As a boy I always dreamed of being an elite athlete of some kind and being sponsored by one of the big brands of world. Nike, Adidas or Billabong, whatever brand it was I didn’t care. I just wanted to be sponsored.
During my teens I played every sport under the sun getting home from school at 7pm most weekdays. I always had some sort of sporting activity on after school. But I just couldn’t quite crack any of my chosen sports to a level at which I excelled enough to go professional and “be sponsored”. This inner desire has never left me, and although sport is not my profession, I strongly believe this desire has helped me enormously in my modelling career. It kept me focussed, hungry for success and still keeps me the driven person I am today, just in a different path to those childhood dreams.
I wouldn’t say being a model is the same as being a sponsored professional athlete in this world, but to me it’s the closest I’ll get to that dream. Being good enough to represent a brand.
I’ll paint the picture for you.
It was the 7th of January 2016, a day I will remember for years to come.
I was sitting at lunch with my mom in Newlands (Cape Town) when I received a text from my agent which read “Do you have an image of yourself fishing in your most recent Deep Sea Tuna Fishing trip?” This was somewhat different to my usual conversations with Roxy (My Booker). As the universe / fortune had it I had been on a deep sea fishing charter the previous week, catching some sizeable Yellow Fin Tuna and of course taken some pics of our day out. The perfect material.
Luckily I did and sent it through to them straight away.
Twenty minutes later, while getting tucked into lunch, I received a booking confirmation from Oakley International. One of the few sunglasses brand that I wore growing up. They want me to shoot for their new Ocean Eyewear Campaign.
Disbelief was my first emotion then slowly extreme excitement! Just like that, my first worldwide and childhood dream realisation campaign was going to happen and I would be proud have it in the portfolio.
Fast forward to shoot day 3 days later. It’s the 10th of Jan now.
It was an early start that Sunday morning but I sure didn’t mind the 5am alarm as I was about to shoot the highlight brand of my career, so far. I say this because there are few more brands that I would love to shoot for.
I met up with the crew at The Hout Bay Harbour where there was a short meet and greet with the clients. We did a small clothing fitting, boarded the 39 foot fishing vessel “Mystique” skippered by Pierre Van Der Merwe and were no longer land locked.
We chartered around the Harbour while the photographers and videographers got all their equipment ready to shoot. For those of you who have never been on set, this takes a very long time depending on a whole lot of factors. Top photographer Carlo Miari Fulcis always gets the picture!
My role for the day was to be an Ocean Sailor/Deep Sea Fisherman. I love the ocean, my parents took me to the beach every week end when I was young. I started surfing at 7 years old as well as being a Beach Lifeguard for the number 1 Lifesaving Club in South Africa Fish Hoek Surf. The ocean is my second home and therefore always feel well suited to any shoot on in and around water.
After several hours of shooting different angles, lens sizes, different actions and finally different sun positions we ended off the day with a school of dolphins swimming alongside our boat. If the day couldn’t get any better.
Once docked the entire crew disembarked and made their way to the Atlantic Boat Club for a well deserved fish and chips.
What a dream come true.