Interview with Jade Reidy


When Jade (the camera holding beauty) agreed to be interviewed by Creative Stream, I was thrilled. This is a women who not only presents herself as naturally ultra funky, but her photography oozes creativity and difference. So I am very pleased to reflect a bit on who and what Jade Reidy is about!  Jade is based in Johannesburg South Africa, she is the designer and creator of the Art Light box, she supplies canvas prints and is a specialized framer. With 10 years experience in the photographic industry, Jade has been active in Interior & Design shoots, Beauty, Fashion, Food photography as well as having travelled through commercial, events & special functions. Jade’s work has been featured in publications in and around South Africa and she has worked under a wide range of  top South African photographers.

 She created, manufactured and launched the first range of Art Light Boxes in 2006. In 2007 Jade started supplying canvas prints using only photography and photography art.  The Art Light box is a combination of Imagery, Light & Form which is a unique way to display your images whether old or new. Jade tries to be unique with her work and keeps a fresh eye without limiting photography, designs to one style. Each Light Box is custom-made from size, shape, finish, right to the images used. It is perfect for any residential or office space guaranteed to capture anyones eye. You can either choose from JR Photography’s Art photography file or add your own image. It’s also great for displaying any business portfolio. JR Photography has its own in-house service for all your personalized design requirements as well as an installation team. It is not only a great art piece but an energy-efficient light source as well. They are also available to rent for exhibitions or events.


{Pic1&2 Art Light boxes, Pic 3 Art photography}


” Having your photographs on canvas…is the ideal way to bring a contemporary style to your home or office space. The canvas print is stretched and block mounted so no need for any framing.”

{Pictures 3&4 are showing her canvas prints& a canvas print screen divider}

Jade has a great base of clients that she has either supplied art for or photographed for,including Unilever UK, AngloGold Ashanti SA, Thiskululu Social Investments and Sentula Mining SA.

{Questions} (Jade in picture above)

What are you up to at the moment at JR Photography? At the moment I am all over the place. Covering art work for corporate clients’ new offices, various shoots and expanding JR Photography’s image gallery with private shoots as well as working on new designs for art light boxes, which will be displayed, ready to take orders at the Homemakers expo in JHB. I am in the process of working closely with a company, Valde , who specialize in vinyl wall decor, it is a much more cost-effective and easy to apply than wall paper. Here I will supplying art work as well as imagery for the vinyls as well as show casing and producing new art light boxes. We are also in the process of expanding our client data base to hotels and corporates and interior designers throughout Africa doing both art work as well as photography. 

What is the market like in JHB? Very competitive.

You had a show in 2010, tell us about that? In Sept 2009, myself and 2 other friends came together to arrange an art exhibition. The idea behind this was that we were surrounded by friends and acquaintances that were all brilliant artists in their own right and this would be the opportunity to put themselves out there and have a chance to display their work. We were looking to exhibit on 4th ave in Parkhurst JHB and had approached a few places on the street but finally came across a lovely new funky space (a gallery & deli) called Passion owned by 2 young funky men Stuart Mc Kean and Sean Lane. We had arranged the exhibition there in their space in October that year, which was a great success. Subsequently we have formed a very good relationship with the guys from Passion both in business and friendship. In the beginning of 2010, over a social event, I in the process of locating a space for my photographic studio, was looking for a ‘funky’ area with passing trade. Plucking the brains of the guys who hosted our exhibition, two months later I found myself moving into Passion on 4th ave, Parkhurst and building a wall to create a space for my studio and became business partners with the guys.  Opening up JR Photography’s first photo studio. April 2010 was my launch of studio and exhibition of  work – Art light boxes, Canvas prints and display of photography. This too was a great success.

 Knowing your unique personal style and character, I know you would have met many people. Can you tell us who has been the most inspirational and why? Wow, there have been so many. One lady does stick out in my mind though. In 2005 I shot a lady for an article for a mag. Her nick name was Mama Africa, or at least I named her that.  Title of the article was ‘Women in Action’ . I remember being booked for a half day shoot but ended up only leaving into the eve. She came from nothing and grew up surrounded by many hardships. Her view in life was if you can dream it you can do it and while you are doing it, do it not only for yourself but for  the greater good. She created African dolls from materials she found lying around, which grew into a divine project where women who had come from the same background she had experienced to create hope. Now a thriving business, where she always gives back to the less fortunate. Her spirit and presence is one that I strive to imitate.

What is your best photograph or shoot thus far? Wow again there have been a few as each shoot is completely different leaving me with different and various feelings at the end but I must say that it was having the opportunity to capture the trip up to the Lake of stars music festival. It’s a 3 day festival based on the Malawi lake where international artists come together and perform. Money raised from the Lake of stars concert go to charity every year. I travelled with the international artists and journalists capturing their trip leaving from JHB, though Mozambique ending in Malawi. 3000km in 3 days. All in all it was an amazing experience meeting beautiful people not only the artists but also the locals, esp in Malawi itself.

What in your opinion, makes a good photographs? Apart from the technical side of the photo, lighting composition rules etc, I think a good photo is one that provokes emotion as well as if the viewer walks away remembering the image, to me that’s a good photograph.

Most people love photographs as they capture memories & create a mood.Has there been a photograph you just had to take to capture that ambience? Yes indeed, there has been 2. One where I lived previously on the 16th floor. I had the most amazing view no matter how many images I took, it didn’t capture what I was seeing, except for one. It was after a huge JHB storm and the sun was setting. I have never seen the sky as beautifully lit up as I did that day, somehow I got it right then and could not draw myself away from photographing the scene. The second image was in Malawi during the Lake of stars fest. We were interviewing the host and were surrounded by the beautiful locals and kids, near the end of the day. There were a few beautiful kids just standing around taking it all in, watching what was happening. The sun was setting behind her African sky’s. Beautiful. It just expressed the whole mood of the day and events. I shot it and ended up being a beautiful silhouette.

Do you have a fave photographer or someone who inspires you? Annie Leibovitz. She grew up with a camera in her hand and has photographed amazing famous icons and has an amazing style. I love photographing nature and will find most of my photographic art is that of nature as well as capturing the moment, a photo that is not planned or thought through, it simply presents itself.  In one of  Annie Leibovitz interviews she said these 2 things that stuck out in my  mind and could totally relate to: the one was’ “Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself.” and “Sometimes I just like photographing the surface because I think it can be as revealing as going to the heart of the matter.”

Do you travel alot with your photography and if not, would you desire too? I do sometimes travel with my photography but not nearly enough as I would like to. I do love traveling and seeing new places and different things so I would like to integrate it more into my career of photography, if I could.

JR Photography – what sets it apart from the rest? I think it is the fact that JR Photography is not just photography, offers more of a creative and personal (to the client) spin. I try to be uniquely creative in everything I shoot and do, be it different angles and or subject matter and also like keeping a fresh eye without limiting myself  to one specific field. Generally I see things from a different view to most.

{Jade’s choices}

Black & White / colour
Portrait / landscape
Planned / Spontaneous photos
Natural / Studio light
Canon / Nikon (Nikon digital and canon film camera)
Darkroom / Digital (but I do digital)

 {Jade’s Words}

Outdoors within nature…is a place I go to relax.
Today is going to be a fabulous day.
My home is where I put my feet up.
My camera is my baby.
My best holiday was when I went to Germany to visit my mate & Santorini for my cousins wedding all in 3 weeks.
Out in nature is when I love capturing images.
I dream of going on a trip working for national Geographic mag.
Wish I could have coffee with The Beetles, if they were still around as a band.
You will always find me in my kitchen dancing!!!


Above  is one of Jade’s Canvas prints in home photographed for Home Owner magazine.

Where can people find you? I have a website called jrphotography and on facebook.





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