A Dispatch From Bernard · DEDPXL


I have been avoiding sitting down behind this keyboard to type these words for quite some time. There have been excuses ranging from, doing washing, dishes, cleaning the house and garden, to just one more episode of Black Mirror and a slew of other time wasting shows, but it’s time to button down. What a weird term; buttoning down. Am I getting undressed? Is that what it means?

Anyway, moving on. Zack asked me to write/type some words for the DEDPXL community and as exciting as that is, it’s also terrifying. I feel like I have this big responsibility to write meaningful shit and to show meaningful work. I have neither of that at the moment. I have been back in South Africa for two months – nearly three by the time you out there read this – and I have nothing to show for it. At first I was like a bat out of hell, ready to get to work and do shit, however everyone else’s year was winding down, with the holidays descending upon us.

I was pissed off, irritable, restless and ready to work and looking back on it, I should have used that to sort out more things and go shooting street or anything, but that being said I caught up with friends, family and strangers. We shared stories, meals and beers and it was good, but as soon as I got home I was angry again. So then I decided to go visit friends in Cape Town and family in Port Elizabeth and I relaxed a little. I got bored and boredom is good. We need that sometimes. I am back from the mini vacation and the unease is still there, but I am a little more prepared to deal with it. The scariest thing is knowing there is no fallback. I am now a working self-employed person. I am now a photographer and I have to prove it! To myself mostly, but also to people out there so that I can get hired.

Right before I left the U.S. Zack asked me what the plan was?

Where to from here? 

I am working on some things. Currently a good friend of mine and I are trying to create a studio space in Pretoria and that is damn exciting. Also, last month I culled the herd a little so that I can make a print portfolio that I can show to agencies and art buyers/art directors in hopes to get some cool paying gigs. As of writing this I am down to 16 images and I would like to have 20. So for the next two months I have four photos that I need to create. I know that sounds like a long time to create four pictures, but they are fairly big ideas and will require a crew. A stylist, make-up artist and an assistant or two. Lucky for me I have some very great friends that have offered to help me out and I am very thankful to them.

So keep your eyes peeled for some BTS things on my site and new posts on the progress and process.

Lastly, a thank you to Zack and Meg for welcoming me into their lives and family. Also thanks to everyone that followed my time with Zack and read “Only in America”. That was only the beginning. Happy 2015. 

– Bernard


To: Bernard
From: Zack
Re: Crap. Me too.

I’m in the same damn boat right now. All these plans. Not much to show. Let’s get off our asses this year and get shit done.


PS – AWESOME photo! 🙂

How about the rest of you? What are you dragging your feet on? What do you need to get off your ass and get to work? What helps you stay focused?

Bernard Brand

Bernard is a freelance portrait photographer, based in Pretoria, South Africa. Currently stumbling ass backwards into a full time photography career.

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