Author: Wade Howard

The first 2 months of 2024 felt like everyone we were working with was enjoying an extended holiday after the New Year and things felt a little relaxed and with no real sense of urgency. However our team likes to think of ourselves as morning people, always up early to start the day, so it was only fitting that we were back at work early in the year eager to make a head start.   This gave us valuable time to contact our regular clients and welcome them into the new year and also time to get all the boring stuff up to date such as price lists; company procedures; websites; etc.  March announced itself all guns blazing and it was non stop from then onwards as suddenly everyone wanted their work completed asap.  We also started off our international season at the end of February which then seemed to roll on in a blur from one destination to the next. Well except Matt who got a sneaky head start late January with a short trip to Dubai for the live stream of the Burj2Burj half marathon.

This quarter we covered corporate promotional videos; conferences(photo and video); live streams; podcasts; staff portraits; shop openings; studio photography; video tutorials; etc.  Let us know if we can help you with any of these.

To get an idea of how 2023 ended click on this link

Every photo has a story, and a person behind that story such as Alec who is our operational manager who sorts out all the shoots and makes sure that we all know what we are doing and have the right gear or Vince who is at the end of it all and who edits all the video footage into the master pieces that you see online,    so it is easier to give you an idea of what is going on by describing each event that is shown below:


This is the Aarhus Congress Center where Routes Europe 2024 was held. Our client was concerned with the layout of the venue as everything was spread out and disjointed. I was warned with the photos that I would need 2 people but clearly they forgot how long my legs are and how fast I can walk. It was very tricky trying to remember what had been covered and what hadn’t but in the end it was actually a lovely venue with a lot of natural light which was good for photos.

Centralværkstedet was the venue for the welcome reception at Routes Europe in Aarhus, Denmark. It looks a little empty here but the majority of the delegates were underneath where I was standing in a separate area. The welcome reception is very chilled and is purely an opportunity for delegates to network. Capturing photos and filming highlights is quite easy when there is enough lighting. A highlight was the traditional ristet pølse, a French hotdog (a sausage stuffed into a piece of bread with a hole through the middle) that you could get from the mobile stands outside. We each grabbed one when we were done for our walk back to the hotel.

We decided when we moved into our new office to not have a photography studio but to have a podcast and video studio that we got acoustically treated. The first 3-4 months were really quiet in the studio and we kept questioning our decision but from March onwards we started getting a constant flow of clients requesting our services in the podcast room. As you can see we can move the furniture around to suit your requirements as well as do small green screen video shoots. Check out the rates on our website

This was a shoot of The Atrium in Overport Durban. The shopping centre had an incredible facelift a while back so it wasn’t too difficult getting great images of the centre.

Although the Routes conferences are all to do with airlines and airports this has to be the first time that the conference venue is alongside the airport and there just happened to be a plane parked outside the venue entrance.

Doing interviews at corporate offices can be tricky as you never know what the lighting will be like or the noise from outside especially if it is a factory. This site is also inside a National Keypoint so getting on site is a whole procedure in itself and can be a lengthy one as well. Something to consider when putting a quote together as all the extra time needs to be considered and accounted for. Geoff and his eagle eye monitoring the sound and camera visuals.

This pic definitely has a story to it. I suffer from claustrophobia(ironic that I spend so much time in aeroplanes) and this is a unique, award winning building in Denmark that is 44 stories high. I was covering a VIP tour and had to follow the guests up to the view point on the roof via a crammed lift for 44 floors. I just could not do it with all those people so lots of prays were said and were miraculously answered. An elderly couple arrived(just guests) and the woman also had the same problem as me so we mentioned this to the staff of the building and they gave us a lift with just 3 of us in while telling everyone else to wait. And the same thing happened on the way back down. Miracles, no matter how big or small happen all the time. This is the view of the harbour at Aarhus.

This is Routes Americas in Bogota at the Corferias Bogota. Each event has it’s own pros and cons and this event only had 1 meeting hall which meant everyone was there making it look extremely busy. Easy job for us. This is where delegates from airlines and airports meet(15min per meeting) and discuss creating new direct airline routes to their destination. Delegates have anything from 10-19 meetings a day which is crazy as each one obviously has a lot of work connected to it so before each meeting and later after the conference delegates will be following up and creating proposals etc. All our direct flights that we have now in Durban, not many at the moment but there were quite a lot a few years back, all came from these Routes events so a lot does happen at these conferences.

A simple studio shoot? I had to do some board member portraits at a car dealership and had to set up a portable studio and be ready by 8am. I got there super early but could not find the right entrance, more confusing than you can imagine, which then made me rush to carry all the gear to the only room that we could use. The room had fixed furnishings so I had to set up around them and make the most of the situation. In typical Durban style the board members had to not wear ties which meant for the first person who did not get the brief, including myself, we had to redo his shoot later as he was wearing a tie. Good old laidback Durban.

This was in Colombia just outside one of the official hotels and not too far from the conference venue. I wanted a delegate or three to be walking under the arch and I waited and waited for someone who looked the part but it just never happened. I eventually saw someone sitting to the side who was actually waiting for his colleague and went to him and asked him to be my model. He graciously obliged and I could quickly rush back to the venue hoping that I hadn’t missed anything. Patience can be tough but also worth it sometimes.

This is Resorts World Langkawi where the Routes Asia awards evening was held. I was waiting for the sun to set to get this kind of pic but it was taking long and then the actual awards was about to start so I quickly ran outside down the deck and snapped this before dashing back in time for the awards. The nice thing about these events are the formalities are so quick unlike many events where there are so many speeches and so many awards that the evening becomes a marathon but this is over in an instant and delegates can continue networking.

This is one of the meeting halls at the conference venue in Aarhus Denmark, which was upstairs and out of the way. It was so easy to carry on capturing everything and forgetting that there was an upstairs section.

On the excursion before the conference in Langkawi, Malaysia we travelled up and down the river in the Kubang Badak Mangrove Reserve and one of the attractions was the area where the fish eagles nest. It was so dificult trying to track these birds whizzing around especially as you were confined to a small area on the boat and couldn’t move around freely. I think this was the only decent photo that I got. The trip was an incredible experience and definitely worth the long bus trip to get there. Highly recommend it.

On the VIP tour at Aarhus, Denmark we had to put on this big, thick waterproof outfits which seemed a little excessive but I have to admit that once we were speeding across the sea it was freezing cold. We stopped out in the middle of the bay and listened to a very interesting talk on the legends of the Danish Vikings. I took a lot of one handed shots of the other 2 boats as we were going to fast to stand up and we also were tucked behind the person in front of us trying to hide from the bitter wind.

NBI requested us to come do some individual staff portraits as well as a massive group photo. This could only be done by the use of a drone and Geoff was the right person for the job.

The Keynote Theatre at Routes Asia in Langkawi, Malaysia. These discussions are so interesting as they are current and deal with the challenges facing airlines; airports and basically the travel industry. You can gain insights into how the airlines operate, where they are going regarding the “green” initiative as well as how this all affects the customers. We can only spend a few minutes at a time in the Keynote as we need to be covering everything else at the same time, which is a pity but that is how it goes.

Bogota City as you can see is huge. There are so many different aspects to the city, from quiet areas to busy city centres to old town areas so there is always somewhere that you haven’t seen or experienced. This is the view from on top of Monserrate which is accessible by cable car and funicular. The altitude really is an issue when you are not used to it and just climbing up a few stairs at the top leaves you breathless. This was part of the free tours at Routes Americas 2024 provided by the hosts.

Geoff capturing amazing corporate images at Zimbali at a conference being held at one of their fantastic venues.

Part of the VIP tour at Routes Europe in Denmark was visiting a zoo of sorts. The group travelled around the park in a closed train viewing black bears; bison; wolves and other animals not found locally. I couldn’t believe how big the Bison were or how cute the baby black bears were as they played amongst the trees.

Geoff had this interesting shoot at Gateway where they were revamping the Guess store. We did progress shoots so we could see the whole process of going from a messy construction site to a stunning new department store.

Part of my job as photographer at the Routes events is covering all the sponsored branding, these cool signs hanging from the roof were effective and added a different dynamic to the usual steel structured roof.

The tour at Routes Asia in Langkawi was a highlight for me as the heat every day was quite stifling and to be undercover on a boat whizzing around the river taking in the mangroves, mountains, fish eagles and odd yacht with a cool breeze blowing in your face was an incredible experience.

The DH Ignite conference held in Polokwane was well attended and the venue, Protea Hotel Polokwane Ranch Resort took care of us all, maybe a little too much with their amazing food. We covered full length filming from various angles; a highlight video with interviews; and daily on site photos. The DH Ignite staff are just amazing, so chilled and easy to work with that it hardly felt like work. Thanks again.

The overall winner of Routes Europe 2024 was, Budapest Airport and you can see just how stoked they were with their achievement.

I don’t often do studio work as Geoff is our expert on that but I have a good relationship with Warren at Island Style as we often surf together so he always requests that I do the shoot for him. Island Style is a local company in Durban and their quality products are known world wide so they are definitely worth supporting.

Routes Americas in Bogota awards evening where some local dancers entertained the guests. I love capturing scenes like this where there is amazing lighting.

Don’t worry if looking at all these screens makes you wonder what is going on, this is the view from Matt’s seat as the director of the Absa Cape Epic live broadcast. Each of those screens is a live camera feed to the studio and Matt has to talk to all the camera guys on route and direct which shot is shown live next.

Matt got a head start to the travel season visiting Dubai for a few days to work on the live stream of the Burj2Burj marathon. This a shot of the Burj Khalifa where the marathon ends and standing right below the building you soon realise how tall it is at 828m high, you almost can’t fit it in a single photo.