Anyone who has met Simphiwe Mkhwanazi has not been able to resist his infectious warmth and passionate spirit – both of which he brings in volumes to his work as a photographer. Having been one of the photographers involved in the Project last year, Simphiwe rejoins the crew this year with even more experience behind him. Currently in his final year studying towards a Bcompt Degree in Accounting Science, this ‘rural boy’ – as he refers to himself – has a keen eye for fashion which translates into magnetic images. Working with Simphiwe is as much an enjoyable experience as it is a learning one as he always improving and honing his skills behind the camera, with his shooting and editing. It’s no wonder that his work is always on point and on trend.
LFP: What do you think is the coolest thing about Simphiwe?
Simphiwe: I'm always myself; just a really happy guy who’s always laughing and kidding around. I'm really the same person every day. I am a bit weird but I’m worth getting to know, I think. Haha! Actually there are many cool things about me but I won’t blow my own horn! Haha!
LFP: Having been one of #ProjectScouted’s photographers last year, what do you love the most about the Project?
Simphiwe: I really love the interaction with likeminded people; I mean we are all similar in the fact that we love art. Although our sense of art may be different, it's great to learn new techniques and share your views and passions with others. I also feel #ProjectScouted has done a great deal for promoting individuality while teaching the girls and even everyone involved to be a team player. And that’s a really valuable lesson to learn in your working life.
LFP: What were some of the best moments during the Project last year for you?
Simphiwe: Where could I even begin? I enjoyed all the shoots I attended but I especially loved being behind the camera and taking pictures when I could. It's impossible to pinpoint any actual moments; I just had some really boss times.
LFP: How did you discover your passion for photography?
Simphiwe: Well, I've always been really interested in fashion and beauty. I had always loved taking pictures; I remember my dad had an old film camera many, many years ago. When he was away at work I'd borrow it (without asking) and play around with it. Then at school we would take pictures of one another with our cellphones. Eventually, I managed to save up and bought my first camera in 2013 and started taking pictures of my friends on campus and I guess things escalated very quickly. I’m loving the direction my photography is taking!
LFP: What do you love most about photographing people?
Simphiwe: I really enjoy photographing humans, because you get to interact with them in a whole different world. It's all about creating art and going through the emotions for those few minutes but then the image lives a lifetime. I mean, you can literally see a person in a different view and that, my friends, is pretty awesome.
LFP: What is beauty to you?
Simphiwe: To me, beauty is art; something that is pleasing to the eye. I find beauty in many things and in some things that other people may not even consider. I believe beauty is not definite as some things require more attention than others. I think that we see things the way we are and if we can nurture beauty within us, we can see beauty everywhere.
LFP: What are some of the images you’ve shot that you are most proud of?
Simphiwe: It's really difficult to say which series of images I am proud of the most, because I always put in 100% effort on set and I always try to get great images. And if I release the images, I am proud of them. Therefore all the images you'd find on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/simphiwekevinphotography), I am extremely proud of. Every image has a different message and a different memory behind it.
LFP: Any tips for the #ProjectScouted girls?
Simphiwe: Take a lot of selfies! Feel the emotions with each selfie. Also check out online magazines or even Tumblr and check out posing guides on the Net. The Project is a serious platform for opportunity and being prepared will definitely help.
LFP: Are you willing to share any info about the phase you are shooting in the Project?
Simphiwe: I think surprises are the best!
Simphiwe will be one of the many photographers shooting the Shoelaced Clothing fashion show happening on Saturday at 17:00 at Factory Café. The girls need to be prepared to be judged on any of the images taken on the night, meaning that they will have to be in to win it. Don’t hesitate to say “hi” to Simphiwe at the show to see why he manages to bring out the best emotions in people.