Pierre Bassani’s Autobiography

Pierre Bassani says he was born in the same place as Hollywood star Charlese Theron some 41 years ago.

As far as he can remember his childhood was great fun growing up with Two brother and three sisters. Most of his school years were spent at Christian Brothers College, but he holds dear the last three years at Parktown Boys High School where he matriculated. He recalls playing every sport possible but favored swimming and even swam for what was then, Eastern Transvaal. It was in Std 9 when he seriously became interested in Photography, and studied all the “ Know how to”  books he could get his hands on.  Bruno, his dad, noticed Pierre’s new hobby and gave him the family’s Petri SLR film camera as well as an analog light meter which he would not leave home without. Pierre’s first assignment at school was to capture Hayleys Comet on an Astronomy tour. This is where he learnt to apply some patience, and spent the entire evening doing time exposures….The Petri packed up whilst on his end of school holiday around SA, possibly due to mishandling from the lack of soberness, but one phone call to Bruno and voila, a new camera was born, but this one was more of an instamatic, which Pierre was not very impressed with, in fact he hated it somewhat…

After completing school he went off to the USA for a while where he did some temporary work cleaning and painting yachts as well as sailing boats from San Diego to San Francisco, which provided him with some travel and pocket money, and helped with saving up for his first self bought camera, a Pentax P3 film SLR and 2 kick ass lenses.

Back in South Africa, he was drafted into the army for two years, which was an essential life and learning experience as far as being a self serving and independent human being. It was illegal to bring a camera into the army, but he managed to sneak one in and slyly captured awesome moments when the officers weren’t watching. “Proudly” he explains how he was bust, but by that time it was too late as all the pictures were already printed, after he had posted the films back home to his mentor and mom Frankie for developing.  On officers course he became the official photographer for his unit, and spent most of the time photographing his fellow troops who were receiving punishment, even though it was sometimes his fault. He recalls a salary of R180 per month, but made some extra cash between R1500 to R2500 on photo sales and reprints alone. From these sales he raised enough money to buy his first Car, a Mazda 3, as he would not be seen dead in the Beatle Bug his folks gave him, strange but true….

It was in the army that he learnt to capture the perfect shot, be it people, grenade explosions, action, border patrols and general journalistic type photography.

On completing his military training, he went for an aptitude test and the Sangoma told him that he should study Computer Programming or Engineering, foolishly he chose to study Electrical Engineering and graduated, after which he did not  even spend one minute persueing that career.

Pierre’s first job was at the SABC as a presenter for a Sport Program called Junior Sport, later Bonus Sport and then Topsport.  This job opportunity was another wonderful and extremely fulfilling obligation, travelling, interviewing, and presenting on live TV, which he truly enjoyed and will treasure forever. His camera and passion for photography remained attached to the hip even during this time.

Pierre’s interest in photography grew on a daily basis and he started taking on Photographic assignments in his spare time and eventually became a full time photographer/ Videographer and editor for a Production Company in Johannesburg. His Stepdad, who was a professional photographer, assisted in refining his skills, and his career blossomed from there. He remembers always bending the rules and tried things others would not dare or said wouldn’t work….Until today Pierre believes there is no hard and fast rule in Photography “It’s all Art”.

 Marriage was next on his mind when he met this gorgeous blonde, Natalya. Well, believe it or not he even personally took a heap of pics at their wedding to make sure he had some nice photos in case the other 2 photographers messed up on the day… Three years later – they managed to create a lovely daughter who they named Tyla. He then took advantage of the fact that with a child he could then get his Child and school photography up to scratch. His Daughter, now 12 years old, grabs hold of his camera to take some pics and according to Pierre he sometimes battles to tell the difference between their shots.

In 2002 he ventured out on his own and built his very own Photographic Studio and Video Production Company. He absolutely loves working with people, and therefore his main income at that time was derived from Wedding Photography. When asked, “why have you not given up on the weddings, as you are so busy most of the week on assignment work?” Well! The answer is simple he says…. “I love the adrenalin rush at weddings”. Pierre is a born Photographer, he also enjoys Wildlife photography enormously, followed by still life, Travel, Corporate assignments and whatever other photographic challenges await his expertise. From his extensive Photo stock library he has published numerous books exclusive to the high end corporate market.

In a nutshell, when asked, how would you describe yourself? He answered: “ I am  a super busy body who cannot sit still for a minute. I am a self taught photographer who is beyond passionate about taking photos and I am forever looking for new photographic opportunities. In fact, If I need to go somewhere even for a Sunday lunch, and I’m not allowed to bring my camera, I would rather not be there… Holidays are planned around what photos can be taken, and to blazes with the rest. I am always the first one up in the mornings looking for things to capture, and of course sulk bitterly if the golden light does not make an appearance at least once a day.”

Pierre is so confident in his photographic abilities, that he has a motto he sticks to which goes something like this “If I can’t get my client the shot they desire, the shoot is for free” and to this day no-one has taken advantage of it.

Every day he grows and learns more, but most of all, his hobby has transformed into a full time professional Photographic career, and he can’t wait to wake up in the morning to take on that next exciting challenge.  Please visit Pierre’s website to experience more about his work, or simply google Pierre Bassani.


Cell :082 44 55 374
Tel 011 705 2311
Email bassani@icon.co.za