45 minute make over and a phone call from India to set it off.

Job done.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, July 2015 edition

Photographer: Jay Caboz on Instagram


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Cover Shoot – Analjit Singh, Healthcare for Forbes Africa Magazine

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Portrait – Analjit Singh, Healthcare

Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Words by our very own Editor of Forbes Woman Africa MagazineRenuka Methil

We step out of Analjit Singh’s blue Lexus into a picture postcard. Such is the scenic beauty greeting us. Singh is dressed in blue–shirt, turban and Nehru jacket–and poses with the panoramic mountains, also blue, in the background. We are standing under a benevolent April sun in Leeu Estates, Singh’s farm in Franschhoek, a picturesque wine town in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Singh points to a large white cross perched like a beacon on the slopes of the Dassenberg Mountain. “Everything below that cross is mine,” he says.

FA 2015 Jul OFCWe are on 68 hectares of farmland featuring vineyards, pomegranate and plum fields, oaks, olive trees and herb gardens. Men are at work laying bricks, building and restoring Cape Dutch edifices, putting together the many elements of what will be a boutique winery and 25-room, five-star hotel set to open next year as part of the Leeu Collection. “Leeu is our name [in South Africa]. In Afrikaans it means lion, just as Singh in Sanskrit means lion,” says Singh. For the record, the number plate on his Lexus SW is, no surprise, LEEU 1.

Singh says that the manor house under construction will also include a library containing both Gandhi and Mandela memorabilia. The manor house overlooks a manicured garden with art occupying center stage–life-size bronze sculptures by South African artist Deborah Bell handpicked by Singh. “I know all the people in the art world in Cape Town,” he says. “We have been acquiring art and sculptures, all of which will be displayed at our estate.”

Leeu Estates is a composite of three adjoining farms–Dieu Donné, Klein Dassenberg and Von Ortloff–that Singh bought in a year. The total investment in the development is $35 million.

The estate will include a gym and spa and a winery producing the Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, overseen by husband-wife winemaking duo Chris and Andrea Mullineux. Winners of the 2014 Platter’s Winery of the Year Award, the couple will develop a Leeu range of premium wines for release at the end of 2016.

Follow the link to read more: Max India’s Analjit Singh Builds Grand Estate In South Africa — FORBES ONLINE

Photography – Jay Caboz

Location – Franschhoek, Western Cape, South Africa

So there we were, in the wine valley of Franschhoek, and we get to meet Analjit Singh. It might not look it from the photos, but I promise you that it was raining for basically the entire time we had with him. The sun came out for about an hour, and in that time, we had to drive to his farmhouse (which is still being built), set up and then shoot like mad.

No time, for expensive lighting. Nada. So I whipped out my trusty flash on wifi remote and we got going.

I remember telling the editor of Forbes Woman Africa, on our way back:

“This story is going to be cover material. I bet you its going to be a cover.” — Well I was right.

Originally we were only going to shoot for an interior story, so the fact that the weather came out to play for a bit was no real issue. BUT if there is one lesson you can learn from being a journalist is never underestimate the importance of a story. The same should be applied if you are a photographer along for the ride.

Everything came together for a few minutes just enough time to get the shots I wanted. What a miserable day it would have been if we couldn’t an outdoor portrait to drive the point home, who wants to do an indoor photoshoot when you are here in one of the most beautiful areas of South Africa.

So what did I learn from this shoot? — Shoot as if every photo you are taking is going to be seen on the cover of a magazine. No matter who is behind the lens, the fact that you are speaking with a Billionaire does lend itself to that but you just never know.

As far as my interaction with Mr Singh went? The saying “he is a true scholar and a gentleman” is meant for him.

Publication – Forbes Africa Magazine, July 2015 edition

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