’ve often wondered whether commercial photographers are also photography ‘hobbyists’, you know, taking their hi-tech equipment beyond their studios and into the cities, suburbs, and great outdoors, and Shawn Driman answered my question, “yes, we do …” and he’s damn good at it.
Studio photography is not unlike a hospital surgery, bristling with equipment, and clients, art directors, assistants, and stylists, all focused on ‘getting the shot right’. The medium is the message …
American advertising and documentary photographer Elliot Erwitt said, “The whole point of taking pictures is so that you don’t have to explain things with words”, and that’s the importance of all photography, whether it’s commercial or not.
Shawn is one of the most exceptional food, portrait and landscape photographers in South Africa. From people and places to still life photography, lifestyle photography, and food photography, one click through his galleries will tell you more than any words can convey. He lifts level of photography to art.
He has a unique way of seeing the world around us - taking in light, shadow, colours and textures - creating an end result that becomes so real it almost steps into illusion. His food photography rises from the page, with textures so real you can feel them under your fingertips, and actually see the flavours before you.
Dorothea Lange said, “the camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” “Photographs must be irresistible to the viewer”, said Shawn, “and when moving away from the intimate and controlled environment of commercial photography, I’m moved by landscape photography - from grand vistas to moments of unnerving beauty, that’s when I realise that the blinkers have been lifted and I can finally see the staggering depth and detail that's right in front of me. I try and transform the mundane into the magical.”