Creative process I am a photographer working with portraiture, dance and design. I embark in photography projects that orbit around ideas and concepts of contemporary culture: realities and issues that surround me and the people I relate to. My projects are linked to reality but are not merely documentary. I dedicate part of the research and development to create a new visual perspective that adds to the reading of the story that I am telling with images. With portraiture I focus on the process of discovering and relating to the subject in front of the camera, making the photo session a moment of connection and conversation, a way to discover and empower through visual representation. What concepts or creative vision drives the work of this editorial. Golden hour is a series that shows black beauty, in freedom and power. The colours, the movement in the bodies and the materials, the shining sun in the skin, all is vibrant, full of life, projecting energy.
I work with dancers because I like how they understand their bodies and their beauty. When I look at a beautiful dancer I can see how they are connected with their bodies, and therefore with their feelings. I think comes through the images. I like photoshoots to be uplifting experiences, to celebrate creativity with others and make them feel beautiful, precious, cared for. This little adventure in Cape Town was a special moment to all of us that took part in it. What responsibility (if any) do you feel you have as a creative to sharing images of, or creating for alongside black creatives? As a white woman I ask myself often this question. I create to connect to others and to think, reflect, and share ideas. When I approach someone for a photoshoot there is something that I feel can be interesting for both to share and develop together. When working with black people, and specially with black women because of historical and societal realities, I am also aware that there are layers about being photographed, seen and about representation that I need to learn about and take into account. I then try to be a good listener, in order to understand better what have been their experiences around beauty or other subjects. As women we share a lot but we also have very diverse experiences. In understanding these experiences and feelings, in knowing better about the history attached to them, there is a lot to unlock about racist issues that still arise today in our everyday. Creative process: conceptualizing, planning, executing—what components go into my process? The creative process is generally long. From the initial motivation to work around a subject there are different steps towards completing a project. I normally like to relate to the people I work with in a more personal way, get to know them and collaborate from a place of sharing and understanding each other. I enjoy discovering and learning from others through a creative process. Once the connection has been made and some ideas have been exchanged there is a time of research and shaping of the project. This is a time of reading, exchanging sources of information, entering a bit more deeply into the concepts that you want to portray through images. Parallel to this process there is also the shaping of the visual idea by creating a moodboard and later on a brief where the description of the different elements, from colour palette to makeup, backgrounds, lighting, angles, etc. that are the vision of the shoot. I think that creating these documents is a way of being all on the same page on the shoot day which translates in a good communication and participation among everybody. It's important that everyone involved feels safe and welcome as they are in the creation of the work. Making sure that participants are feeling comfortable and taken care of brings out the best in collaboration.
Models: Jody Ndwebisa @jody_blue_ / Zintle Ndindwa @zintle-ndindwa Styling: models own Photography and Set: Rocio Chacon @rocio_chacon_studio / @ro.ci.cha
Shot in Cape Town, SA 2023
Published in THIIIRD Magazine, June 2023