Monday, May 21, 2007
South African Journal Of Photography
I was recently interviewed by South African Journal Of Photography, they have done a 5 page profile on me for the June issue of their magazine. It is avaliable at most magazine stores but for you who aren't going to purcahse it, here is the profile in 1's and 0's. And the interview if you want to read it.
Where are you currently based? What type of benefit does your type of photography hold?
I’m based in Johannesburg, I moved from Vereeniging in 2003 just after I finished studying. Living in ‘The V’ didn’t offer much for a professional photographer, unless you wanted to work in a one-hour photo lab until you died. I can’t really say what benefit my work holds, maybe in the future, if it lasts that long, we can see what benefit it holds.
What projects are you currently busy with?
Well, I’m trying to do something new right now, more of a documentary approach maybe. I’m still trying to find a story or subject to shoot but in the mean time I’m just going to shoot everything that happens around me. I went to a farm in Delarayville(SP?) recently and had an awesome time shooting a stuff I never go near.
Where were you trained and how did your past shape your perception on photography?
I studied photography at the Vaal Triangle Technikon, now the Vaal University, for three years. I got into photography through skateboarding strangely enough. I started skating when I was about 16 and used to buy the skateboarding magazines and they exposed me to people documenting life with a camera. There were some great photographers in those magazines, Atiba Jefferson, Grant Brittan etc. and they were my biggest influences when I started shooting. I think it’s also the reason I still shoot youth culture etc. It was only when I started to study photography in 2000 that I got to learn about the greats like Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Frank, Andre Kertesz and so on. I also think growing up in Vereeniging made me search for the ‘cool’ because of the lack of it in the town.
What, in your opinion, are the challenges and frustrations faced by photographers in SA?
The fact that we still see photographaphic style as it was back in 1993. There are so few photographers being influenced by what is happening in the rest of the world right now. And the fact that clients do not pay enough for our work, especially editorial work. And also freedom from magazines to express ourselves and not just copy a reference. But maybe that’s just me.
Who/what influenced you in your career?
Annie Liebovitz and Mark Seliger are probably my biggest influences; their ability to capture a personality and their use of tone and colour kills me. And also the Magnum group, they are a constant source of inspiration. Stef Naude has also been a huge influence; he is a friend of mine who is a designer/ art director/ writer/ artist/ drinking partner. We have worked on various magazines together and even conned a publisher into letting us takeover their magazine, STAGE, for a brief four issues. And music, without music I don’t think I would be a photographer.
How would you describe your style?
I don’t like putting into words but; clean, strong design, spontaneous, loose. Time for a change though.
Do you think that digital and conventional photography can find a common ground in the future? Or that conventional photography will be pushed further into the history books?
I don’t think we will ever lose film, or conventional photography. It’s kind of the same situation when photography was first discovered and painters said that because of photography painting would die.
How much of your current work do you shoot on digital?
Everything, except when a client is willing to pay for film, processing etc. Film is too expensive for me to shoot on personally.
What would you ultimately like to achieve in photography?
Not sure really. I just want to keep on doing it forever, and keep on getting better at it, learn more everyday.
To what extent has digital photography changed your concepts of photography, or do you still approach photography in the same way?
II still approach photography in the same way I used to, digital has just allowed me to shoot a hundred times more than I would have when I was shooting film. I just miss 6/7 and 6/6 format