8:27 pm

A short chronicle on the production of this photo series |

Tiny office furnished with a plain wooden table, two chairs and the bodies of 4 figures in passionate discussion (read argument) about the significance of using a portrait as the cover for a student magazine. The air is a mixture of frustration and exhaustion and thoughts of murder occasionally flit through the mind of the protagonist- Refiloe Mokgele. Yes me.

Why is this so difficult? Surely I've done enough group work in my civil engineering classes and FashSoc Days to equip myself for any and all characters and methods of thought?? Why is someone explaining Ways of Seeing to me as if the concept of visual literacy wasn't expounded to us in our formative high school years? Why is someone drawing circle diagrams and explaining story arcs to me like a parent attempting to glean the words 'mama' from the mouth of a toddler? Essentially- what the fuck is going on here?? 

I glance over at Tshiamo and realize I'm not alone in my shock and confusion at the patronization. Kind of thankful for her. In fact I'm very thankful...

I could potentially go into a thesis about the reasons why I am eternally grateful for her- especially in the recent two months, but owing to the fact that I'm working on a tight schedule which includes way more equations than it does frilly words about fashion photography, I'll narrow it down to three things.

1.  Ways of thinking

I'd like to think that studying engineering has honed our problem solving skills, organisation and ability for critical thought. Thank you Tshiamo for bringing that to the table while combining that with a strong understanding of social justice, creativity and emotional/social intelligence

2. Ways of working

Early mornings, late nights and all hours of the day in between, a mind was working, conceptualizing, absorbing and sifting through admin all while maintaining channels of communication and clarity. I'm still slightly in shock at the sheer number of strings we were able to find and tug at with zero budget and majorly ambitious ideas aided by the studied pages of Vogue, Dazed and I.D for reference. Days included long bakkie rides to obscure locations while nights took form in email threads, Instagram scouting and microwave chicken curry. 

3. Ways of seeing

And best of all

Thank you to Tshiamo for being able to understand my references ranging from Solange to vintage pictures of our parents posing with legs laid out on the township grass. For sifting through hundreds of photos in search of the 'one'(s). For being extremely honest if something was shit.

Thank you for your undeniable talent and ways of seeing.

Here is one of the results of our work- a colour drunk editorial shot at Greenmarket Square for SAX Magazine, modeled by the stunning and dream-to-work-with Sandrine Mpazayabo and Loren Humphreys. We dressed them in dizzying African prints and gold jewellery and spent the afternoon looking for nooks and crannies that contrasted with their looks. A celebration of African cities and clothes and how we balance between western standards of being metropolitan tourist destinations and just being our African selves. I personally loved this shoot and the richness of the location. I also personally loved this shoot because we had pizza for our lunch break.

But I digress and I ramble so let me stop. I hope you like looking at the images as much as we loved making them.

Image in 2017 SAX Magazine


Creative direction and styling: Tshiamo Ramano and Refiloe Mokgele
Photography: Refiloe Mokgele
Models: Sandrine Mpazayabo and Loren Humphreys

Outfit Details

Look 1 on Loren:
Farra red dress: Loin and Ashes
Gem drop earrings: Style Republic

Look 1 on Sandrine
Barb summer blazer: Somerset Jane
Gold spiral earrings: Joy Collectables
Choker with tassel detail: Joy Collectables

Look 2 on Loren
Ankara Shift dress with side frill: Khanya by Pengelly

Look 2 on Sandrine
Ankara kimono wrap:
Khanya by Pengelly
All clothing provided by Spree Online

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