industry insights

Industry Insights: Gavin Kleinschmidt (Photographer)

I love the endless hours on set chatting smack with the makeup artist – most of which involve conspiracy theories and what’s new on Netflix. I miss the photographer showing me a mood board and telling me “don’t worry, we’ll get it done as quickly as possible”. I miss the stylist’s polite urges to please not sit in what I’m wearing. I also miss the stylist having to re-steam what I’m wearing because I sat down.

I miss the production manager looking for a pen for me to sign out. I love saying “just sign out for me” as I run off set at the end of a long day. I love my agents sending me ludicrous call-times and then waking up 30 minutes before my alarm goes off anyway. I love arriving on set and being offered a coffee. I also love arriving on set having had 2 already, begging for a 3rd as if my life depends on it. I love the long drives to location and hours spent in studios. I miss it when full-day becomes a half-day and vice versa. I love my job but I also love the people that come with it. 

What are industry insights?

Every single person on set is important. During a time where models have been given the opportunity to ‘shoot from home’ – which I think is fantastic and I am grateful that I am able to still work from the comfort of my four walls – I also feel the need to celebrate those who usually play an integral role in the shooting process.

My aim for this industry series is to highlight those in my industry who I love and feel are pushing the boundaries in the creative space. Like my styled-online piece with Natalia, I want to highlight the importance of others on set excluding the model. What makes a successful shot is often what goes on behind the scenes. So, why not have unfiltered conversations about our industry with these very people?

First up, Gavin Kleinschmidt…

I decided to kick things off with my very good friend and talented photographer, Gavin Kleinschmidt. Gavin’s raw, unfussy and bad-ass images can be spotted from a mile away. They carry an effortlessly cool vibe, which reflects his entire persona. 

I’ve had the privilege of knowing Gavin as both a friend and a colleague. During this online interview we learn about how he got into photography, some tips for new photographers, such as how to shoot editorial versus catalogue and a typical day on set. We get into how he developed his style and how photographers, too, go through a casting process. Gavin also lends some tips on working with models of all ages and his on-set process to ensure a smooth day on set. 

We also lean into the world of castings. He gives some intriguing advice from the inside that, as a model, I didn’t know. We talk misconceptions, as there is a lot of taboo around our industry and have an unfiltered conversation about the Instagram world and the rise of “Instagram photographers” and “Instagram models”.

We reminisce about jobs we have shot together, pay tribute to incredible milkshakes we once had on location and what we are going to do post-lockdown. He also spills the beans on his favourite model in South Africa (hint, hint). 

Our first job together for Cosmopolitan Magazine SA circa 2013 shot by Gavin

It is an honest chat and casual conversation about what we do, rounded off with a virtual finger-cross to be on set together again soon. 

The diary of a girl obsessed with food, fitness, wellness and All She Does.

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