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Fashion Chats With Reinhardt O'Kennedy

February 04, 2021

Reinhardt O'Kennedy is a 26-year old freelance film maker and photographer who received his first DSLR camera at 14 and hasn't put it down since.
Reinhardt tells us that moving to Australia from South Africa has opened up so many opportunities in life for him, including the ability to turn his hobby into a full-time job.
He's been creating content full time for 4 years now and loves every minute of it. While freelancing does have its challenges, he has a genuine passion for what he does and appreciates all the opportunities that it has given him. From filming documentaries in Bali about king cobra snakes to working alongside some of the most talented names in the fashion industry, he has never questioned his decision to pursue a creative career and is excited for what the future holds.
We speak to Reinhardt about what it's like to film for a fashion label below.

What is your favourite thing about working on a shoot?

I love getting to travel to new places and shooting at cool locations and I’m always grateful for the opportunity to work with really talented people. I also love editing the video footage once everything is done because that’s when you really see how the talent of the whole team comes together for the final edit.

What is the most challenging thing about working on a shoot?

Carrying a 10kg camera for 8 – 10 hours a day is definitely physically challenging, but I really enjoy doing what I do, so I don’t mind!

What is the longest shoot you’ve ever worked on?

In terms of videography, it’s actually more time consuming to edit your footage vs shoot it. I’ve worked on editing footage for 2 months on certain projects. The average shoot I work on is 10 hours, but the longest I’ve done is probably 12 hours.

How did you get into videography?

Honestly, it started as a hobby. I’ve always been into photography, but then I tried video one time and realised I loved it more, so it grew from there. I started doing videography full time 2 years after I started and have now been in the industry for about 5 years. I only started getting into fashion videography recently, but it’s honestly what I enjoy the most now.

Since you’ve recently started working in fashion videography, what’s something you learnt about fashion that surprised you?

Something that really surprised me is the amount of data you get after a full day of recording. It’s a lot of filming. For context, I probably get 10x more data on my memory card from a fashion shoot compared to any other shoot I do.

You shoot alongside the photographer. Was that a big adjustment since you normally shoot videos on your own?

Yes, it was a big adjustment, but I think it was for the better. Working with a photographer means that they’ve already set up the shot and figured out the best angles, which makes my life easier coz it allows me to capture really good angles too, so I actually prefer working with a photographer!

Do you have a funny story from a shoot that you’d like to share with us?

About 3 years ago, I had just gotten into filming for fashion and was shooting a fashion parade for the first time. I went to change my camera lens in the room where I had left all my equipment. This was the same room where all the models were getting changed and because it was a fashion parade, everyone was getting changed at the same time. So, I changed my lens, looked up, and there was a room of men and women naked and getting changed!

Do you have days that make you question your decision to be in this field?

To be honest, I’ve never had a day like that because I love what I do, but I have had really stressful days where I’ve forgotten a really important item, like a memory card. Once, I had driven 40 minutes to get to a location for a shoot and realised I had forgotten the micro SD card for my drone. These days, I keep spares in my car just in case so that it never happens again! I think incidents like that are every creator’s worst nightmare, forgetting a lens or leaving your batteries on charge at home. The latter two have never happened to me, but it is my worst fear!

Have you ever shot in really challenging conditions?

I’ve shot king cobras in Bali where we were 1.5 hours from a hospital and a 40-minute walk into the jungle from the main road. If a snake had bit one of us, we probably would’ve died and I’m filming them from 2 – 3m away. If the person who was handling that snake had slipped or let go of it, it could have easily bitten me. That is by far the craziest conditions I’ve ever had to shoot in.