Photgraphing Huawei K-day

A Story From 2018

11:15 am

Feb 22, 2020

Extract

“Hey Louw, this is super last minute. But I just received confirmation that I can have an extra pass for a photographer on stage at K-day in Cape Town. My set’s at 15:00 tomorrow. Can you fly in?”

2 March 2018 at around 16:00

“Hey Louw, this is super last minute. But I just received confirmation that I can have an extra pass for a photographer on stage at K-day in Cape Town. My set’s at 15:00 tomorrow. Can you fly in?”

Alright, I am paraphrasing a little here. Matthew’s incredibly polite and considerate. He is always very accommodating and nice whenever he drops a voice note asking if I’d be keen/available for a show or last-minute trip. Matt, if you’re reading this, never change. I love impromptu adventures.

“Hey, Matt, sure thing. I’d be super keen to shoot your show. I’ll have to fly in tonight so I can drop by ORMS to pick up a suitable lens for the big stage.”

And just like that, my flights were booked. A few hours later I was at OR Tambo airport, ready for this very last minute flight. I was buzzing. This was the first time I had ever been flown in by a musician. I was so high on positive emotion, that I hardly cared about the 2-hour delay that night.

Part 2

2 am… I am finally in bed. The excitement of the day had me completely exhausted. I didn’t sleep a wink on the plane. Tomorrow, or rather, later today I would be photographing Matthew Mole on stage in front of 30,000 people. My mind was overwhelmed by confusion and sheer joy. How did my life take this turn? How am I decent enough to be flown into Cape Town, even though the city has amazing photographers? I drifted into a deep slumber. The plan for the day was already set. I would grab my rental lens from ORMS and head straight to Matthew’s hotel, which was about a 40 minute Uber ride away. We linked up and headed straight to the venue, which was another 25 minutes (traffic was a nightmare). By the time we arrived, there were about 4 hours or so before Matthew’s show. This time was spent backstage in aircon cooled tent of sorts. Luckily, there were also many treats and enough coffee to satisfy my need for caffeine.
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My mind was overwhelmed by confusion and sheer joy. How did my life take this turn?

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What is Backstage Like?

Um, busy and chilled at the same time, really. The busybodies come in the form of reporters, event photographers and stage peeps. They’re all on the biggest mission of their lives, scampering around in pursuit of the next task at hand. All except for the stage manager who has tattoos in more places than I have places. He’s also more chilled than the ice-cold Castle Lite in the green room. This was a relief. Relaxed stage managers who seem more confident are also always way less bothered with me on stage. I have had a few close shaves in the past. I can’t remember his name, but I do remember that he was one of my favourites ever. Part two of chilled backstage people include me, artists and their families. That being said, we all turn into busybodies in intervals relevant to performances. Generally, though, we relax and dabble in banter and good times.

We’ll Dive Into The Visuals Soon

Photographing The Show

I am going to make this story much more visual than written. It’s almost two years since I photographed Huawei K-day, so some of the finer memories will be lost. This fact can be attributed to the sheer intensity of the moment. My stage face is one to behold, so I’m told. If you happen to find yourself in the crowd while I’m shooting on stage, pay attention to my cap situation (I almost always wear caps for some reason). The moment I go from normal person cap wear to backwards position, you’ll know it’s crunch time. I am going to let my images do the talking from here. I hope you enjoyed this blog. There will be many more like it. Next week (1 March 2020) I will be photographing Matthew Mole’s show at Kirstenbosch for the second year in a row. It will be my fourth time flying to Cape Town with him. My skill and the quality of my work has improved noticeably. I hope that will also be evident in my photos. If you want to know more about working with musicians, read this blog. If you are a musician and you’d like to book me as your photographer, click here. These photos were all taken of Matthew Mole and Josh Kleinsmith on 3 March 2018. These are not the originals edits though. I have re-edited them with my 2020 presets which will be available soon. Enjoy.

You Made It

Thank you for being so cool and for reading all of that. If you enjoyed my blog post, please send some encouragement by commenting, liking or sharing. 

About the author

Louw Lemmer

Gauteng, South Africa

Louw Lemmer is a South African photographer and creative director who tells vibrant visual stories that captivate both mind and soul. Within subject-matter and colour-grade, he sets himself apart by constantly developing a unique style.

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