Charlemagne Olivier, better known as That Guy with Glasses, is a self-taught, camera-shy photographer who enjoys capturing that defining trait in each one of his subjects. With his mother being an artist, you can say that art is in his blood. (Although he might think that sounds lame)

The road from events to fashion

While studying marketing on an exchange program in Malaysia he decided to get a camera to take a few ‘happy-snaps’. Bitten by the photography bug, he started taking photos at parties and big events like Oppikoppie but lately, you will find Charl working for magazines like Maxim or add campaigns like Rage.

Fashion is essentially teamwork

I asked him what it is about shooting fashion that he likes, he said that working with a team is great. Everyone on set gives their input, from the creative director to the hair and make-up and then you give your own spin on things by directing and photographing the model. He went on to say that working with a make-up artist really adds to your model’s confidence, so if you’re organising your own fashion shoot to build up a portfolio, a good make-up artist is key!

His take on retouching

He admits doing loads of post in the beginning of his career but lately doing a lot less. His number one reason for that being time. “When you have many clients, do you really have time to sit behind a screen editing for days?” Over the years he’s worked out a nice and easy workflow to which he sticks.

  • Basic post-production like colour correction in Lightroom
  • Skin retouching, curves etc in Photoshop

If the client prefers to use a professional retoucher he doesn’t mind, although he prefers doing his own retouching, “it’s adding that extra spin at the end.”

Nifty 50

He is a big fan of the 50mm f/1.4 Sigma Art and since his Canon 5D broke (touchy subject with any photographer) he’s back to using his Canon EOS 6D camera.

“I guess it’s just me…”

Charl is always busy, “probably ADD,” he jokingly admits. When he’s not shooting fashion you’ll find him working with anyone who wants his or her photo taken. I asked him to describe his work he said; “I guess it’s just me, with a mix of the person I’m photographing.” He continues to say that if a person is exuberant, out-there, exciting and interesting, it will generally show on camera.

Perseverance is key to success

I asked him what he thinks the secret to success and without giving it a second thought he said, persistence! “Photography is a brutal industry, you wanna give up most of the time.” South Africa’s small market plays a role in photographers being very protective over their work/clients and weary of newcomers. So, the only way to succeed in becoming a fashion photographer is through lots of courage, a love for what you do and pure determination.

Some advice and a proud moment

The best advice Charl would give to any photographer is to photograph as much as you can, try every genre… Then, find what you love and what you’re good at – your ‘niche’. His proudest moment to date was when he quit his desk job and started focusing all of his energy on doing what he loves most and become a full-time photographer.

That Guy with Glasses is a talented young photographer who loves meeting new people and has big dreams of financial and creative freedom for the future of his career. If you are interested in looking at some more of his photos, see how he has grown or wish to have your photo taken by Charl, go have a look at his website. “You don’t have to be a model, anyone is welcome!”

He might be one heck of a cheeseball but his work sure isn’t.

Keep in touch with what that guy is up to:

the images from the Maxim shoot