My Dad started out as a photographer with the mining magazine Horizon in Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia (I have bound issues if a collector is interested). When my parents moved to Pinetown in South Africa my 1st memory of his office was a tiny portrait studio in Knowles store.
Then as Paul Changuion photographer he had a lovely studio in the center of Pinetown way back before malls killed the atmosphere in towns. I spent hours visiting shops in the arcade. ‘The Toy Soldier’ had me enthralled. The pet shop across the road was the supplier of many gifts from Dad. I was always very excited when Dad came home with a brown box punched with holes. We had geese, ducks (Dad made a duck pond in the garden), chickens, Guinea pigs, rabbits and I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few. In the studio was a display window, my friend Dominique and I spent hours posing as statues in the window. The rear of the studio housed the lab, there is little magic to compare with standing in complete darkness watching an image slowly emerge on a white sheet. Dad taught me how to develop and print my own photos. A young man who worked there entertained me with Chompy the pocket puppet, he went on to do lighting for the band Supertramp.
Paul Changuion Photographers moved on to become Mopani productions doing more corporate work, some videos and even a TV ad for Pears soap. They relocated to an old house opposite the library (another great location). Dad and the business were constantly evolving . Dad was keen to learn about computers as soon as they came out. He spent hours teaching himself on our first DOS machine. With the advent of windows and photoshop he used the technology increasingly for design and layout of brochures. It was a while before he moved to digital photography as the early cameras did not have the image quality that he needed. This led to a new business direction and ‘Cross Paths with Africa’ was formed, he moved the studio to home and focused on producing brochures for Game Lodges and Travel venues. This enabled him to marry his love for the bush and his craft.
In the 80’s my parents worked together to create a book ‘The African Mural’ which was published by Struik.
The last or most recent change happened when my dynamic brother (also Paul) joined with him to form ‘WildWeb‘. Now the business has 3 divisions and has premises in Durban and Ballito. WildWeb headed by my brother does brochures and web sites. Dad has channeled his creative gift into PrintWild. PrintWild is an online business where customers upload their pix and Dad oversees bringing out the best in the pictures which are transformed to canvas or acrylic prints, the acrylic has a super swish glossy finish. The final product is delivered to the client’s door by courier. Mum uses her eye for colour and her artistic knowledge of art in the framing division of PrintWild.
Currently Dad is converting my children’s picture book into PDF format for digital publishing and as WildWeb has rights to sell on the iStore we will be selling it there. I am blessed to be part of such a wonderful and creative family.