Taking Life Pictures
Smart phones with inbuilt cameras don’t threaten photography as a profession. This is a strong belief held by Thabang Mofokeng. Instead, he calls for workshops and conferences to teach the township people about the importance of photography. “This craft is about quality, lighting, framing and professionalism among other things,” Thabang indicates.
He was introduced to photography at a young age. “My mother had a still camera. At the age of three I was shooting images. Seeing my work after the film was developed fascinated me the most,” he remembers. After completing matric he enrolled with Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg.
But photography as a career? “There is money in photography, especially when one is working for publications and selling his work at galleries.” He also takes pictures at takes pictures at social gatherings and clients pay for that. Memorable gig he did include Soweto Camp First and the launch of Black Coffee’s album.
Thabang also does documentaries which shows social ills like crime and drugs. Unlike films, he allows the picture to tell the stories without using many words.
It is his wish to see more exhibition done in Soweto. “Many exhibitions will help our communities to understand photography better and they will find value and buy our work.”