I love photography. My focus is often on soap photography but I love wildlife photography too. Here in Africa I have access to some magnificent wildlife – big and small. The other day I needed to take some photos of the African Afternoon soap when this stunning little photo model came strolling in on the shoot. Suddenly I was able to combine my two likes – soap photography and wildlife photography. Shooting wildlife on the move on manual mode with a large aperture is a bit more of a challenge than standard soap photography, but I managed to get some nice shots of Fred, the praying mantis in these pics.
Fred has rather broad hindquarters which leads me to believe that Fred probably is a girl. Be that as it may, praying mantises or praying mantes are common in this part of the world and right now at the end of summer they seem to be on the move a lot. Here in my garden they’re particularly fond of the lavender, geranium and the lemon verbena bushes. Their habits may seem blood chilling in that they eat their own kind without batting an eye lid (because they don’t have eye lids), but they’re always welcome guests since they eat flies, moths and mosquitoes too.
Fred looking you straight in the eye
In Southern African folklore the praying mantis is an important character. The San people regarded it as a divine messenger representing ‘the voice of the infinite in the small’. Many other cultures too believe that the praying mantis gives direction and shows the way. A lucky sign methinks that my African soap was graced with the presence of this little creature!
The African Afternoon is a truly South African soap. It’s made with rooibos tea indigenous to the Western Cape of South Africa, fynbos-wildflower honey and silk from the wild silk moth living in the mopane forests in the northern part of the country. Subtle honey fragrance compliments the natural warm, tan colour from the rooibos and the honey. The packaging is South African inspired too: each bar is wrapped with a strip of local shweshwe fabric.
I like this shot. If you look carefully you can see Fred’s shadow on the soap label.
Once Fred had checked out the soap she was on her merry way again looking for new adventures.