Kleinjan Groenewald

Kleinjan is a freelance food and lifestyle photographer based in Cape Town. 1/2 Owner of a small photography studio in Gardens. Born in Pretoria and raised in the Overberg, Western Cape. He has been based in Cape Town for the past 15 years and has travelled to about 37 countries in his time working as a photographer.

You're a professional photographer. What's your approach to using a digital system for certain projects and film for others? What is the determining factor that makes you decide picking up your film body or your digital body?
I would love to shoot more film for paid projects, but unfortunately it's not always the option. It depends a lot on your client. Are you shooting something where you do have a bit more freedom or are you shooting something more commercial where your clients want to see images live as you're on set. I like having both options ready, even if I can only sneak a couple of film images between the main digital shooting. Since the majority of my commercial work is shot in digital format I really love shooting my personal projects on film. It makes it feel less like work.
Do you think there is space for film in today's commercial line of work?
Definitely, we just need to show clients the amazingness that is film and that taking the time and effort to shoot film can have some incredible end results. Most clients don't like taking the gamble with their money so it's good to maybe shoot digital as well just to cover your bases, especially if your client is scared of taking the risk. 
What do you think is the biggest misconception about film?
That you can shoot anything on film and it will make a great image. Just because you're shooting on film doesn't make you a good photographer. 
You've just received a last minute commission not knowing what you'll be shooting. What do you pack?
My Canon 5D MKIV, 24-70mm f.2.8 Lens, 100mm f.2.8 Macro Lens, some filters, Pentax 67, 105mm f.2.4 Lens, Canon EOS3 35mm film body (it's nice because it has a EF mount so I can also use my digital lenses) and my Nikonos IV-A. Film wise I really like Kodak Gold 200 ISO, It's super cheap and I really love the tones. For something more professional a couple of rolls of Kodak Portra 400 ISO & 800 ISO. 
Have you learned any pro tips the hard way you're keen to share?
Make sure when you're loading your film that it catches and actually winds forward. I know you don't want to waste any frames but rather waste a frame or 2 than shooting a whole roll on the same frame and not having any images in the end. This has happened and yes it was on a paid shoot. 
How did you get into shooting on film? What/who were your influences?
The first image I ever took was on my mom's old rangefinder. It had some film in and I took some shots. I really liked the sound of the shutter and looking at the world through the viewfinder. I have always been more of an introvert and I guess hiding behind the camera observing life was a perfect fit. 
Favourite film stock?
Cheap film Kodak Gold and more expensive film Kodak Portra 400 ISO.
Expired film. Overrated or worth the risk?
I love shooting the occasional roll of expired film. I have had some really cool results, but I will never take the risk shooting a roll on a project where I need consistent images. 
What does your camera collection look like? Do any of the cameras have an interesting story?
I have a couple of cameras, Pentax 67, Polaroid 635, Olympus OM10, Nikonos IV-A, Canon EOS3, Canon AE-1, Pentax Spotmatic F, Brownie Reflex and a Halina Viceroy. My digital gear is all Canon. At the moment I really love my Nikonos, I've been looking for one for super long and eventually found one in a tiny camera shop on a recent trip to Taiwan.
What does the future of film look like?
Bright! It will never die. You will always have the loyal photographers that shoot film for the discipline it teaches you and the amazing grain and tones you get and on the other hand you will from now on also have all the people shooting on film because they think it's cool and makes for good images. 




Leave a comment