Creation & Art

So far this year I've photographed a lot of things. In total, 54 things. That's roughly twice as many shoots as last year this time. I've not been doing a great job at posting about it though and keeping my website updated. I'm working on being better at it; I promise. This will hopefully be the start of it. When I started writing this post I had roughly 40 new images I want to update my portfolio with.

Before I carry on, let me share some of those images with you.

A quick insight on the images above.

  1. Anya, is the lovely wife of Tasos whom I've photographed and written about before here and after what felt like an eternity I finally messaged her and said that I wanted to have a portrait sitting with her. I missed the focus on this shot, but damn it I love it. Your photos don't alway have to be sharp.
  2. and 3. Morné, is an artist/painter that lives in the street parallel to where I reside currently and he contacted me for some portraits he needed for his upcoming exhibition at that time. The second image of him was featured on the cover of Editéur Plus Issue Nine. The first image was me trying to convey the chaos that I see when looking at his work and I'm really happy that I made that photo.
  3. Sakhile, is a dude I saw at a local cafe and after months of speaking with his girlfriend at the time we nailed down a date and I shot this profile image of him. The other shot of him is in my Instagram feed, here.

As I've mentioned I've been fortunate to photograph and work with some great people and companies in the last couple months. One such shoot was with Nataniël for his upcoming book documenting a small amount of his extensive costume collection, spanning a 30 year career. I believe the book drops in September, so until then I have to keep things under wraps.

I've photographed artists and friends and people whom have become friends. I've traveled to Cape Town to photograph the first ever piano performance by my good friend Charl du Plessis on top of Table Mountain (more on that in a follow up post). I've photographed images for a poster for an independent Afikaans Sci-fi film called, Siklus, by Louis Minnaar. I also can't release those photos yet. I recently worked on images for a Coca-Cola campaign and a lot of smaller, more intimate images with friends.

What I'm trying to say is that I've been keeping busy or, at least, trying to. Now I need to carry forward this momentum. I need to go out and create new work. Right now I am in a space where work has halted and it is always scary when I find myself in this place. In the past that's the thing that has dragged me down and into some pretty shit places where I felt worthless, and the images I were making, or rather not making, made it even worse.

Another portrait sitting that I am super happy with was of my friend Kelda's mother, the artist Margaret Nel, who is a painter and needed some images for her October exhibition. Her work is so beautiful and there is a painting of packaged meat that I so badly wish was hanging in my home. Check out her work when you have a minute.
My favourite image of her is probably the stitched panoramic portrait.

In closing, I've created a lot of imagery. Some of it I am really proud of and others less so. Is it art? It's subjective and differs from person to person. In photographing the artists and "regular" folks, I have I've come to see that through creation you get to a place where something may become art or artful. It's the process. You create and make and collaborate and eventually through struggle and perhaps a lot of crappy work you get to a point where you are happy with the art you've created.

Thanks for reading.


I recently had a portrait sitting with my friend Kurt Schroeder.

I shot this image of myself sometime last year.

I shot this image of myself sometime last year.

Kurt then asked me if I would do a similar image of him, however that didn't happen until I texted him last week and said, "Hey, let's do that portrait of you".

He showed up to my friends' place - whom I was house sitting for - and completely threw me for a loop with a whole different concept and story in mind. He took out a bottle of whiskey and a pack of cigarettes (he doesn't smoke), so I knew I was in for something.

Off we went, I made some breakfast for the two of us and he got to telling me the idea behind the images he wanted to make and how he felt I could best capture the emotions he was feeling. I'm not going to go into the details, because it's not my place**.

Editors Note: ** Kurt will share a little at the end of this post about where he was at, and his ideas for this shoot we did.

We also spoke about some things that annoy us and that will blossom into a project we will work on together soon, I hope.
More on that soon, for now here are the images we made together.

Something that struck me was how heavy the weight of what Kurt felt made itself known by squarely resting on my shoulders in the last few moments in that room. My shooting slowed down, and I remember just looking through the viewfinder, waiting... patiently as he drew on the cigarette; Nick Cave's latest album, Skeleton Tree playing in the background.

Another thing was that in images 2 and 4, where Kurt's hands are clasped around the whiskey bottle and upon viewing them after the shoot, he told me that, that was the closest his hands have been to a prayer position in quite a while. There was something beautifully stark about that.

** Context from Kurt: When Bernard hit me up last week to make a portrait, it felt like divine intervention. Bernaldo, aside from being an exceptional human and a dear close friend, is one of my favourite artists. He has the ability to capture a whirlwind of emotions in a single still image - and in so doing, he stores moments and memories in his pictures. 

The last few days of 2016 were like a kick in the pants with a steel-tipped boot; unpleasant. Life got a little harrowing, and I was reaching for panic buttons. I was looking for vehicles or vices, to escape the space I was in. My mind slipped into a pretty self-destructive hole, and it felt all-consuming.

So really, when Bernard messaged me to take a photo, it felt like a rope being thrown into that pit - An opportunity for some catharsis. So I rocked up to the venue with a bottle of whisky and a pack of cigarettes - poured out my head and heart - then asked one of my favourite artists to capture that mess for me. 

And that's what he did.

My mind, in these images, was deep in that pit - wallowing, whirlwind, wreckage - but when that last shutter clapped, and Bernaldo said "right, we're done" - I put out that disgusting cigarette, screwed the cap back on the bottle - and started to climb out of the pit.

Bernardo is now one of my favourite therapists too.

Thanks bro - Love you."

I want to thank Kurt for letting me into such a vulnerable space and for trusting me enough to share in it with him.
I want to finish off this post with these lyrics from "Listener - There are wrecking balls inside us" and a final thought.

"There are wrecking balls inside our hearts inside our tongues and they are moving. They’re swinging in our thoughts and fists, and they’re smashing us together, but that’s how we’ll make it through.... I am not alone, and you are not alone. I am not alone, and you are not alone, and we are not alone together".

Let's be vulnerable together and share the doubts, fears and sorrow, but also the joy and victories, because we're alone together.

Here's to 2017,
Thanks for reading.